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[pct-l] border and JMT

As far as the border goes, IMHO don't camp south of Lake Morena (about 20 mi
north of the start). Last summer through hikers were accosted at Houser
Creek several times. The illegal border crossers (or "pollos" the spanish
word for chicken) are not much of a problem (except for the trash they leave
along the trail) but the leaders or "coyotes" who are paid to take them
north can be a real problem. There are also banditos who have come north
from Mexico to rob the pollos as they travel. The coyotes and banditos are
usually armed and can be dangerous.

FWIW the real horror stories of border crossers dying of exposure are a
direct result of the coyotes negligence and greed. If one of the pollos is
slow, or hurt or sick, they get left behind. In the January storms, at least
17 of them dyed of exposure.  If the group gets robbed, the bandito is
probably Mexican. Most of the tragedy of this sort along the PCT is from
Mexican preying on Mexican. During the storms, when the border patrol found
a straggler, the officer was usually greeted as a saviour.

As far as re-supplying over Kearsage pass, via Onion Valley, you can do it
fine, but most JMT hikers don't want to hike the extra 20 miles and take the
extra day. If you have to go down to Independance, add more time, (plus
there is not much IN Independance) The haul from the Muir Trail Ranch to
Whitney is only a little over 100 miles, which is not that long a portage
for the PCT. See http://www.gorp.com/pcta/jmt.htm for more info on the JMT.

I hope this helps some
Brick Robbins
San Diego, CA          

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