What’s the worst kind of steep?

el_jefe_pescado

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May 8, 2019
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A question for the guys that have seen more country than I…
We moved from Colorado to Montana not too long ago and as I prepare for archery season up here I am trying to decide what sucks less...

1.High elevation mountain ranges (where your hunting is happening consistently at 9k and above) but you may have more manageable “grades” once you are in the alpine—maybe.
2. Mid elevation mountain ranges (5k-9.5k) ranges where the grades/prominence can seem can be more extreme.
3. “Lower elevation” coastal ranges. I haven’t been to Alaska but I imagine it would suck to go from sea level to 5 or 6k through a rainforest.

I’ll be curious to here everyone’s thoughts.


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flatlanderhuffandpuff

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PA
Whatever I am in presently is the worst kind of steep.

Steep scree is bad and dangerous.
Steep with blowdown is bad and dangerous.
Steep with cliffs is bad and dangerous.

All of the above at 10k + makes them harder.

The only one I don't have experience with is really thick undergrowth which would be bad and frustrating.
 

Pony Soldier

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On the far west, the elk range is 5000 to 2300. The mid range is 7500 to 6000. In Bozeman you are on your own and prarie elk is a whole differant can of worms.

In my world, steep is a place where up requires hanging onto the next tree above you to make progress. Steep isn't as big of an issue as stepping over 10,000 crotch high logs per mile. Do stretching exercises!
 

WCB

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Anything with dead fall or thick brush period. can be pancake flat and still suck.
Steep wet or steep frozen and slippery suck.

You want to see some real suck go to the West Coast of NZ and try to walk up from the bottom. But in general elevation doesn't have a lot to do with it imo. Verticle is verticle and there are places in the badlands/big broken country that you can get into just as much trouble as you can in the Tetons.
 

SoloWilderness

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Whatever I am in presently is the worst kind of steep.

Steep scree is bad and dangerous.
Steep with blowdown is bad and dangerous.
Steep with cliffs is bad and dangerous.

All of the above at 10k + makes them harder.

The only one I don't have experience with is really thick undergrowth which would be bad and frustrating.
All of these things + oak brush + greasy clay mud. That's the worst kind of steep.
 
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el_jefe_pescado

el_jefe_pescado

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On the far west, the elk range is 5000 to 2300. The mid range is 7500 to 6000. In Bozeman you are on your own and prarie elk is a whole differant can of worms.

In my world, steep is a place where up requires hanging onto the next tree above you to make progress. Steep isn't as big of an issue as stepping over 10,000 crotch high logs per mile. Do stretching exercises!

Yeah the “jungle gym effect” certainly adds another element to the mix. Deadfall can be flat out demoralizing regardless of elevation.


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Marmots

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Anything with wet clay. There's nothing more disheartening than slipping and sliding in one place like a natural treadmill while your boots get steadily heavier like a snowball rolling downhill.

Should you be successful in making it up or down a clay slope, the route that afforded you that success has now been scoured and polished into a toboggan run devoid of any vegetation. You can't go back the way you came, and there's a new monument to your hubris drying in the sun.

Afterwards, trying to use bootlaces or zippers feels like an archeological dig for some precious and forgotten artifacts.

Give me scree any day.
 

MattB

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The worst I have experienced was costal BC brush on a mountain goat hunt. Steep, thick, can’t see your feet, ground is wet/slippery as it doesn’t see the sun. And the bugs….
 

Broomd

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North Idaho
Wrangels scree at this ' / ' angle.
Wish I had a dollar for every rock that whizzed passed as we (wife, son and I) were climbing up after Dalls--we were staggered of course. Should've all been wearing helmets regardless.

I should never have allowed us to take those chances, lived to tell.

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And as was mentioned, don't underestimate Kodiak or BC's steep, wet grass. Deadly--and one can slide 1/4 mile to his death or serious injury in mere seconds. Methinks that happened to Becca Moffet some years ago with a serious leg fracture.
 

displacedtexan

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Anything with dead fall or thick brush period. can be pancake flat and still suck.
Absolutely.

I've had a blast scrambling up sketchy stuff in the mountains.

But wanted to sit down and cry on flat stuff full of dead fall and thick face high oaks.
 

FlyGuy

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The Woodlands, TX
I hate all of it.

But the worst I had was Florida Mtns Steep. A few times, going up, I was panicking just a little but kept it together…. But then I had to go back down…. Down was 1000x scarier. I know I could have died if one thing went wrong. (Apparently 1 Ibex hunter/year learns this the hard way). My chest still gets tight thinking about a couple of the pickles I got myself into (solo). If I ever draw that tag again I’m bringing ropes and harnesses.


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“What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit.“

Chief Seattle
 

Nickofthewoods

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Colorado
Similar as a few above comments. Regardless of elevation, if it's steep and has had recent moisture like rain or a few inches of snow followed by a warmup in the weather.

I hate when I slip and have to put my whole hand in the mud to keep from completely falling.
 

Brooks

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New Mexico
When you know it’s not safe to ride a horse up it so you start climbing, sweating hard, legs and lungs burning going through 6 foot high thick oak brush, pack is getting way too heavy, you think you see the top only to find out once you hit that spot you are nowhere near the top.
 

Augie

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Apr 21, 2022
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Anything even moderately steep with lots of deadfall sucks pretty bad especially with a heavy pack on. You put in extreme amounts of effort to move very short distances and get easily snagged up. Do that for hours every day and your legs/hip flexors will be screamin
 

Marble

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Angle of hill first
Altitude second

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