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[pct-l] trail tread and other curiosities

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Hey all, I'm doing the PCT thru-hike in 2003 and all this talk about gettin=
g lost and bad trail markers are getting me worried.  I do have a GPS but w=
here would I be able to find the coordinates for the trail?  If I did find =
the coordinates would they be accurate?=0D
"Trail Chief" Ryan Comingdeer=0D
On Wed, 21 Aug 2002 20:17:44 -0700 (PDT) Frank Kroger  wrote:=0D
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The lava sections are overrated, there are only a few miles through lava fi=
If the trails are maintained it is by all kinds of people, from volunteers,=
 to Forest service employees to forest service contractors, which may inclu=
de prison gangs as were seen in Los Angeles county.=0D
Trail maintainance, including construction of bridges takes place often mor=
e at places of greatest use than at places of greatest need. See for exampl=
e the Russell river near Mt Jefferson (Oregon), a raging torrent without a =
bridge, and the nearby White Water river, a calm streamlet that has a bridg=
e though only a foot or two wide.=0D
I would say that in total the trail is badly marked, it is not just stolen =
signs that are a problem. Though the PCT was established in the 1930's (I s=
eem to remember), more than 70 years later seemingly well intentioned range=
rs are putting up brand new signs in  2002 that fail to include "PCT" on th=
em. The signage on much of the PCT is comparable to a freeway that fails to=
 identify the freeway, the cities and only signs local cross streets. Many =
signs that include "PCT" fail to indicate both the North and South directio=
ns of the trail though the trail is in fact continuous in both directions. =
In some intersections there are complete signs but they are mounted in such=
 a way that it is impossible to be sure which direction is being indicated.=
  Along the trail itself there may or may not be any "PCT" signs, ("pregnan=
t triangle", wooden plaques,or white diamond) to confirm PCTness of the tra=
Combine that with the idiotic PCT Data book, which will list the "good dirt=
 road" "the last pond" "meet the old PCT" but will steadfastly ignore clear=
 landmarks like the first waterfall along the trail in a thousand miles, an=
d all the clearly marked wilderness area boundaries. Then you have the PCT =
guide books with poor quality maps and directions that have to be sifted fr=
om trail trivia and you have a recipe for getting lost and being unsure for=
 much of the trail. I dread every trail intersection. Don't count on asking=
 another human. I have gone 6 days without seeing one of those on the trail=
. Road crossings can be bad too, often with no indication on the ground whe=
re on the other side of the road or in which direction the trail continues.=
We will all just have to get GPS.....=0D
"Satellite" Frank Kroger=0D
 Marshall Karon wrote:=0D
 In the Cascades, there are=0D
a few lava sections where stiff soles are needed. For the most part the=0D
trail is wide enough so you don't brush against the foliage - but, since th=
trails aren't cleared every year, you could find some overgrown sections=0D
(I've gone through some places and only felt the trail with my feet -=0D
couldn't see it.).=0D
The trails are kept up by volunteers - more in some places, less in others.=
There are bridges across only the worst of the rivers/streams. Otherwise,=
you need to ford, find a log, etc. The fords aren't all easy and some can b=
dangerous. But, you get across.=0D
Generally, the trail is easy to find and is well marked. However, trail=0D
markers have been stolen in certain places, especially near road crossings.=
That means that having the trail guide (and reading it) is important in man=
sections, especially at junctions and roads. I've done parts of the trail=
without the guide - and always wished I had it. I rarely got lost, but ofte=
thought I was. Be careful about following the tree gashes - sometimes all o=
the trails are marked the same. And sometimes, the most well established=0D
trail is not the PCT. I don't think map and compass work is needed - except=
in snow.=0D
Good trail running shoes will work for the whole trail - some do it in=0D
sandals - some in boots.=0D
----- Original Message -----=0D
From: "Sara Baggett"=0D
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 1:54 PM=0D
Subject: [pct-l] trail tread and other curiosities=0D
> I have a few questions if you all don't mind.=0D
> I've been wondering what the trail tread is like on=0D
> the PCT? I'm sure it varies considerably over the=0D
> length of the trail, but generally what's it like? Is=0D
> it soft sand, hard dirt, lots of rocks and stumblets?=0D
> Is the trail wide or narrow? Is it well-kept? Except=0D
> for snow obscuring the trail, is it easy to follow or=0D
> does it require extensive map and compass work? Is it=0D
> well-marked or does the section of guidebook stay=0D
> glued in your hand or to the end of your nose? I've=0D
> heard (or read) that the trail's grade is no more than=0D
> 10% at any given time. Is that true or do you spend=0D
> hours/days on the Stairmaster from Hell, climbing=0D
> steps that never end?=0D
> Nobody really talks about the trail itself. Anybody=0D
> care to share?=0D
> Sara=0D
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