[pct-l] Lake Morena Kick Off: AHA! / Occam's Razor-KIS / ADZPCTKO

ned at mountaineducation.org ned at mountaineducation.org
Fri Apr 20 16:48:04 CDT 2018

There are (or were) a lot of PCT veterans monitoring this listserve who date way back to the inception of the KO. I didn't start going until 2005 after being vetted by Hummel and first heard about it.

Any "party" anywhere near the trail will draw hikers and create a herd-wave, which was the concern of Donna's early on as Hiker Heaven was directly impacted. 

If the reason for the event is still to be a "kickoff" celebration, then, as Paint said, it should be early in the NoBo thru-hiking season. However, timing is not just the issue, location is another problem as Morena can't hold the numbers it would see.

I can't help but wonder if this sort of PCT gathering should be patterned after the AT's "Trail Days" event hosted by a town along the trail?

I don't know why they do it in May, but if a PCT event was held the end of June in NorCal, and hosted by Seiad Valley, 
-  people could start any time they wished (not corresponding with a kick-off party down south), 
-  the resources of an entire town and community along the trail could be involved, and 
-  the timing would encourage NoBo thrus to get there by that date, causing them 
	-  to get through the Sierra before the fatal creeks start roaring (usually for 3-4 weeks of intense thaw starting late May)
	-  allowing them easier, safer passage on still frozen (not thawing) snow
	-  they avoid the really bad, high-flowing creeks in northern Yosemite, too, and 
	-  they'll have enough time after to get to Canada before the first snowstorms stop them in their tracks.
	-  Plus, the SoBo hikers can attend and still start their journeys a few weeks later (roughly)!

Didn't someone involved with the town of Seiad Valley speak up sometime in the last two years about hosting such an event??

Ned Tibbits, Director
Mountain Education, Inc.
ned at mountaineducation.org 

-----Original Message-----
From: Pct-L <pct-l-bounces at backcountry.net> On Behalf Of Paint YW
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:26 AM
To: pct-l at backcountry.net; susanvirnig at gmail.com; Amanda Silvestri <aslive at charter.net>
Subject: [pct-l] Lake Morena Kick Off: AHA! / Occam's Razor-KIS / ADZPCTKO

-Sunshine (Susan from Spokane)

I believe that you have had an AHA moment, where the light bulb goes off in one's head signifying that a solution to a problem has surfaced, or wherein an idea has materialized at once. It's so simple:
the ADZPCTKO (if ever held again) would better serve the "trail" by being held the last FULL weekend of March. OR, in lieu of a reconstituted ADZPCTKO, an impromptu/informal gathering might be held on this same weekend.

Hypothesis # One- not as many people would attend due to school or work obligations, and Hypothesis # Two- less people would be inclined to start en mass due to weather concerns.

Most if not all of the problems associated with the ADZPCTKO, would diminish if not go away in entirety. IF NOT, set the date for the last FULL weekend in February, and let the results speak for themselves.

Also, more hikers would naturally select earlier dates for permits, encouraging the beneficial techniques of spreading out the herds and assisting hikers in flipping and flopping up (NOBO) and down (SOBO) the trail. Thinking of two geo windows: the first 700 miles, and key sections between Sonora Pass and the Oregon border, IF- timed right.

What can it hurt to try an earlier date, even if it's not held under an umbrella organization?

The trail is coming into it's maturity due to a number of factors, and the population of hikers is only going to increase. It's best to meet this issue head on and deal with it using best practices.

Disclosure: I am an ardent supporter and a two time attendee
(2012,2015) of the ADZPCTKO. For me, and my perspective, the ADZPCTKO, did more good than harm. Perhaps it was a classic case of being a victim of it's own success.

The question to ask is: How can the trail and the coming hordes be best served / dealt with, and would an attraction like the ADZPCTKO, held earlier in the season, become part of the solution instead of contributing to the problem? I believe that there is an ideal weekend to hold such an affair, and it just might be in late February or sometime in March. This evolves almost entirely on a paradigm shift in the traditional hiking protocol of a continuous hike, step by step north, and instead shifts almost entirely (for early starters) into one of a flip flop strategy.

What say yee faithful list-serve readers?

FWIW- My PCTA permitted departure dates from the southern border have been as follows:

NOBO 2012 04-26

NOBO 2013 05-20

NOBO 2014 03-23

NOBO 2015 03-03

SOBO 2015 07-10

NOBO 2016 02-14 (worked the season at VVR)

NOBO 2017 00-00 (worked the season at VVR)

NOBO 2018 02-15 PCTA permitted / issue-delayed / departure pending (I plan to jump on the trail and hike NOBO in the next few days around mile #210.)

Best regards,


>>> From a section hiker:

On April 4 I started at Campo and hiked 152 miles to Highway 74 — great burgers at the Paradise Valley Cafe! — but the heat from the border to Lake Morena was awful. Nearly all of us took 2 days to get to the lake.  Each time the folks I was hiking with descended to the desert floor, the heat and the liters of water we had to carry made life very difficult.  (Most water sources were already dry or broken or unsupplied.)  Many of us commented that we couldn’t understand why the ADZPCTKO used to be held in late April, inviting many hikers to start then.  If it was bad for us, we couldn’t imagine starting a month later.  (And I know that some folks circled back for the event, but truly — it encouraged many to start then.)

The opinion of the 15-20 folks I was consistently hiking and/or camping with was that if it were ever held again, do it a month earlier.

—Sunshine (Susan from Spokane)  (1650 done & 1000 to go) <<< _______________________________________________
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