[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: [pct-l] Hi from England

Mike --

If there's another 60-year-old who wants to see what the PCT is all about, he
sure gets my support!  Please let me know if I can help.  I hiked from Campo
to Donner Summit last year with my son (about 1200 miles) and plan to complete
the trek in 1999.  He went on and completed the PCT (2640 miles) on September
20th.  If you want more details about that, check our web site at

Here's the information you asked for about twilight times.  (And, I might add,
your question is more complicated than is seems since the start of morning
light or the end of evening depends not only on the time of year but on your
latitude.  There's also the complication of daylight saving time, which is in
effect during the normal hiking season.)  The times given here are for
astronomical twilight, i.e., when the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon.
That's the first hint of light in the morning or essentially complete darkness
in the evening.  

For 40 degrees north latitude:  

     April 1     9:00 PM     5:15 AM 
     May 1     9:40 PM     4:15 AM
     June 1   10:20 PM     3:35 AM
     July 1    10:35 PM     3:35 AM
     Aug. 1   10:00 PM     4:15 AM
    Sept. 1     9:10 PM     4:55 AM
     Oct. 1     8:15 PM     5:25 AM

You should add a correction for latitude:  In Campo on May 1, sunset occurs
about 12 minutes earlier and sunrise about 12 minutes later.  At the Canadian
border on Sept. 1,  sunset is about 14 minutes later and sunrise the same
amount earlier.  

Yes, there are also corrections for longitude:  The differences between
"standard" (in this case "Daylight") time and local mean time regardless of
the time of year are:  At Campo, subtract 8 minutes from the times given.  At
the Canadian border, add 9 minutes.  

Obviously there is a lot more to this.  The times given, with these
corrections, are probably good within two minutes, at sea level, no clouds,
smooth horizon, ... in other words, not exactly true, ever, on the PCT!  An
interesting side note:  In midsummer at 50 degrees north latitude, i.e., in
mid-Canada or southern England, the sun doesn't GET 18 degrees below the
horizon for about six weeks!  It doesn't really get dark then, as you probably

OK.  Enough of that.  What really happens is, you stop hiking when it gets
dark or before if you want some daylight to set up camp and cook.  We always
woke up at first light and were on the trail before sunrise.  If we got
sleepy, we took a siesta at midday.  This, I must add, is a particularly good
regimen while hiking in the desert.  Do not feel you must follow Kipling's (?)
admonishment regarding mad dogs, etc. to hike in the noonday sun!    

I like the trail name, "Tea Machine" and would not turn down a good cup if we
ever meet on the trail.  While trail names seem to be the thing on the AT,
most do not use them on the 
PCT.  However, we started out from the Mexican border last year with Edward,
from York, who answered to the trail name, "Duke of Gorp".  We lost track of
him along the way; I don't think he finished, but do hope he was able to
experience the high Sierra before he got off the trail.

Hope others have answered your questions about PCTA membership.  They're very
helpful, particularly in the permit area.  Good luck, and please let me know
if we can be of further assistance.  Roy Robinson aka "TrailDad" 

>My name is Mike Scawen, I am 60 and completed the AT in 1997.  My trail
>name is The Tea Machine on account of the fact that I make tea for
>anybody I meet on the trail.
>Most of my questions have been answered and like a lot of '99ers we hope
>that El Nino takes a hike too, however a very fundemental question from
>a foreigner.  During the normal hiking season of May thru September what
>time in the morning do you have gray light sufficient to start hiking
>and what time should you plan on stopping because of failing light in
>the evening?  
* From the Pacific Crest Trail Email List |  http://www.backcountry.net   *