I am trying to create a mountain biking trail network where I will hopefully be able to vary the difficulty of the trails by varying the weight of the slope layer. I would like to know if the creation of the least cost path takes into account the aspect of the slope as it enters the cell. For example, if the path crosses a couple of identical cells whose slope lies north-south, but the direction of travel is east-west (ie travelling across slope), is the path accumulating slope as a cost even though the elevation shouldn't be changing?
I have also tried to think about calculating elevation change from cell to cell, but I keep running into the problem where the cost layer doesn't know where the path will be coming from.
I also realize that I am looking at "building" a 1 m wide trail using a 30 m DEM, so in reality this may be a meaningless question, but I am more interested in the actual process than my specific results.