is an Extreme Day Hike?
"Extreme Day Hike" ...
sounds like the words don't go together (oxymoron), like "jumbo
shrimp," "boxing championship, "airplane
food," or "middle-east peace." "Extreme," which
indicates a difficult variation of a physical activity,
would appear to be an exaggeration of the simple feat of
walking during the day. While overused today
as an adjective, "extreme" does seem to fit some
of hikes described on this web site.
For a person not in shape,
an extreme day hike may be a walk around the shopping center.
On the other hand, for a trail or marathon runner, these
extreme day hikes may be a walk in the park. This site
characterizes "The Extreme Day Hike" as one that
consumes most of the day in a challenging adventure in
a spectacular natural setting. Most of the "extreme" hikes
described here will have an elevation gain of 4000 feet
+, 14 miles round trip, and on a trail.
hikes that are not "extreme" are described
on this site, especially if there is an unique aspect such
as exotic, entertaining, scenic, or otherwise exciting. Examples are a section of the Great Wall of China, a major city day hike, or my recent favorite: Hiking up a hill to the top of an island to 13,300 feet and looking down at an "ocean" - Lake Titicaca - at 12,500 feet.
Additionally, any hike to over
14,000 feet altitude, a "Forteener," is considered
to be an extreme day hike due to two challenging factors: Lack
of oxygen and quick changing weather. Even after
acclimatization, some people do not cope well with the high
altitude and become ill. Secondly, the
danger of an unexpected storms bringing heavy rain, snow,
or thunderstorms is greater at higher altitudes.