Allow us to list multiple routes-places for different activity types or difficulty levels to the same locale
We've been told that we have to use a generic route-place for an activity going to a particular locale even if that generic route-place is a poor fit to what we plan to do and may turn off potential participants. For example, a route-place may be listed as a scramble or climb and I want to list a hike or backpack there - it will show up in the activity search as a scramble and hikers won't want to do it. Or sometimes a route-place is listed as a hike and I want to do it as a backpack but the route-place description is very specific to a hiking itinerary. Can you allow us to enter separate routes-places to a similar locale for very different activity types, or allow multiple activity-type tags on the route-place? Likewise it might be listed as strenuous but my pace will make the activity moderate; could you possibly display the leader rating for the activity rather than the difficulty rating for the route-place on the search listing for activities?
When creating new Routes/Places leaders now have the option of having multiple activities tagged as suitable activities for that Route. For example Marmot Pass can be listed as a Hike and a backpack and Table Mountain (baker) can be listed so it shows up in Skiing and in Snowshoeing.
Additionally when a leader lists an activity for that route/place the activity will default to the mileage and elevation gain and route difficulty but leaders have the ability to change that mileage and elevation gain and difficulty to more accurately describe their specific trip.
When searching for activities via the Find Activities under EXPLORE, the summary statement now shows to set one’s trip apart from other trips. The leader’s chosen difficulty also shows.
Beth Owen commented
As it is now, the Routes/Places references to skill level/difficulty is practically useless for kayakers. One particular route often lists it as both "OK for beginners" or even "OK for students", and at the same time "for advanced kayakers only".
Routes/places is not the place to list skill/difficulty level. That should be done for each activity, and should be designated by the leader.
Otherwise, what's the point?
Peter Hendrickson commented
Case in point--Heybrook Ridge is a fine day hike but the default description does not fit the Basic Navigation Fieldtrip activity (Seattle Branch).
Justin McClellan commented
True that more overlap means more Mountaineer trips to each location (and hence more people in general... aka crowds). Detailed description already in place through the Mountaineers website could also mean less research of the leader about each destination.
Henry Romer commented
A similar issue exists for Sea Kayak Route/Place. These routes are often only a body of water with multiple launch sites and an infinite number of routes (no trails here!). Additionally, much like seasonal condition changes for terrestrial routes, weather and tidal conditions can change the rating of a trip dramatically. Consequently sea kayak route/places can only have a range of difficulty listed, and preferably no difficulty listed that carries over to a particular activity scheduled for that route/place. It has always been the leader's responsibility to define the SK rating for an activity and hold the activity to that level, even if it means revising the route or launch location, Work on the Route/Place function should also address sea kayak issues. (See also feedback idea "Sea Kayak specific route template".
Cheryl Talbert commented
Tess, will we be able to post different routes to the same place as separate 'Routes-Places'? By that I mean different trails that get to the same destination(s). What about a route that passes through a number of different places, possibly overlapping but not the same as other routes that pass through some but not all of the same places? The system really needs to have the flexibility to allow different routes to or through all or some of the same places to be defined as different 'Routes-Places'. In this I agree completely with Dennis's comment below.
Dennis Miller commented
I support this suggestion in the sense that the route-place model is over-simplified, does not support user requirements very well, and needs to be overhauled.
However, I do not support throwing more fuel on the fire with additions in every combination of difficulty level, activity type, and snow conditions, etc. for the same route. Let Route be well-defined like "a planned course of travel to a destination" and represent strictly that.
Activity Type is orthogonal to Route and should not be attributed to it. The current design already supports Trip Activity type, which is quite adequate. For search categorization, consider replacing Route Activity Type with a TBD Route Type classification.
Classifying routes by difficulty may be useful, but it does not follow that the difficulty of a trip necessarily follows from the difficulty of the route--there are other variables that contribute to trip difficulty and it's a design mistake to compensate by creating different routes for each level of difficulty that the trip might assume. We need to assign difficulty when scheduling the trip, taking those variables into account,