[Cdt-l] Okay, trite question - Miles Per Day?

Patrick Beggan meta474 at gmail.com
Sun Dec 13 14:18:20 CST 2009

Yes, I'm willing to cut (and plan to cut) zeros. I only zero'd that much on the PCT because it's almost forced on you in the beginning (if you start from the kickoff), as I took most of those zeros in the desert and still arrived at Kennedy Meadows on June 1st (as planned, though). And then the rest were in the sierras in attempts to dodge the bad weather we had this year. After South Lake Tahoe I took 1 zero, a bunch of neros and averaged 700 miles a month without feeling burned out.

I'll probably take the majority of the cutoffs, the exceptions being the particularly scenic ones. I definitely plan to do the San Juans and such in Colorado and I don't know how it changes the mileage but I want to take the more scenic routes through the Winds and such in Wyoming. Otherwise I'll most likely take the shorter route, although I'm trying to stay flexible.

I'm a good navigator, I've done from Grand Lake to Mt. Elbert in Colorado in 2007 without any difficulty, with the Jonathan Ley maps and wolfe guidebooks. Granted I hear Colorado has the best trail but still, I'm at least familiar with CDT navigation and I've never gotten lost on the PCT, even in the sierras the first time. I have other experience with map-and-compass navigation, too.

Yeah, I'm going to stay flexible on the start date, although I'm definitely going to be trying to start as early as is practical. I've already pretty much written off a high route through Glacier NP as it seems like too much to worry about. If it's doable, I'll totally go that route, but I'm not going to delay my start in an attempt to do the high route. I'll be able to use that saved time to hopefully take higher and more scenic routes in Colorado. Of course, you're right, it depends on conditions and there's no foreknowledge of that available.

Thanks to everyone who has provided an opinion on this issue!


On Dec 13, 2009, at 11:22 AM, Jim Eagleton wrote:

> Your proposal of a 4 month hike sounds like a very good estimate of your speed.  However, there are a lot of factors that will affect your overall time:  
> 1)  Are you willing to cut down on your zeros?  Will the absence of other hikers speed you up or slow you down?  
> 2)  How many "cut-offs" are you planning?  I guess the number of miles hiked varies between 2500 and 2900 miles.  Overall, with miles per day are about the same and 10 % more miles the cdt will require cutting the zeros to hike at the same overall time.
> 3)  How much navigation time.  I think the vast majority of hikers spend between 1 and 3 days navigating, but some may spend a week or two.  
> 4)  What conditions will you encounter?  Your June 15 start may be a little early.   I would probably suggest end of June to end of October for the best window.  
> toc
> > Message: 4
> > Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 06:27:53 -0800
> > From: Patrick Beggan <meta474 at gmail.com>
> > Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] Okay, trite question - Miles Per Day?
> > To: Jack Haskel <norcalhiker at gmail.com>, cdt-l at backcountry.net
> > Message-ID: <BC30FDB8-DA5A-4E83-9CE4-1516F15F8632 at gmail.com>
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
> > 
> > Heh, I just know what I want to TRY and accomplish. Ultimately, whatever I hear, I'm still going to try for a mid october finish. Plus, as far as the internet goes, it's hard to be sure how reliable your information is, since you never really "know" the person on the other end (Although I recognize plenty of names on this list, and know their opinions are valid). This is particularly bad on the PCT-L, where if I asked if I could finish in August I'd have 50 people tell me that "finishing in august is too hard, I'd never enjoy myself, death march, etc. etc... but hike your own hike!" or some such. So I'm still going to go out and do what I want. Otherwise I never would've hiked the PCT for the fear generated on the PCT-L! :P And yes, I'm hiking in 2010.
> > 
> > Southbound mostly because I just need the additional time to save money. I just got off the PCT for a second year in a row and wasn't able to find a job until just now. So I'm going to need six months to get my funds together. But I had already preferred southbound, I'd heard from many CDTers that southbound gets you the best odds of finishing a one-direction hike, without skipping around. I'm open to doing what I have to in order to finish, but I'd definitely prefer to go straight through. 
> > 
> > Plus, people go on and on about "finishing in glacier" but it just doesn't matter to me. I get the most out of the beginning of my hikes. The last month is generally just going fast and eyes on the prize. Not because I don't want to be on the trail but because it just feels right. That and I'm usually running out of money. So why waste glacier when I'm doing big days and jaded on the scenery? Might as well hike it first!
> > 
> > 
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