[pct-l] Trail Conditions Section D Mt Baden-Powell (Miles 374-386)

Eric Martinot eric at martinot.info
Wed May 2 23:36:11 CDT 2012

Just hiked Miles 374-386 up Mt Baden-Powell to Islip Saddle.  Bottom  
line, the snow is mostly gone and not much of a problem any more.   
Trekking poles will still be helpful.

The trail up Baden-Powell is snow-free until about half-way up, then  
snow patches start to appear on the trail, 10-50 ft long, but nothing  
serious or dangerous, and many dirt bypasses exist.  Then when the  
switchbacks get much shorter in the final mile, there is more  
continuous snow cover on the trail, but plenty of dirt patches -- one  
can pretty much just go straight up the fall-line on dirt, passing the  
trail at each switchback.  I only used my Kahtoola KTS traction aids  
near the top, about the last 20 minutes, but didn't really need them,  
the snow was pretty soft in the afternoon. Other day hikers and PCT  
hikers encountered made the top in just boots. In the last 1/4 mile  
you can't avoid walking up the fall-line on snow rather than dirt.

The top of Baden-Powell is snow-free, and the ridgetop heading down  
westward from the summit is also snow free, if one cared to bypass the  
PCT traverse section across the north side of the summit, but even  
that traverse has only a few snow patches.

After Baden-Powell to Islip Saddle, there are still lots of snow  
patches across the trail, but only a few with what I would consider  
dangerous exposure below.  But there are existing footprints, and all  
patches can be bypassed if one wants by walking on dirt either above  
or below the snow patch, or staying on the exact ridgetop, which  
continues to remain snow-free beyond Baden-Powell. Slows you down a  
bit, that's all.  No problem keeping on the trail, completely visible  
between patches.

Double O

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