04 February 2008

Prep #7 -- What about the PCT?

Next week's post: Highlights I look forward e.g. potential 30 mile side trip to summit Mt.Adams in WA. and small towns such as Stehekin on Lake Chelan in WA.

Overview of hike
To fit into a weather window which considers water supply in the deserts of s. California, snow melt in the Sierra Range and first snows of fall in the Northern Cascades (WA), I have approximately 5 months to hike the entire distance of the PCT. Sometimes this windows makes me a bit nervous. Can I pull the miles? Will my body be agreeable with the demands necessary to meet this schedule?

Leaving the Mexico Border near Campo,CA and heading north in late April. My daily mileage will hang near 20 + to get from water supply to water supply and I need to carry 6L with me between caches. For those who don't hike, 6L is a burden of 12 lbs. and approximately 4 more L than I've carried on other trips (because refilling more often was an option).

Along the distance of the trail, I will hitch into small towns to resupply with food, clean up and refuel (gorging to make up for an on trail calorie deficit). These resupply points are at different distances through-out my planned hike. Approximatly every 4-5 days, I'll pick up new food and fuel. In some towns, I'll rest my weary mind and body in a real bed and shower more than once. YEH. (when I hike the AT, showering was the pleasure I enjoyed most in town).

Repeating this process 25-30 times and I've cover 150 days of travel and the entire trail. The US border meets Canada along the PCT in the Middle of nowhere, so I'll hike an additional 8+ miles to a small town and bus to Vancouver, B.C. Then bus to Seattle and make my way to somewhere else.

Overview of the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 +miles)
The following information was taken from
The Pacific Crest Trail Association

More information about PCT in: Southern CA, Central CA, Northern CA, Oregon, Washington

"Zigzagging its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) boasts the greatest elevation changes of any of America's National Scenic Trails, allowing it to pass through six out of seven of North America's ecozones including high and low desert, old-growth forest and artic-alpine country. Indeed, the PCT is a trail of diversity and extremes. From scorching desert valleys in Southern California to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, the PCT offers hikers and equestrians a unique, varied experience. (pcta.org)"

"Over the past decade the PCT has become a favorite target of thru-hikers and thru-riders (the hearty souls who attempt to hike or ride an entire long-distance trail in one "season"). Each year, in fact, an average of 300 hikers attempt to cover the full length of the PCT (thru-riders are more rare but increasing in number). Thousands of other hikers and equestrians enjoy this national treasure each year, some traveling only a few miles in the course of a day hike. (pcta.org)"

"offers the best of the West - the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada and Mt. Whitney, Yosemite National Park, Marble Mountain and the Russian Wilderness in Northern California, the volcanoes of the Cascades including Mt. Shasta and Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Rainier, and the remote Northern Cascades. (pcta.org)"

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