Wednesday, February 10, 2010

PCT Frequently Asked Questions

Well, you've guys certainly are anxious to hear more about my upcoming hike. =)

A quick summary--I expect to start at the Mexican border the weekend of April 23-25. I'll attempt to slip through all the illegal immigrants and border agents, face off with rattlesnakes and the Mojave Desert. I'll be hiking alone, as usual, although there will likely be hundreds of other prospective thru-hikers also beginning their trek that same weekend. I'm going alone, but I won't necessarily BE alone.

After a month or two of that, I'll head into the High Sierras, including a slight detour to head up Mount Whitney--the highest point in the continental US at over 14,000' above sea level. I'll likely hit lots of snow in this section. =)

Then I'll meander close to Lake Tahoe, through Lassen National Park, eventually landing along the Cascade Range through Oregon and Washington which will take me past Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Mount Rainier, and lots of pretty other mountains.

And finally end up at the Canadian border, about 2,650 miles from where I started. From there, the quickest way "out" back to civilization is to actually hike through the border and into Canada another seven or eight miles until I reach Manning Park, at which point I can find transportation to Vancouver, BC, and back to the United States.

Last Saturday, Amanda and I had lunch with Wildflower--for those of you who read my AT adventures, you might remember her from there. That was where I first met her and we hiked through much of New York together. I wanted to quiz her with a few questions I had about the PCT since she had hiked it several years ago, figuring out what sort of gear I might need for the snow in the Sierra Nevadas. (She recommended the MicroSpikes and an ice axe.) These are sorts of issues I've never had to concern myself with on previous hikes. =) Bear canisters are also required in some parts of the Sierras, which is an item I've never bothered to make use of in the past. I'll be needing all sorts of new gear for this hike. =)

Many sections of the trail require permits to camp in or hike through, from a variety of land managers, but the Pacific Crest Trail Association has been thoughtful enough to provide a "super permit" of sorts for anyone hiking more than 500 miles of the trail that is good for any section of the trail--or the entire thing. Saves a lot of effort of having to pick up permits for all the areas I go through separately.


Fluffy Cow said...

You're never alone, Ryan...

Just think of all us AQ'ers as the invisible Verizon people following you...

everywhere. ;-)

Unknown said...

I doubt you are unfamiliar with White Blaze but I tender this link anyway:

I can't wait to read of your exploits, trial, tribulations and successes. Good luck on your PCT thru, HYOY


The 121 said...

Wow. I'm concerned about your safety and jealous all at the same time. Yeah, it was the bear canister part that made me skiddish!

Unknown said...


wassamatta_u said...

What is the Mortality Rate of through-hikers on the PCT? Are you feeling lucky?


Anonymous said...

Hopefully somewhere along the line when you're in or around the Sierra (no 's' on Sierra) John and I will be able to be "trail angels" for you. We'll read your blog with the same anticipation we did your AT blog which we LOVED.

Safe journey!

Anonymous said...

I set my count down widget for April 23, so you have 70 days before you leave out. I also copied the map from the Its Alive post. Man, that looks like a lot of walking. ha. Good thing Amanda comes to waylay the boredom. ;-)

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Aha! I found the beginning of your hike! I can't to start reading along from the beginning.

The special PCT permit sounds very convenient and sensible.

Hike on!
~Twinville Trekkers

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Can't wait...duh!


Hike on!
~Twinville Trekkers~