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#173930 - 01/16/13 06:29 PM Women!
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
Loc: Napa, CA
I bet Lori can tell a few tales....

Yes, itís different. When we hike in the Sierra, we donít see many couples hiking together. We see a lot of men, and a few groups of women. But plain old couples like us, not so much.

And itís funny what happens when all those men see M on the trail. P tends to hike a little faster than M, so he usually greets these hikers first. They are perfectly happy to be seen resting on the side of the trail while P hikes up and past them. All is well in the world until M comes around the corner. The minute they see the lovely M hiking along, they make a great struggle to get going again. They jump to their feet, hoist up their packs, give a few grunts, and push themselves up the trail.

So now we are hiking along the trail, P in front, and a group of guys who are just killing themselves to keep up, and M hiking merrily behind them all. The only problem is, they often canít keep up the pace. And so, slowly and inexorably, M passes them by. Her only hope is that they donít die of a heart attack while she does so. They gasp and wheeze, sweat and groan. M smiles sweetly at them. Well, sometimes she does.

They just donít want to admit that a woman might hike faster than they doóespecially a woman of a certain age. (And no, we are not disclosing proprietary information. Letís just that weíve been married well over thirty years, and neither of us is in the bloom of youth.)

Itís true that there are a lot of people who hike faster than we do. Weíre happy to let them walk on by. And we admit that we often have an advantage, as our packs are certainly lighter than a lot of the packs that we see on the trail. Itís always easier to climb up a pass with 25 pounds than with 45 pounds. Or sixty.

But none of that matters to those guys when M appears on the trail.

Go figure.
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#173933 - 01/16/13 07:01 PM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6401
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Although I am one of the slowest hikers around, only very slightly faster than our native banana slugs, I often pass people (mostly tourons) on our steep Columbia Gorge trails. Why? Most of them dash up the hill as fast as they can, then stop several minutes to gasp for breath (that technique plus the lack of daypacks is how I know they're tourons). They pass me when dashing and in turn I pass them while they're gasping. I set a slow and steady pace that allows me to keep going without stopping to catch my breath. It's extremely slow, but it often gets this tortoise to the top of the hills ahead of the hares! While I don't say anything but "Hi" or "Hi again" when we meet, I have noticed that a few of them have gotten the idea and slowed their pace. Those folks generally do beat me to the top!

I have seen the phenomenon Balzaccom describes, of course! On the other hand, when far enough from the trailhead to avoid the tourons, I don't think I've ever passed anyone! I've also seen it on the highways when I start to pass someone (inevitably a male driver) who speeds up as soon as I'm alongside him where he can identify me as female. Never mind if they were poking along at 10 mph below the speed limit when I started to pass!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#173936 - 01/16/13 07:44 PM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Older makes them look twice too. I'll be 60 this Fall, beard is pretty much white now, I'm sure it is embarrassing in both situations. Two summers ago I went over Forester Pass after my first night out at Vidette Meadow area. Before I made the pass, I was eating lunch and watching people for a long time crossing a snow field up there and staying at the top a short time. It took me maybe an hour to get over the pass after lunch, stayed a few minutes and headed down the other side. Shortly passing those same folks, scrambling a lot. It was easy! Passed person after person until no one was ahead. I guess they have trouble with going downhill too. At Tyndall Creek, they started showing up after I was there an hour. Luckily for them or me, I had finished dipping my body in the creek and air drying.:)
Duane

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#173938 - 01/16/13 08:11 PM Re: Women! [Re: hikerduane]
rockchucker22 Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/12
Posts: 749
Loc: Eastern Sierras
Originally Posted By hikerduane
Luckily for them or me, I had finished dipping my body in the creek and air drying.:)
Duane
oh the horror, nightmares will ensue!
_________________________
The wind wont howl if the wind don't break.

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#173946 - 01/16/13 09:50 PM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
lori Offline
member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2801
I met a fella who was active Army who was about my age. As a first date we went to the mountains. He was stationed here and not a native Californian, but had hiked around in the midwest and appeared fit - I figured, he must have to be fit enough to pass those fitness requirements they surely have? So I chose a day hike to a peak.

Of course, it nearly killed him, and we only made it a couple miles, but he gamely returned for a second date, so it must only have bruised his ego a little bit.

Then there's the times guys have shown up with entire backpacks for day hikes, "training" - they don't let me carry their stuff despite the fact that I'm not the one huffing, puffing and looking like a cardiac arrest is imminent, and they are leaning heavily on my trekking poles. I think the trekking pole industry should give me a commission.
_________________________
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki

http://hikeandbackpack.com

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#173952 - 01/16/13 11:40 PM Re: Women! [Re: lori]
jbylake Offline
member

Registered: 09/15/12
Posts: 202
Loc: Northern KY USA
Pretty amusing thread grin
Me? There was a time that I would just go and go and go, never trying to prove anything, I just couldn't poke along.

As I aged, nearing the end of my military career, I started slowing down, due to injuries, and honestly, I realized that I was really missing so much, by concentrating on pushing the limits, although I still like a challenge.

Finally, now days, way too many injuries, both military and civilian, well I just poke along. So if a lady "smokes me" on the trail..whereas in my younger day's I would have risked a stroke rather than have that happen, I just hope nobody is filming it.

These days I get passed by grown ladies,old ladies, young ladies, girl scouts, turtles, and an occasional earth worm. Ahh..I don't care or mind anymore, the sun has long set on my "macho" days.

If I go with other people, and they want to move fast, well, I'm pretty good with a compass and map, and I tell them that I'll catch up at the campsite.

I want to do one trip this year, that through my research, it appears to be pretty physically challenging, even for a younger man, but if I do it, especially since I'll probably have to do it solo, I'll just poke along, enjoy the views, stop to fish, and generally just take my time and move at a snail's pace...
.....as long as those darn girl scouts don't show up, and shame me to go harder.... laugh

J.

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#173955 - 01/17/13 01:38 AM Re: Women! [Re: jbylake]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2861
Loc: Portland, OR
These days I get passed by grown ladies,old ladies, young ladies, girl scouts, turtles, and an occasional earth worm.

Don't feel bad. I am sure those were unusually frisky turtles. grin

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#173958 - 01/17/13 06:43 AM Re: Women! [Re: aimless]
Gershon Offline
member

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
To go fast, hike slow. You can't beat the trail.
_________________________
http://48statehike.blogspot.com/

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#173963 - 01/17/13 09:23 AM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
BrianLe Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/07
Posts: 1146
Loc: Washington State, King County
When I saw "Women!" as the subject of a new thread under "Lite Philosophies & Practices", I was thinking in terms of somehow getting women to carry some of your stuff. A fine idea, IMO if you can talk them into it, but when my spouse and I go backpacking together it tends to work in the opposite direction.
_________________________
Brian Lewis
http://postholer.com/brianle

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#173970 - 01/17/13 10:11 AM Re: Women! [Re: BrianLe]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
The title of this thread drew me in immediately. I may be old, but I am not that old!

Lori, not all jobs in the military are physically taxing, or even active. I could still perform everything I did during my active service, more than fifty years later - typing letters for the Commanding general (no typeovers, no erasures)...


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#173972 - 01/17/13 12:31 PM Re: Women! [Re: aimless]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2802
Loc: NorCal
Southeast Asian racing turtles--they've been escaping from terrariums [terraria?] and breeding in the wild. Listen for skittering sounds in the bushes on your next hike.

Better than Everglades pythons, at least.

Cheers,

Originally Posted By aimless
These days I get passed by grown ladies,old ladies, young ladies, girl scouts, turtles, and an occasional earth worm.

Don't feel bad. I am sure those were unusually frisky turtles. grin
_________________________
--Rick

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#173973 - 01/17/13 01:30 PM Re: Women! [Re: lori]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
I did get beat by at least one HS age girl in a local 5/10K race when I was in my 40's. I tried!!!
Duane

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#173974 - 01/17/13 01:43 PM Re: Women! [Re: hikerduane]
skcreidc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/10
Posts: 1590
Loc: San Diego CA
You had my attention at women. I might have to actually go through the thread now... grin

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#173989 - 01/17/13 04:43 PM Re: Women! [Re: BrianLe]
wandering_daisy Offline
member

Registered: 01/11/06
Posts: 2752
Loc: California
You are a gallant husband! It is the opposite for me- I get to carry most of the group gear. Goes like this - hubby: my pack is so much heavier! me: I wonder why? hubby: uh, I am bigger and my clothes therefor weigh more. Trailhead: I have about 3/4 group gear. First night: out comes hubby's fishing gear, binoculars, leather wallet, big knife, NOOK reader, 2-pound Tevas, etc. Oh, well, at least my pack weighs less every day as we eat food. We are out here together and that is what counts! It is not about how you divide the weight -but how much you enjoy each other.

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#173995 - 01/17/13 05:23 PM Re: Women! [Re: wandering_daisy]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
Loc: Napa, CA
HA! We do it the other way around. We each carry about 15-20% of our body weight...so I am carrying more.

And that works out fine. It even seems FAIR!
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#174508 - 01/31/13 11:31 AM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Old thread, but can't resist.

I'd cheerfully carry ALL her gear if my wife could hike with me.

My daughter, on the other hand can very easily walk my legs off while carrying a pack double or triple the weight of mine. Until this year she led a forest fire team that specialized in high-altitude initial assaults.

As for the sort of incidents this thread started with, I have to laugh. I thru-hiked the AT the year I turned 70. You should have seen the youngsters scramble when I came up behind them. Not that I'm fast at all. Part of their reaction was that they knew that.

best, jcp

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#174522 - 01/31/13 02:28 PM Re: Women! [Re: JPete]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1731
Loc: Napa, CA
Originally Posted By JPete
Old thread, but can't resist.

I'd cheerfully carry ALL her gear if my wife could hike with me.

My daughter, on the other hand can very easily walk my legs off while carrying a pack double or triple the weight of mine. Until this year she led a forest fire team that specialized in high-altitude initial assaults.

As for the sort of incidents this thread started with, I have to laugh. I thru-hiked the AT the year I turned 70. You should have seen the youngsters scramble when I came up behind them. Not that I'm fast at all. Part of their reaction was that they knew that.

best, jcp



Agreed. The best quality time I get with my wife is on the trail. And when our 25 year-old daughter joins us, she leaves us in the dust!
_________________________
balzaccom

check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#174685 - 02/04/13 10:18 PM Re: Women! [Re: balzaccom]
djtrekker Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/13
Posts: 43
Loc: Virginia
cute thread. I'm new, 60, in VA. I just married my sweetie in Nov; we've been backpacking together, and mostly day-hiking for several years. I'm the historical backpacker, she's done a lot of hiking but didn't start backpacking until me. We love to dawdle during berry season, stuffing ourselves with wild blueberries, raspberries, and whatnot. I carry the bulk of logistics - tent, cook stove, water filter, first aid kit, repair kit, map stuff - she carries the cookware and her own personals. Works out well. We also enjoy car camping and day-hiking around the neighborhood.
One of my favorite treks in Dolly Sods Wilderness in WV; I see a LOT of women there, I would almost say 50/50. It seems to be popular for women's and youth groups. It's refreshing to see. I also see a lot of families backpacking together. It's a beautiful wilderness area that is easily accessible.

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#174702 - 02/05/13 12:11 PM Re: Women! [Re: JPete]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 653
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
All you men that get to hike with your wives, count your blessings! My wife has knee trouble. Sometimes she'll start hurting in less than a mile just walking around our neighborhood. Taking her to the backcountry would be just asking for trouble, even though there's no one I'd like with me better.

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#181546 - 12/30/13 04:44 AM Re: Women! [Re: 4evrplan]
Talthing Offline
newbie

Registered: 12/29/13
Posts: 14
Amen...my gf has fibromyalgia. I'm hoping eventually she can beat it and come out with me. As for me, I could care less who I get passed on the trail by. I've never had an ego about that sort of thing. I think I'd have more of an ego about looking like I'm having a stroke than moving at a sane pace and letting the fitness queens blow past me.

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