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Is “steep” not a good enough answer? Let’s start at the center of the base of the hill at Park Street. If you were to turn to the right, then walk up the north sidewalk, you would travel approximately 1,031 feet from the base to the top. Your elevation would also change by 87 feet. That means that Bascom Hill has an approximate 8.5 percent grade and a 4.8-degree angle. Seems smaller now, doesn’t it?

However, if you were to start in the same spot and go straight up the hill, ignoring the sidewalk and walking across the grass, your distance would be shorter — about 860 feet — with the same elevation of 87 feet. This route has a much steeper 10.2 percent grade and a 5.8-degree angle.

This means that, if Bascom Hill were open to vehicles, it would require steep-grade warning signs on the way down because a road longer than 750 feet with an 8 percent grade must be marked.

Editor’s Note: The Flamingle HQ staff is made up almost entirely of former English majors. This is the most math we’ve had to do in an embarrassingly long time. To everyone who isn’t math challenged, we welcome corrections to our Bascom calculations at

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