Sunday, February 19, 2012

What am I getting myself into?

Let’s start with the basics. In April I will be setting off on a big time adventure and a longtime dream…hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

Making its way from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington and stretching 2650 miles the Pacific Crest trail (PCT) is one of America’s National Scenic Trails. The trail passes through six out of seven of North America's ecozones including high and low desert, old-growth forest and alpine country.

Each year about 300 people attempt to hike the full length of the trail, these people are called thru hikers and this year I’m going to be one of them.
Due to the extremes of climate and terrain the pacific crest trail has a pretty tight time frame for completion. It all comes down to snow, leave too soon and you will hit major snow in the sierras but leave to late and you will get hammered in Washington towards the end of your trip. Typically thru hikers like to head north, starting at the Mexican border late April/early May and will try to hit Canada by October 1.

Some speedy folks will do things a bit differently but I’m starting with the bulk of this season’s hikers (aka “the herd”) right at the end of April.

1 comment:

  1. The end of may was my starting date, a week before June. I avoided a lot of the usual pit falls in the Sierras starting this late and passed a lot of people later on who had been bogged down by frustrations in the mountains and deep snow, even though it was a normal snow year. The snow seems to be a bit lower this year so leaving with the herd should work well for you, that is, if we don't get any big storms between now and then.