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Re: [pct-l] Basic Questions

In a message dated 9/11/99 8:33:07 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
pchaskell@hotmail.com writes:

<< Anyone-- Are there any rules of thumb as to roughly what section of the 

I'll bite, but these are the things that worked for me this year through 
California, some people think differently.

 <<1)one needs an ice ax on? (I realize the answer depends on the time of 
   I'm a slow hiker starting out on 4/15);

There's an excellent chance you'll run into snow early on.  There are several 
places early on where you will have snow, and it's steep!  As far as I can 
figure it was a light snow year in the south and gradually got worse.  You'll 
have to pay attention to the lastest in snow repoerts for the year you are 
hiking.  This year I elected to get my ice ax at Kennedy Meadows.  I use 
hiking poles and found them useful enough that I didn't even use my ice ax.  
I also was not in a hurry in the morning and waited for the snow to soften 
up.  A couple times I slept on top of the passes, Muir and Silver come to 
mind, the snow was hard and slippery early in the morning, be very careful 
and use your best judgement when traversing snow.

<<2)There are enough bears so that one would want to consider a bear can?  I 
 assume that, if I choose to carry one of these things, I could have a bear 
 can shipped to the appropriate rest stop, right?

If you chose to use a bear cannister, in my opinion the easiest route would 
be to get it at Kennedy Meadows and keep it to Sonara Pass or Echo Lake.  I 
think I've said enough on this subject, but I will add this,  of all the 
alternatives a cannister works best, that is,  if you're willing to carry it. 
 I never heard of anyone losing their food that way.  Hanging food sucks!  
The bears love that, free food, hanging in the wind the scent carries for 
miles, all they have to do is climb a tree.  What could be more easy.  

Forget the other alternative, it upsets people, but if you get hungry in the 
middle of the night it sure is handy.
 <<How useful have people found altimetors to be?  The Suunto, at 1 oz., 
 pretty hefty; is it worth carrying? >>

If I had the extra dough I would have got myself an altimeter, there were 
many times it would have been useful.  Both the guide book maps and databook 
always refer to  elevation, but for what it's worth they aren't neccesary.  

An ounce feels hefty?  Yikes!

Have a great hike it's a most remarkable trail, Sly
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