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[pct-l] Guide Book Updates (Long)
>I purchased my guide books early last year from the PCTA.
>Do any updates exist on-line or otherwise that reflect any
>changes to trail since the books were printed?
I apologize that Wilderness Press did not get this information out sooner:
This Spring, WP will be reformatting Volume 1 (California) into 2
separate books. The geographical division will be at Tuolumne
Meadows. This was a decision made by WP's new management, and not
made by the authors. Basically, each book will have the same
front-matter, and only 1/2 the prose and maps of the current book. I
don't know the financial rationale for the decision, but I suspect
that they are trying to leverage more profit out of a big book.
The two new California PCT books will have completely revised prose
(at least as of Fall 2001), but the maps will be identical to the
maps in the Fifth Edition (July 1995). There will be literally
thousands of changes made to the prose. The maps, however, are far
and away the costliest part of the books, in terms of layout and
printing (not to mention field time!). WP experimented with using the
Natonal Geographic TOPO! database to generate new digital maps, but
the results were woefully inaccurate compared to our old hand-drawn,
field-checked data, so we had to abandon that project until the next
revision. Management decided that inserting redraws for any post-1995
trail changes would cost too much, so they went with new prose and
old maps. Jeff Schaffer and myself personally think that this
decision could be disastrous in some of the more complex
route-finding areas in California, but we were over-ruled.
Unfortunately, all of these false-starts have also resulted in a pair
of books which will almost certainly be too late for the 2002
through-hiking season. PCT (Southern California) is not expected
until May (so I think June is more realistic), and PCT (Northern
California) is not due until later in summer.
So.... here's what I recommend:
1. Purchase copies of PCT Volume 1 (5th Ed) & Volume 2 (6th Ed) ASAP.
They will have 99.9% of what you need (or if they don't, I sure hope
you'll tell us, rather than grumbling... we're doing this for you!)
2. Get WP's updates. Thru-hikers really need those changes, big and
small. I am just now posting my Mexico-to-Tehachapi updates to PCT-L,
and when I get some time, I'll upload the Oregon updates to PCT-L.
Jeff should post his sometime soon, as well. The southern Sierra &
JMT sections don't get updated often, and you shouldn't need them.
3. Pester WP for copies of the galleys as they become available, so
you don't have to cut-and-paste these updates into your book.
4. Stay on-list. Vital links, like the Saufleys in Agua Dulce, who DO
NOT want to be mentioned in guidebooks, are available only through
Thanks to all who have helped make the trail, (and the guidebooks) better,
17360 Highgrade Lane
Sonora CA 95370
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