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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 
this list.

Thanks to all who have helped make the trail, (and the guidebooks) better,
Ben Schifrin
17360 Highgrade Lane
Sonora CA 95370
209 586-5767

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