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Planning a section hike

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Planning a section hike

Postby glashgkullthethird » Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:15 am

Hi guys,

I'm planning on coming overseas to hike part of the PCT.

My situation is perhaps a little bit complicated. I intend on leaving home on the 25th/26th of June and flying into San Francisco, taking a train from Oakland to Bakersfield and then taking the bus that goes to about Walker Pass at about mile 652. Is this realistic? I want to hike with 'the pack' - should I start closer to Kennedy Meadows?

As I have a passport with a visa waiver, I can stay in the US for 90 days. However, on the 15th of August, my results will be released, and I'll know which university I'll be going to. I'll definitely need to have internet access on that day. More crucially, should I fail my exams miserably, I'll need to leave the US by the 1st of September (spending 68/69 days) but should I do as expected I'll be able to spend the full 90 days (leaving the country on the 22nd/23rd of September). I imagine that I'll be, at both dates, be somewhere in Oregon or Washington. How difficult would it be to get off the trail? I'd most likely fly out from Seattle.

Any advice is really appreciated. Thank you!
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Re: Planning a section hike

Postby postholer » Wed Jan 27, 2016 12:02 pm

Using the Postholer Planner here's what it shows. At an average thru-hiker speed and an 88 day hike:

June 28: Walker Pass/Hwy 178
Aug 15: Old Station, they have Wifi, if you have the device
Sep 23: Cascade Locks, by far the easiest access to Seattle for you.

That all depends on an average thru-hiker speed. Go to the PCT planner and play around with it to see what best suits you:
http://www.postholer.com/planner/Pacific-Crest-Trail/1

Getting on the trail at Kennedy Meadows is very difficult, nor is there any reasonable place to get on the trail between Walker Pass and Kennedy Meadows.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Planning a section hike

Postby glashgkullthethird » Thu Jan 28, 2016 1:44 am

Thanks for that!

From looking at the planner, if I hike on average 26.7 miles per day, I can make it from Walker Pass to the Northern Terminus in 75 days (giving me a few days on either end to make it to and from the trail, and ). I'm just wondering if that's realistic? I've done some hiking in higher altitudes before (though in an entirely different style) and I plan on training pretty hard to get myself fit.

If it's totally unrealistic and I should only aim to continuously hike up to Cascade Locks, is it worth skipping Oregon entirely and head straight to Washington?
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Re: Planning a section hike

Postby postholer » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:19 am

It sounds like you are staying very flexible with your schedule, which makes all the difference.

Leave yourself a few travel days at the end of your trip and you can get off the trail just about anywhere, regardless of how many miles a day that you hike. You can fly out from Seattle or even get back to SFO.

Being in the US on a VISA, then crossing into Canada will be a bit unique. Check out this section in the PCT FAQ, you may find it helpful.

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Re: Planning a section hike

Postby glashgkullthethird » Sat Jan 30, 2016 3:01 pm

Thanks for the advice.

Since I'm a bit short on time, I'm just wondering if it's worth skipping out parts of the trail and, after finishing in the Sierras, skipping parts of northern California and going to Oregon and Washington? I've wanted to go to the Cascades for quite a while now. Would I be missing a lot? I guess the alternative would to just hike the Pacific Northwest Trail :)
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