In my description of the trails, I use the term “Elevation Gain” It is also used in the Hiking Difficulty Calculator to determine a hike difficulty rating. So just what is elevation gain?
Elevation gain can best be described as every time you hike up is added to a cumulative total of elevation gained. If one were to hike up all the time without going down and then back up, the elevation gained would be the difference from your start elevation to your ending elevation. Now if you hike up and then down and up and down to get to your destination, then all the change in elevation of each of the ups are cumulative and result in ‘Elevation gain” The down portions are not counted.
Hiking a flat trail is not that strenuous, but if hiking where you are constantly going up and down can be a lot harder on your legs than the flat route. Even a hike that has a steady climb up with out the downs is easier than the same hike with the ups and downs. So Elevation gain is important in describing a hike.
Some times elevation gain will be more than the actual elevation of your destination! This is because over the course of the hike the track was going up and down a lot! That is why to a senior like me elevation gain is important in choosing my hikes! My legs get weary going up and down!
My Garmin 64s and my Garmin 60CSx both record Total Accent. Total accent tis the same as elevation gained. So when you set your data fields on your Garmin, set to Total accent and it will record how much elevation you have gained over the course of your hike. When you download your track into Garmin BaseCamp and click on the track and show info, it will show you your Total Accent.
Thank you to Dennis Stilwell for the Hiking Difficulty calculator. Be sure to visit his web site for info on Northwest hiking!