[pct-l] bailing out
baidarker at gmail.com
Fri Mar 29 13:17:35 CDT 2019
I started the PCT April 11, 2010, and we hit big snow, and 5 weeks of it
was some of the best backpacking any of us had ever done, but you may have
even more snow this year. In 2012, we left about the same time for the CDT
and just planned to really take our time across NM. We went to KO in CA
and took any zero we felt like, and really enjoyed the NM deserts and got
to the Rockies just as the melt had made it passable. We were ready to
waste more time if necessary.
I’m 66 and for guys our age, starting slowly and building the strength of
tendons and ligaments, which take so much longer than muscle, is the key.
So I’d suggest that you really enjoy SoCal and give yourself and your body
the chance to get strong slowly. I consciously started the PCT at 10 to 12
mpd the first week, 15 to 17 the second and did not break 20s till the 3rd
week. It was really slow, but I remained uninjured. By the time we got to
Oregon, we were flying, at over 30 mpd much of the time, and it was not a
real push, and there were no breakdowns. Same on the CDT and AT, with no
It’s really different to walk everyday on a long trail, than to walk in
training, 3 or 4 days per week. The worst start to a long Trail I’ve
experienced was the TA in New Zealand, where the distances between camps on
90 mile beach was 20 miles everyday from day one. I’ve never seen so many
blisters and overuse issues. I was doctoring feet every night, and the
majority of starters had quite by the end of that first week. This was on
flat, fairly solid, beach sand!
So, take the time, and break yourself in slowly in SoCal, and have a
PS, comin at ya from a hotel overlooking the Sea of Galilee on the Israel
National Trail, and it’s a fabulous walk! The Negev is some of the best
desert hiking I’ve ever done and the north is just stunning too. Roman
ruins one day and prehistoric hominid sites going back a million years the
On Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 7:28 PM Neil Lacey <neil.lacey at comcast.net> wrote:
> I'm trying to think/brainstorm about options for this year.
> I've committed to an April 8 start date, of course I'd love to finish
> but I've seen some insane snowmelt in my time, makes me hesitate.
> Plus I'm 64, in great shape for 64, but pushing straight through seems
> pretty risky.
> I just retired so I don't have many constraints, here are a few
> thoughts, I know a lot can happen between now & June.
> 1) Hike North to Tehachapi, take a break somewhere til the melt is
> mostly over & then head into the Sierra
> 2) Take a longer break after the desert & head southbound from the
> northern border
> 3) Flip North then head South depending on snow.
> Any ideas?
> > 7. What are all the thru hikers doing with this incredible snow pack,
> > especially those with permits to start in March (Mt. Laguna, San Jacinto,
> > etc.)?
> On 3/29/2019 11:41 AM, Gary Schenk wrote:
> > Good morning, Sunshine.
> > On Mon, March 25, 2019 9:46 am, Susan Virnig wrote:
> >> 1. Best way to get to Tehachapi — which airport or which Amtrak station
> >> or which bus, since I’m coming from Spokane, WA?
> > There's a bus that will drop you of at the PCT. Google Kern County
> >> 2. How can I find out current snow levels in Section E? I don’t mind
> >> some snow, but don’t want a lot of postholing or the need for crampons
> >> an ice axe, tho I do have micro spikes. In Section D, Highway 2 is
> >> snow, which means the PCT is under snow. Does anyone know when it might
> >> be open? (Tried Angeles NF and CalTrans, but couldn’t even get a
> > I wouldn't worry about snow in section E. Hwy 2 will probably open in
> > maybe late April It's getting warm now.
> >> 4. The High Desert Trail Alternate seems to be a lower alternative to
> >> being up on the slopes of Mt. Baden-Powell, from S. Fork Campground to
> >> Vincent Gap, but I can’t find going southbound where to leave the PCT to
> >> get down to S. Fork or how to get back up to Vincent Gap. Anybody know?
> > There's a trail from Islip Saddle that goes down to South Fork. It'll be
> > snowy right now, and it's north facing. As of now, you'll be on snow long
> > before you get to Islip.
> >> 5. Do I need to worry about bugs, with all this melting snow?
> > No.
> >> 6. Right now temperatures in Tehachapi and Agua Dulce are ranging from
> >> the 30s to the 60s. In April it will warm up, but will a sun umbrella
> >> worth carrying?
> > Depends on you. Not for me.
> >> 7. What are all the thru hikers doing with this incredible snow pack,
> >> especially those with permits to start in March (Mt. Laguna, San
> >> etc.)?
> > Probably bailing out.
> > Gary
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