[pct-l] How late one can start...

mark v allemande6 at yahoo.com
Sat Oct 18 12:57:01 CDT 2008

Todd, it's possible but wouldn't be easy.  There were of course the 4 or 5 real speed demons, but aside from them, the fastest group did the trail in a little over 4 months this year.  This was a relatively low snow year.  Starting May 25th, you'd have a lot of heat in the desert, and 4 months later you'd likely be hitting nasty weather in the northern half of Washington.  I wouldn't do it.  But it's possible, and it seems a couple people start that late and finish each year.  

I knew going in to this year's hike that i was going to be limited to 4-1/2 months, and i didn't think i'd be able to finish in that time.  So what i did was to take a few days in January, and then again a few days in March, to get a headstart hiking the first 110 miles.  It worked for me. really well.  You might try something like that, if you can pull it off.  Take spring break and do Section A at least.  Unless you run into one of the weird spring snowstorms (odds are you won't, but it can happen), you'll have great weather for hiking, a chance to try out gear and get a feel for the trail, etc.  

The furthest you'd likely want to get if you early-hiked would be Pines to Palms Highway at about mile 150.  North of there is likely snow and ice until May.

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