Mt Moosilauke 10.77 miles

Discussion in 'Barefoot & Minimalist Hiking' started by hikerdana, Jun 20, 2016.

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What is the longest barefoot hike, in a single day, you have taken?

  1. 1-5

    12.5%
  2. 5-10

    50.0%
  3. 10-15

    25.0%
  4. 15-20

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. 20-25

    12.5%
  6. 25+

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. hikerdana

    hikerdana
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    Saturday the plan was to hike up the summit of Mount Moosilaukie (4802 feet) with a small group of friends. Fred and George were both over 50, and I don't think they have every really hiked a 4,000 foot mountain in NH. Sy is a teen who has hiked with me before and is a very good hiker.

    We got a very late start, heading up the trail around 10:40 am. Immediately as we crossed the road there was a wide shallow brook that had to be crossed. I simply walked across the cool refreshing water as the rest of the group headed up stream looking for a place to cross. They finally did find a down tree that had been made into a crude bridge. The trail was very soft under foot, I was a little surprised seeing how this was part of the Appalachian Trail. After hiking about 1.4 miles and stopping at the shelter to use the outhouse, we came to the new parking lot. The group wondered why I didn't park there. I had figured the lot would be full and didn't realize they had made a nice new bigger lot. I also sometimes don't think in terms of miles and just want to get on the trail.

    Once on the Glencliff trail the ground felt much firmer, though still very barefoot friendly. The trail wandered through a few fields and I was asked if I was worried about ticks. I was actually less concerned barefoot since they would probably be brushed off or seen more easily then someone wearing socks or long pants. We soon crossed a few small sources of water which I used to cool my feet. Once I stepped in some mud that oozed between my toes. I was concerned at first that when it dried the dirt between my toes would irritate my skin when it dried, but that was not to be the case.

    As we ascended the trail got rockier and I slowed down, but so did one of the other guys, so I still was not holding the group back. We were hiking at a very slow pace, but we were all enjoying out time out in the woods.
    Eventually the steep and rocky section ended and we were now on the Carriage Road. The group decided to push on to the summit only 0.9 miles and relatively flat . I was concerned that here I would find the trail to contain more gravel, but at first it was very barefoot friendly, but it didn't last. About a half mile from the summit the gravel appeared in the trail and stayed there for the rest of the walk to the summit. We had seen a few people earlier, but on this section of the trail it got a little crowded. I tried to walk as though the gravel wasn't bothering my feet at all, but did ask that Sy knock the pace down a bit. At this point we had lost the other two members of our group and looking back they were no where to be seen.

    [​IMG]
    Gravel on the Carriage Road

    At the summit we got our picture taken. I was very happy to see they got my bare feet in the shot. Then we headed down to find our friends. Going down was a lot harder then going up. For one my feet had already hiked 5.5 miles (0.5 mile more than my previous hike) and I knew it was a long way down. Here I definitely went a lot slower, searching for the least painful foot placement, which I'm not sure I was accomplishing. We soon found our friends resting along side the trail. United we continued down the trail.

    [​IMG]
    Two of us made it!

    During the first half of the trip downward it was all I could to keep up with the group and not slow everyone down. I once again thought constantly of how my boots made hiking down hill so much easier. (Upon arriving home I read about several other barefoot hikers that wear shoes on the downward trek due to the difficulty of hiking down hill barefoot. Now they tell me.) I realized that being barefoot really limited my foot placement and did not afford me any new options (beside mud and water). I could feel the pounding my soles were taking, and had a good feeling they would be a bit tender the next day. But the next day was Sunday when I usually take it easy and don't do much walking, so they would get a good recovery day.

    Once the trail started leveling out I was able to keep up with the group and soon moved into the middle of our small pack. Then when the trail got even closer to bottom I pulled to the front and started to drag George along a bit faster. We came to another junction and we decided George would stay there with my pack and wait for the rest of the group, while I went ahead and brought the vehicle around to the end of the trail, saving them 1.4 miles.

    In the end I did 10.77 miles barefoot. I have now tracked over 100 miles barefoot, either walking, running or hiking outside. I've walked a bit more, but haven't always remembered or felt the distance was worth tracking. I think next time ( I must be crazy) I'll try bringing some hiking poles. In the past I felt hiking poles slowed me down going downhill, but nothing can slow me down more than I'm going barefoot, so hopefully they might help speed me up.

    [​IMG]
    My feet at the end of the hike

    I did get a lot more comments on this hike. Most were encouraging. Probably the best moment of the day was when a hiker commented on my bare feet and then asked if I was Dana from Manchester. It was Ethan a fellow avid hiker who was a friend on Garmin Connect and we had never met in person. If it wasn't for my bare feet we would not have noticed each other have passed each other by. Of course making it to the top and back while remaining barefoot was pretty cool as well.

    On the road we stopped at McDonalds for breakfast and I hid my feet the best I could behind the counter and managed to purchase my food without any hassles. On the way back we stopped at a country store and purchased a drink with no problems and I'm pretty sure they noticed my bare feet, They were nice folks. Then we stopped off at McDonalds again, where we ordered some more food and we sat down to eat. They delivered my McFlurry to me and I met him half way up the aisle. I'm pretty sure my bare feet were very noticeable but nothing was said.

    I figured that Sunday morning would tell the real story on how my feet held up. The first thing I notice upon standing was my ankles were sore and then I noticed the soles of my feet were sore as well. My calves were also a bit tight. But I didn't have to much trouble walking and I don't think I any noticeable changes to my stride. The soreness in the bottoms of my feet felt more like a muscle sore, then it did bruises. When I probed the bottom of my feet I did find a couple of spots that could only be bruises. The arches seem to be where the most tenderness was.

    As the day progressed my thighs let me know they had a workout that they did not appreciate. I would hobble up the stairs, but most of the difficulty was in the leg muscles and not the feet, though the feet did contribute a little. While I am not totally surprised my legs were sore, I hadn't hiked a 4,000 foot mountain in a few years. I was surprised my feet seem to be so doing well. I have heard from a good source that my feet may swell up, but that still hasn't happened. I'm thinking perhaps swelling of the feet might be more a result of exercise then it is of being barefoot. I'll continue keeping an eye on that aspect as well.

    Monday, I walked the mile barefoot to work and the first few steps were not encouraging. It felt like I had lost some of the toughness in my feet. It is probably my imagination and the fact my soles are still a bit tender from the hike. I took the smoothest sidewalks, picking concrete over asphalt and avoiding the rougher sections. My quads are actually the sorest piece of my body and I have no interest in doing stairs. When I walk I do notice a bruise on the inside of my heel by the arch.
     
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  2. Tristan

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    Sounds like a fun trip, the Whites up in NH are beautiful. I would say your soreness after sounds fairly normal, especially if you're only around 100 miles or so being into barefooting, and haven't done a 4k'er in a few years. The best training for hiking in the mountains is hiking in the mountains. In my case I only get to go once a year, maybe twice, so I can't really train for it. I don't even have hills here really. Usually my quads get killed, and some other funny niggles here or there (probably wouldn't make a difference shod vs barefoot there). Soles though... they can surely get worn down over rough terrain, and will take a few days to recover. Even after running on chip seal or rough asphalt can make my soles tender afterwards, and depending on how much I ran could take several days for the tenderness to go away. But if you have the chance, you might want to get some more experience on some lesser peaks before tackling the bigger peaks.

    One thing that has sort of helped me is hiking solo so far. That way I can set my own pace. It is such a relief not worrying about other or slowing them down, being bound by when they want to take a break, etc. I love the freedom and lack of worrying about others. Some are more social I guess and would hate to hike alone, I understand that too, plus hiking solo introduces a bit more danger into the equation as well.

    All this mountain talk is getting me excited... I had to back out of a mountain trip a couple weeks ago, but have another one planned mid July. Starting to gather the last few pieces of gear I need (new water filter, dehydrated meals). Going to the Adirondacks, and this might actually be my first barefoot hike with another hiker... my mom has been wanting to join me on a hike but hasn't been able to in recent years. As much as I like solo I wouldn't pass up the chance to hike with mom again. Right now we are thinking about the Dix range, probably 3-day hike. I might also go back out solo later in the week for another couple peaks, depending what condition I'm in.

    As far as my longest barefoot hike... most all my big hikes have a little bit of sandal mileage in there, but pretty sure I'm easily over the 25+ range (for multi-day hike anyhow). My last trip, which is still on the screen in the hiking sub-forum (last summer) was 3 day / 40 mile trip. As I recall I was barefoot for the whole trip minus the gravel road on the Ausable Club which was 3-4 miles long. If we are talking just in a one day time period, my longest would be 14.4 miles I think. I'll wait till you clarify before I vote on the poll.
     
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  3. Tristan

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    Forgot I was going to mention I love trekking poles and they might help a bit more barefoot too. You can walk a bit lighter on your feet if you bear some of the weight with the poles and arms. Also if you have slim pickings for good spots to step, perhaps a bit longer strides or odd positions than you'd prefer, the poles might help get into those footholds easier. Slowing your downhill descent is also another thing I like about them. Without poles you are slowing your descent with your legs the whole time. I think out of all the hiking I've done, the descent is the worse on the legs. Having to keep the quads tensed, with the 'brakes' on, sometimes for miles, can really strain those muscles and tendons that aren't used to such use. Being able to poke the poles out in front and take some of the braking with my arms allows the legs to relax a bit and sort of freefall if that makes sense. I got to admit my legs get really beat up in my hikes... any bit of that I can offset with my arms is welcome. I've never worn out my arms hiking yet lol. And when they aren't needed, the flick lock ones (or other similar ones) quickly collapse to small size. Or when doing some more technical rock scrambling and need my hands I'll collapse them and stash em in my pack, or rig em up in the ice axe loop.
     
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  4. hikerdana

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    I was thinking in terms of a single day hike, so I revised my question to be a bit clearer. Thanks.
     
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  5. hikerdana

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    I do have hiking poles that collapse, and have used them in the past, usually reserve them for winter hiking. But I was thinking they might save my quads a bit and lighten the load on my feet at times, glad you feel that will be the case. I did stumble a few times and that was a little worry some, wondering where my foot was going to land, so I suppose poles would definitely be a big help in those time as well.
    I can also see how they could extend my reach with my feet as well, which at times would be of great benefit to me, so thanks for mentioning that as well. This crazy person is definitely going to try poles on their next hike. I appreciate your input and advice it is a big help, especially since there is no one in my local social groups that I can carry on a conversation about barefooting besides encouraging them to give it a try. They all seem to feel that my feet are really tough. Not yet I try and tell them, but I'm working on it.
     
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  6. Ahcuah

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    Here's a different tip for going downhill: make sure you land ball first.

    This is very difficult to do, since you need to really make sure to point your toes so that you don't land on your heel. But it does cushion the downhill a fair bit. It's also easy to forget to do it after a bit and you have to keep reminding yourself.

    It has another advantage if the trail is wet or muddy. Landing on your ball lets your toes grip the soft soil. If you don't you can find yourself skiing on your heels through the mud.
     
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  7. Barefoot TJ

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    Nice.

    I have no idea what was the longest distance I have hiked. I did run away from home when I was in middle school from San Diego to Lakeside. It took me about 8 hours. It was a "hike" I will never forget. My brother was being his usual ass-self, and I had had enough. My parents recently split, and I wanted to get back to my old home. It was early, hot, and I was miserable, but for some reason, I enjoyed it so much. My dad called my mom at work and told him to come get "her daughter." She was like WTF?! The next time I ran away, I got smart and took my bike!

    When I was in elementary school, I also did the Walk for Mankind in San Diego twice (back-to-back years) which was a marathon distance with my Girl Scout Troop 1026. Again, good memories.
     
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  8. Ahcuah

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    My longest barefoot hike in a single day was about 12¾ miles. I've also done multi-day hikes that were longer.

    You can see my blog post on the 12¾ mile hike here:

    O’Meara O’Vencha Hike: Spring

    .
     
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  9. hikerdana

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    Nice write-up. Thanks for sharing.


    Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
     
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  10. hikerdana

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    I believe I was on the balls of my feet most of the time I was hiking, without having to think about it. But this wasn't due to any superior stride I had developed, rather the trail forces this on shod and unshod alike. The elevation gain was 3,300 feet in 3.9 miles, making it 846 feet per mile, which is on the steep side, a virtual staircase at times . The trails in this area are also filled with rocks, boulders and roots, which you are constantly negotiating around even when your shod, leaving hardly a flat level spot for the whole foot. I may have mentioned I was looking for the best spot to put my foot down, it would probably be better to say I was looking for the least uncomfortable spot to place my foot. I've attached a picture of a "level" section where we stopped for a quick break. This should give you a little idea how the trail is laid out. I'll have to take more pictures of the actual trail bed next time.

    Trail on Moosilaukie.jpg
     
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  11. joe4702

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    I once did an 8 mile hike on Sunset Trail on Laguna Mountain in San Diego county (IIRC having once lived in San Diego, TJ probably knows where that is).
    I recall being pretty worn out and putting sandals on for the last mile or so.
     
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  12. Barefoot TJ

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    Oh, I'm so homesick now!
     
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  13. Barefoot TJ

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    OH, I gotta add. I wasn't barefoot on those walks. I totally overlooked that part of the thread title. Sardines!
     
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  14. KTR

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    1-5 miles yesterday. It as a 6 km "round trip" hike, so some 3.6 mi.
    I hope this is just the beginning. I've never been hiking enthusiast until now.
     
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