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Hey everyone,
        Just wanted to introduce myself and ask for a little advice as well.
 My name is Kristian and I have played a pretty minimal role on the list
other than asking the occasional question (i.e. about Rainier, food, etc.).
I am a sophomore at Oberlin College in Ohio, but am from Orinda CA (right
over the hill from Berkeley).  Anyway, I am planning on through hiking the
PCT by myself in 99.  Because of school, I have decided to start in June and
then take Fall of next year off so that I will be able to readjust a little
before confronting college life again.  Because of this, I am planning on
starting in Canada in mid-June and then I ending whenever I really want (in
terms of school), but am hoping to end sometime in the end of Oct.  Anyway,
after being on this list for a while I am now starting to get a little
nervous.  I have realized how few people actually do it North->South!  Is
there anyone on the list who has done it North->South that can address some
of my concnerns?  I have also realized that more people take crampons than I
originally thought.  I do not have, nor know how to use crampons.  I have an
ice ax, but do I need crampons?
        So basically I am getting a little nervous.  I do not think I am
freaking out or considering not doing it, I am just wondering how much more
gear/knowledge/skills I am going to need to have before I start this trip in
order to finish it.  Has anyone left from the South as late as early-mid
June?  Is that a viable option?  Thanks for your help.  I am glad that this
list has become more friendly and less hostile as I think that I would not
have sent this e-mail if I was afraid of just getting ridiculed on the
list-serve for being some dumb novice/kid.  Thanks for all of the helpful
information that you all have already shared.  I hope it continues!
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