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[pct-l] re: Dave/Faster

I hear hikers talking about wanting (or having) to put in 20 or more miles a 
Well, can you do the PCT only putting in 8 to 10 a day?  I would not have
a time limit, so even if it took me 12 months or more that's fine.

Hi Dave,
  With a PCT thru-hike, in the northbound direction, one has to set a start 
date and maintain a pace to conclude the trip before the winter snows hit 
the Cascades. Unlike the Appalachian Trail, one usually has a smaller window 
of time to complete the entire trail. As I understand it, one could start a 
couple months earlier on the AT and reach Mt. Katadin before winter sets in. 
Even during a normal (non El Nino, non late winter) there are some high 
elevations on the PCT right- off-the-bat. In planning a PCT thru-hike, among 
everything else, one takes into consideration snow accumulation in peaks of 
Southern California early on, the Sierra (will it melt by the time I reach 
there) and the Cascades (will I get out in time before the snow flies. With 
this window, the "norm" used to be starting early April (April Fool's Day 
used to be a traditional send-off date) average 17 miles a day (you could 
start out making less mileage, and pick up the pace, playing catch-up, once 
you fall into the rhythm).
  Currently, the trend seems to be to leave the Mexican border in early May, 
I'm assuming to avoid less snow in the first half of the trip (this year 
being an exception). With the later start comes an increase in mileage to 
complete the hike before snowfall in the Northern Cascades. In a Southbound 
walk during a "normal year" you would get a later start in the Cascades, 
having waited for the snow to melt. Then it would be a push to avoid snows 
in the Southern Sierra and So. Cal. mtns.. In addition to this "window of 
opportunity", the amount of time one can take off from other commitments, 
and personal goals come into play, as well.

-Ken Marlow 
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