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[pct-l] Echo Summit to Sonora Pass
- Subject: [pct-l] Echo Summit to Sonora Pass
- From: JOstdick@webtv.net (Jim Ostdick)
- Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 11:28:02 -0700 (PDT)
I'm mostly a lurker on this list, and not a thru-hiker. My gig as a lab
technician and part-time geology instructor at the local state
university allows me free time in August to hike a section or so on or
near the PCT every year. I go slow and look at a lot of rocks.
This year I hiked most of section J the first week of August. I met 3
thru-hikers (mostly resigned to the high probability of not finishing
this year): John Williams (British?), Christian (young, quick,
optimistic), and Keith (Toronto). Another hiker was finishing the 600+
miles he didn't do last year, moving fast and amazingly light. His load
appeared to be a tarp, a sleeping bag and a water bottle!
I tried out some new equipment this trip. My pricey Stephenson Warmlite
2RS tent was worth every penny (rained 5 of 7 nights), no leaks, roomy,
light-weight, simple to pack, easy to dry. I used trekking poles for the
first time (decked out in full yuppie regalia!) and my pushing-50 knees
and hips loved them. I also carried an aluminum bear cannister, another
first. I liked the freedom of just sticking it in a clump of bushes or
between some rocks and going to sleep. I never saw any bears, but there
was a lot of fresh scat in the Wolf Creek - Golden Lake segment. I can
see how it would be problematic for a thru-hiker to carry those extra
couple of pounds over 2600 miles, but for those of us who are just out
for a week or two...I think it's the right thing to do. It's a great
camp stool! I also got a LOT of use out of my nylon rainsuit. The pants
were only necessary in camp. As long as I was moving I didn't even
notice the rain on my legs.
The geology of this section is terrific, but as a wilderness hiking
experience, I think section J falls a little short...too many access
roads for car campers to visit the Blue Lakes area, for example. I did
manage to find some really nice secluded campsites above stream
crossings along the way, however. And as usual, most of the folks I met
along the way had smiles on their faces.
As a PCTA member, I was reminded by two Boy Scout troops doing trail
work as part of their 50-mile hikes that I need to do more to help with
trail maintenance. Hats off to the leaders of these groups for setting
such a great example.
"Some things only change by becoming more and more the way they have
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