I had some catching up to do. I've tried to quickly go through the pages of comments, but one thing jumped out at me.
The original site (from what I think I know) was a "lower budget" but high quality site, maintained lovingly and personally by involved hikers. It wasn't fancy, but it didn't need to be. It had limitations, but appealed to us dirtbag outdoors people.
With a commercial site, there's opportunity to expand what a site can do. It comes with more advertising and promotional stuff. That's to be expected. You have to fund it somehow. But, we would also expect a slicker interface, and harnessing the power of web technology to really set it apart.
My favourite example is Walkhighlands
. They've found a way to monetize through relevant businesses (accommodations, guiding, etc). It's useful, effective, and most of all, not intrusive.