[pct-l] Trip report for sections I, J & K

Chris Hauser cehauser1 at yahoo.com
Tue Sep 2 23:44:25 CDT 2014

In mid-August I hiked sections I, J and K (SOBO from Interstate 80 down to Tuolumne Meadows).  A couple of observations:

1.  I used printed versions of Halfmile's maps.  They worked great.  All listed water sources were flowing, and there were a number of additional water sources as well (springs, small creeks, etc).  

2.  There were some heavy rainstorms in the northern Sierra Nevada in early August, so there were some small sections of the trail that were washed out, especially south of Hwy 40 (around miles 1150-1155) and a small section between Yosemite and Sonora Pass (around mile 1005).  Otherwise, the trail was in great shape, no downed trees, some recent trail work had been done, and there was were no obvious hazards.

3.  There seems to be a rumor that the Ludlow ski hut (at Richardson Lake, mile 1120.5) is hidden in the woods and difficult to find, but I found it very easy to find just by following a gravel road that leads right up to it...  Where the PCT passes closest to the north end of Richardson Lake, leave the trail and walk southeast about 500 feet along the N shore of the lake, through a couple of camp sites, to reach a concrete ford/culvert where a gravel road crosses the lake outlet creek.  From this concrete creek crossing, walk another 500 feet southeast along the gravel road, up a slight rise, until the gravel road forks.  Follow the right fork, to the south, for about 100 feet up to the hut.  When I stopped by, the hut seemed dirty and dusty inside, and was occupied by several unfriendly militia guys, but it was dry inside, had a couple of picnic tables, and was full of firewood.  I wouldn't normally stay inside that hut during decent weather, but if
 someone was trying to find a dry shelter during wet weather, I would strongly recommend this easy 1000-foot walk to the hut.  It isn't hard to find, and it is visible in Google Earth (N 39.022767°, W 120.209228°)

4.  The PCT section-hikers and thru-hikers that I met were a highlight of the trip.  I met NOBO's Beamer, Tripod, Atlas (with his 125-pound pack), and Paint Your Wagon (up on Mt. Whitney)... some were hoping for a late winter so they could finish, other's didn't expect to finish this year.  Also, I hiked a bit with Dust Devil (one of the SOBO PCT thru-hikers), and had a great time with him.  PCT hikers seem to be the cream of the crop.

I hope this info helps.

Chris "Cotton" Hauser.

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