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Re: [pct-l] PCT hike - North to South

Hey Owen, a friend of mine, Tod Bloxham thru-hiked the trail southbound solo
in '93. He has since been the youngest to do the through, at age 18. He
started the day after he graduated from high school. i think he started June
15th and completed it in 4 months, 3 weeks. I believe that was a big snow
year in the sierras, for he said that he would have started earlier if it
hadn't been for school.
As of this year, I'm not sure where you're from but this winter has been
amazing. It's been huge! Parts of the Cascades and Olympics are over 200% of
average snowfall, and it's not stopping. February is usually a nice, mellow
month for us and it was, for about 2 weeks, then it all came flying again.
The storms are still coming and the highway crews have never before had to
move so much snow from the avalanches taking out the highway passes
throughout the whole range. Paradise at Rainier is also at record highs.
People are practicing crevasse rescue just in the parking lot over the 25
foot snow banks rather than trudge across the glaciers.
Last winter wasn't as big, but it was long, making it difficult to get out in
the hills, even the low ones, until June. Typically we should be able to get
out and about in May, early on a normal year. There's no telling what will
continue to happen with this winter but Tod had these words for me as I
debated on which way to go. "Watch the snowpack, high in the sierras, then
head south, high in washington, head north." To that I'd like to add a few
things. You'll have fewer hiking partners along the way, for better or worse,
of course. Possible more severe storms to deal with in the sierras in late
summer, than what the cascades can hurl at you. Less water in the northern
and southern cal parts available, and last but not least, do you want to
finish at a hot, dry dusty place marked with a friendly barbed wire fence, or
in a lush, green forest.
I strongly considered heading southbound for about 3 months until I thought
it all through. To me, it seems the success rate is better going north. But
regardless, it's the adventure that we all experience and what we bring home
to savor that's important, not logistics.
Hope to see you out there, I guess we'll just slap hands and keep walking?
Good luck and take care
Oh, by the way, if you'd like to talk to Tod about the trail and his
adventures, you can reach him at Walrus Tents, in Seattle. I don't know the
1-800 # off hand but most outifitters should have it accessible.
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