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[pct-l] RE: Guns and snow reports

Regarding guns as a deterrent for trail robbers, first, you don't need
anything but a little common sense to avoid the border crossers on the
Southern PCT.  Avoid sleeping in areas like Hauser Creek, use Jardine's
'stealth camping' ideas, or try to sleep in developed areas (Lake Moreno SP<
near the border patrol station in Campo).  99% of the people crossing the
border don't want to see you or steal your stuff, they just want to get
across safely and quickly.  The 1% that do want to steal your stuff are
easily scared away with a verbal warning, especially if you are in a group.
That 1% are probably the coyotes leading the pack, and they don't wander far
from the trail or roads, so stealth camping will avoid them.

The question about snow reports is a good one.  Please remember that the
snow reports are for single points that don't necessarily correspond to
their reported location.  For example, the reporting station for Bishop Pass
is at an elevation that is much lower (over 1,000 feet) than the actual pass
itself.  Bishop Pass will have snow at the top every year at least into late
July, yet the snow report says it's clear every year after May, solely
because of elevation differences.

The fact that the difficult passes for PCT thru-hikers are generally higher
than any of the reports can lead one to be misled by the reports, when taken
absolutely, because there will always be much more now at the highest part
of the passes, compared to the lower reporting stations.  Better to use the
snow reports as RELATIVE measures of snow depth from year to year, and plan
accordingly.  Try to remember that melt rate and surface coalescence is what
you really care about; snow in March doesn't always mean bad times for
thru-hikers in June or July.

Someone wrote about flexibility and wit.  That's what makes for a successful
hike.  Having a goal is good, being a slave to the trail can be painful, or
even dangerous.  Returning to the Sierras during the bug free fall sounds
like heaven to me!
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