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RE: [pct-l] alternate routes

Hi Ginny,

Some of the alternates have already been discussed, so I won't repeat what's
been said.  Two alternates that haven't been mentioned are snow-bypass
alternates and Oregon Skyline Trail (OST) alternates.

The sections I'm thinking of are in Oregon.  The PCT goes high up the side
of Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, etc.  In high snow years,
or early season, these routes may be difficult.  The guide lists lower
elevation alternates when they are convenient.  I don't recommend these
unless they are necessary.  The views from the higher routes are well worth
the extra effort.

There are also some places where the PCT is routed differently than the
older OST for no compelling reason.  I'm guessing  it was done to protect
fragile lakes on the OST and to provide a more alpine, "ridge route" for the
PCT.  Neither is better than the other.  I prefer the ridge routes and would
take them unless I needed water.  Especially in mosquito season, the higher
routes are a blessing.  The guidebook authors seem to prefer the lake

As you know from hiking the CDT, you can plan all you want, but when the day
comes and you're standing at the junction, you get to make the final
decision on the spot.  That's part of the fun.


-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Owen [mailto:jimandginnyo@juno.com]

I've been going over the guidebooks - a first look through. Over and over
the authors state that this alternate is better than the pct, or that
alternative is used by ALL the thruhikers, or the pct is a viewless
waterless monotonous path and that most hikers would rather hike a mile
or two off trail to see this lake or that one. Aside from the question of
why people are writing guidebooks who don't like the trail they're
describing, I'm wondering, aside from Crater Lake and Eagle Creek, are
any of the side routes really the "must sees" that the guidebooks
indicate?  I know Jardine said that they hiked both the official and
alternate routes and the official route is as good or better than any of
the alternates.  What do you all think?   Are there lakes and waterfalls
that really mustn't be missed? Or did you just decide that you would take
the shortest route, whatever that was, and forget about the scenary? Or
did you just stick to the official trail because then you wouldn't have
to make decisions about the route?  

Inquiring minds want to know - 
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