[Cdt-l] Preparing for the realities of the trail

ned at mountaineducation.org ned at mountaineducation.org
Tue Dec 21 13:55:59 CST 2010


Thanks for the kind words. 

I don't know what kind of hiking season the Divide had this year, but out here on the PCT, if you wanted dry trail the whole way, you had to wait too long to still make it to Canada before the first snow flies! Of course, that wasn't practical, so most thrus had to deal with snow at some point.

And that is our "point," prepare yourself as an aspiring thru hiker for the realities of the trail and not just hope for the idealistic or what the "odds" may indicate. When you're talking about being on-trail and in mountainous conditions for up to six months, you're bound to experience just about every situation and circumstance that environment can throw at you, from nasty creek crossings to violent hail storms to single-digit nights and long, icy traverses. 

Our advice? If all you have experience with is summer hiking and you are hearing that there may be circumstances ahead of you on either the Divide or Crest that you've never had to deal with before, consider studying up and taking a lesson or course on the subject or skill in order to better prepare your self. Knowledge is one thing, but experience and the skill sets that go with it are empowering and eliminate any fears you may be harboring. If you want to live in mountains for an extended time, put a little "mountain man" in you and learn the knowledge and skills that will enable you to have a safe and fun time. It is a beautiful place, this vast wilderness we have the pleasure of hiking through. Don't go into it naive, under-prepared, or most of all, not knowing yourself well enough to know how you're going to react to changing mountainous circumstances.

"Just remember, Be Careful out there!"

Ned Tibbits, Director
Mountain Education
1106A Ski Run Blvd
South Lake Tahoe, Ca. 96150
    P: 888-996-8333
    F: 530-541-1456
    C: 530-721-1551
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