[pct-l] Bailing out

marmot marmot marmotwestvanc at hotmail.com
Sat Mar 30 13:13:41 CDT 2019

Dear and Wonderful Ravensong
So nice to see your post
Everyone please pay attention to what she says. She is an expert. Nearly anyone can do this trail. It's just hiking and not going home when it get difficult. But, along the way there are things that can and do kill hikers. We lost 2 last year. Each year more and more inexperienced people attempt the trail.That is fine.  In fact it's great. But, no one is going to rescue you. Either learn before you go or use good sense out there. And understand what good sense is. Not magical thinking. Spend time in a safe situation learning how to use an ice axe. Learn how to cross a river. Learn that where the trail crosses may not be the safest place.Understand what a river that is too unsafe to cross looks like.  Be willing to hike/bushwack miles to find a safe place. Understand how to navigate with non electronic maps.Carry them and a compass.  Electronics fail. I run across so many people each year who's only mode of navigation is their non working phone. It doesn't matter how you hike--north/south/flip flop/MYTH. Finishing the whole length of the trail is remarkable. The hiking of it is life changing.  It is complete joy.  That's why we all say that we become ruined. Each spring all I can think of is how soon I can be out there again. 
See you out there and at at least one of the Gatherings in Oct. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 30, 2019, at 9:23 AM, Kit Ravensong <kitravensong at hotmail.com> wrote:
> When I hiked the entire PCT by myself NOBO in 1976 it was the maximum depth of snow recorded in the North Cascades around Glacier Peak. It was a lighter snow year in the Sierras, yet when I left Weldon (the start of the Sierra trek back then) and got into the high Sierras it was snow all day long outside of a few miles of trail at the low points. 
> Having done the Mountaineers Basic Climbing course when I was 14-15 years old, really helped me. Before I did the PCT I had done winter mountaineering independently in the Cascade and on Mt. Rainier and became known as the ‘Wild Woman’. It takes time and experience in different snow condition and terrain to make informed decisions....I’m still working on that one. The winter before last I fell into a hidden cravasse when trekking solo. I am here today because of whalers far away here my cried for help. Its fun to travel solo, yet in dangerous conditions its safest to trek together as a team. Now I carry an InReach, yet it doesn’t function in deep valleys and gorges in the north where the satellites are at an angle.
> Back in ‘76 other hikers looked my way in the Sierras for route finding and I did a route east of Forester. It is important as a mountaineer to consider the safest route, which may be off the PCT. Or it may mean being humble and simply turning around, like a mountaineer within feet of the summit.
> Basically, it really helps to have the education and experience of winter trekking in the mountains, as well as understanding group dynamics on the trail. I’d like to point out how research demonstrates that women make the safest decisions in challenging conditions in the backcountry. Yeah Women! I think its instinctual to protect our young.
> SOBOs- the temperature has warmed up here in the north Cascades. Snow is melting fast, which has triggered many avalanches. The snow should be settled down for the most part by mid-June, but you never know. It really helps to know and understand the parameters of avalanche conditions and what time of day its best to cross avalanche zones. Going early, while the snow is still hard, is safest. You’ll need good traction and an ice ax, which you know how to use. Otherwise choose an alternate lower elevation and less steep route such as Pasayten/Robinson route for SOBOs or late season NOBOs.
> Have a great journey! Hope to see you all at the Hiker’s Hut at Ravensong’s Roost, (the farthest north trail angel in Mazama)
> Sent from my iPhone
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