[pct-l] How late can one start the PCT (not being a record-setter

Wes wb104475 at sbcglobal.net
Sat Oct 18 19:51:36 CDT 2008

Dear Todd,

The PCT speed record is 71 days, set this year amid some
controversy that I am not allowed to discuss on this list without
risk of certain doom and worse.  That being said, most mortals
couldn't possibly finish the trail in 71 days, unless of course 
you're bionic, crazy or somewhere in between.

You need to do the math:  2,663.5 miles divided by <x> number
of miles per day tells you how many days you need to finish.  Then
add "zero" days, injury days, and other non-linear interruptions to
your hike.  Then ask the people who live in northern WA when they
would recommend finishing in their beautiful state (before bad 

"Typical" stats:
# of days to complete the PCT: 125 to 170
# of zero days:  6 on the low side to 40 on the
   high side.
Ave daily mileage excluding non-walking days: 20.40
Ave daily mileage, all days included: 17.50

Typical interruptions to a thru hike:
-Bad weather
-Wild Fires ('08 was a horrible year for fires)
-Festivities at Casa Luna

Typical reasons for early termination:
-Injury: feet, tendons, gastro, etc.
-Loss of interest / Boredom
-Being eaten by a bear (ok, not typical)

Since you are unable to control weather, fires and other
non-linear events, and since this is a non-trivial endeavor
you're considering, one might conclude that a start no
later than May 1st is in your best interest IF you want to 

P.S. Keeping a really cool trail journal with lots of stats would
be appreciated.  Actually FINISHING the journal is also cool so
loser section hikers like me can be vicarious thru hikers.

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