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[pct-l] i need a little advise.... again

hello all and i hope everyone had a great holiday. i am on the way to major
planning switching into overdrive. 

   ok here are my three questions. 
1. any suggestions for buying a ice axe. i mean any good ones bad ones. my
ice axe teacher  said i needed  at least a 70 cm but ray says small.  i lookd
at the store and there are so many choices all with great info but which one.

2. maps maps maps.  do i really need all maps i mean do i have to buy all
those maps  can i just get the importna tparts. (some people said most of the
trail is marked well)   i am tring to keep costs dowm or can i use the maps
in the books? you know the california and oregon and washington books.

3. boots . ray says fabric boots for snow and slush but i can not find any
cloth ones only seade leather and what not.  so HELP!!!!

4. ok ok i lied i have one more question. any suggestions or thoughts about
treking poles. i had back surgey in dec of last year and i am 150% better but
i heard by some they help. i am a green shy bashful hiker who i in distress. 
in fact i have to go back to chicago for the next 5 months. i am going to be
trainning in the 20 below weather. learning to use my stove in the snow and
wind the ice and sleat the shivers the shakes the frezzing toes the frostbite
fingers. so i hope i hear from you before i die in the cold.
see ya and hear from ya all soon. (glad your hear glad this is back and just
a happy camper.) or should i say hiker.
wendy aka polite cat
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