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[pct-l] Hi, and some questions

Hi everybody--

I just found this list, and read some of the archives.  Looks great.

My partner and I are planning on hiking (at least) the California section 
of the PCT this year, starting about May 6 or 7 from Campo.

I have a couple questions that you might be able to help with.

Ice Ax:  I just weighed my ice ax and it weighs 1 lb 12 oz -- a lot!  How
         much lighter do they come?  I'm considering shortening it and 
         removing the spike on the end of the handle.  How short can it
         be and still be safe for self arrests? I don't plan to use it
         as a walking stick.  The head seems to de made of steel -- are
         any made with aluminum heads?  Or is this too weak?  Again this
         is planned for self arrest only -- no ice climbing or belaying. 

Dogs:    Before I start, let me say that I realize that dogs are 
         controversial.  Please, no flame wars!  We are planning on
         bringing our dog for the dog-legal part of the trip.  Does anyone 
         have any experience hiking long distances with a dog?  I'm
         concerned about her feet, which can get pretty beat up even hiking
         a few 5 hour days in the Sierra.  Has anyone ever made dog shoes??
         How did it work?

Food:    By what fraction do you think daily caloric intake increases?  If
         I usually eat, say 2500 calories, will I suddenly be eating 4500?
         I definitely don't want to pack too much food!

Thanks in advance for your help

Carl Mears


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