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[pct-l] Late start, dirt bikes
- Subject: [pct-l] Late start, dirt bikes
- From: "Vaughn, Ron" <RSV@crai.com>
- Date: Fri, 3 Apr 1998 16:53:37 -0500
I, too, am thinking about starting on May 15th or so. Last year I started
on May 17th at Campo, and I didn't see any snow at all until Cottonwood
Pass, and that was only small, easily crossed patches on the trail for 200
feet. Yeah, some of the passes were hard, but an ice axe got me where I had
to go. After Mather Pass I often met southbound JMT hikers who had only a
hiking stick, ski pole, or nothing at all, and they made it up and over the
Creek crossings were never a big problem. Evolution Creek was almost waist
high, fast and cold, but that was as bad as it got. I would have hated to
have been there two weeks earlier.
Like I said, I started on May 17, and I got to Cottonwood Pass around July
4th. It seems that anyone on a similar schedule should have no snow worries
until the Cascades.
Another benefit of starting late is hat you miss the occasional late storm
in the SJ and San Gabriel Mts. In ten weeks of hiking it rained measurably
only two times. A tarp was more than satisfactory shelter.
My personal bushido is that I would rather get chased off the trail by snow
after I've enjoyed 2,000 miles of hiking, rather than after 200 miles.
Thus, I prefer to push through the early Cascade crude than the late Sierra
slope. Like I say, this is a personal view.
Also, when you start later you get to enjoy full hiker boxes. If I liked
corn pasta, I could resupply out of hiker boxes through Echo lake if I
The bad part about starting late is that seasonal water sources are often
dry. The El Nino of this year should help that problem.
Regarding the dirt bike post, it would be a shame to sully these pages by
responding in kind to the dirt bike enthusiast. I invite all of the readers
to resist the temptation to flame this poor, misguided individual.
Rather, I suggest that we should take comfort in the knowledge that this
individual will rapidly self-select himself out of the gene pool without any
further assistance. I wish him well on his journey into whatever after-life
awaits him. Perhaps his hell is filled with tree huggers, barbed wire, and
dry gasoline tanks? Of course, there is the chance, that if both he and I
end up in some sort of punishing after-life, we may become personally
acquainted with each other. In that case, who's hell will it be? I'll know
the answer immediately, by the absence or abundance of fuel for his dirt
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