Skyline times?

General Palm Springs area.

Skyline times?

Postby pdforeme » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:45 pm

(and i know i could search a bit, but heck just asking is easier and adds some activity to this board..)

Can someone comment on typical Skyline times? We are not runners, rather experienced hikers. We plan to go in late falls; post heat, pre snow.

thanks
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby drndr » Mon Jun 04, 2018 7:39 am

Well since you're adding activity to the board. And just me personally.

I've done it in 4.5 hrs and 8 so I'd say a comfortable 6.5 hrs. As a comparison, when I was doing it in 5 hrs I was also doing Baldy via Ski Hut in 2.5.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby zippetydude » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:36 pm

First off, good plan. The conditions are particularly pertinent on a Skyline adventure.

A couple ways to calculate possible Skyline times...I have found that my skyline time is roughly equivalent to a marathon time when I am in similar shape. So...since you are not runners...maybe find your normal hiking speed on level ground for, say, perhaps 11 miles, and then multiply it by 2.5. To be mathematically correct the 2.5 should be a little bit lower, but overestimating time and ending up either early or at the expected time is more satisfying than ambitious estimations that leave you exhausted and less than fulfilled from such an undertaking.

Another way would be to average the times generally reported by first timers. An ambitious first timer with hiking but no running background might attempt 8 hours, a cautious individual might anticipate 12 hours. The big rock warning sign early on warns of 10 hours. If you plan for 10 and finish in 10 you are safe. If you plan on 10 and finish in 8, you are rock stars. If you should finish in less than 8, you will probably be in such good moods that you will buy me a beer at the tram bar, and in that case everybody wins.

Hope your prep goes well, as that is the key to a fun and successful outing, as I am sure you know. LMK if there is anything else I can answer or do to help out.

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Re: Skyline times?

Postby Ed » Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:39 am

I think it is very difficult to estimate for first-timers. Naismith's Rule - one hour for every 2,000 feet of elevation gain plus one hour for every 3 miles - gives a little under 8 hours. I suspect that 7-8 hours may be about right for many first-timers who are experienced hikers but not endurance athletes. If your time agrees with Naismith's Rule for the uphill parts of Baldy by the Bear Flats trail and San Gorgonio by the Vivian Creek trail, I suspect it may be about right for Skyline as well. The elevation gain is more, but the altitude is less. Given your wise choice of late October or early November, if you have recently done those hikes or similar ones, and start Skyline 1-1/2 hours before sunrise, I suspect you will do fine. So why not hike at a comfortable pace you can sustain, and let your time be what it is.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby cynthia23 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:51 pm

I agree that eight hours is a reasonable estimate for most first-timers, although certainly I've known people who took longer (me :oops: ) and also much shorter.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby zippetydude » Sat Jun 09, 2018 6:01 pm

Cool formula Ed. I had not seen that before, or at least I don't remember having come across it. As far as the estimate, I was trying to stay on the conservative side. I actually think 8 is a reasonable estimate for experienced hikers, especially now that the trail has become clear. For example, I had been searching for the trail at the traverse (back in the day when the trail disappeared there) for almost 30 minutes before Cynthia happened along and showed me the way. That sort of experience seems unlikely nowadays.

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Re: Skyline times?

Postby pdforeme » Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:23 pm

Thanks all; i like the Naismith rule (new to me), nice calculus to fit the time/distance/steepness mental math we all do.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby Ed » Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:54 am

Wikipedia has a discussion of Naismith's Rule and its problems.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naismith%27s_rule

Actually, I think it was formulated for a uphill/downhill return-to-the-same-place hike. But you can employ it as a flexible tool for comparing hikes, adjusted for your own experience.
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Re: Skyline times?

Postby zippetydude » Sun Jun 10, 2018 7:53 pm

Speaking of uphill/downhill, I have found a very consistent ratio between my time going down a given trail and the time it took to go up the same trail. The steepness does not appear to affect the ratio, it always seems to be roughly the same as long as the trail is a long, sustained uphill like San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Skyline, or even Mt. Whitney. Downhill time is almost always 60% of the uphill time. That helps me calculate round trip. For example, if Skyline takes me 10 hours going up, it will take me 6 going down. If it takes me 8 going up, it will take me 4.8 hours (or 4:48 in hours and minutes) going down. It's a surprisingly consistent ratio. It is a little depressing on a long one like Whitney, though, because I'm at the top, exhausted, and then think, "Oh no! It's going to take THAT long to get back down?"

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Re: Skyline times?

Postby cynthia23 » Sun Jun 10, 2018 10:12 pm

How interesting to hear that, Zip. For me, the ratio of up and down on steep trails is nearly always exactly the same. It seems like it should be faster going down, of course, but it never is, perhaps because I'm very cautious and worried about falling. I find going downhill in some ways much worse than uphill because of the amount of mental concentration it seems to require (at least for me!) The only thing I hate more than going uphill … is going downhill.
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