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Re: [pct-l] October Snow in North Cascades

At 10:09 AM 3/6/98 -0800, Ted wrote:

>But has anyone ever been turned 
>around by a early winter storm in the North Cascades? 

From what I understand, several thruhikers last year were forced to abandon
their hikes in the N. Cascades in October, due to nasty weather, just short
of Manning.

>I know hiking in the rainy fall months can be a real drag for out of 
>staters, but in Washington, hiking in the rain is a way of life. 

I'm a native Oregonian, a hiker, a hunter, and a steelhead fisherman, and so
have at least a passing familiarity with rain, wind, and cold <g>!  IMHO,
it's a whole other ballgame to be in the N. Cascades when freezing rain or
snow blizzards hit (see below).

>I don't want to get killed or end up on the 5 
>o'clock news, but why can't we hike in October?

At the end of our '82 thruhike, we were hit with freezing rain/snow from
September 9th thru 11th at Sheep Lake (just north of Highway 410) and had to
hole up in our tent, eating our rapidly dwindling food supplies, because it
was so icy out we'd fall on our butts just going out to answer nature's
call(s).  Then we got hit by a snow blizzard just two days from the border
and had to plow through drifts and deal with the high winds and cold, cold,
cold until we got out at Manning.   I was borderline hypothermic, despite
having plenty of heavy, warm winter gear.  We finished September 29th, and
watched on TV as snow storm after snow storm pounded the N. Cascades.  IMHO,
you might want to plan on finishing in September, rather than October.  Just
my opinion, though;  you might get lucky and get relatively mild weather
through middle of October -- depends on the year.

Kelly Flowers

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