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Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

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Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

Postby AxiomUnbroken » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:54 pm

I booked my trip to Washington for the 3rd, I am wondering about conditions to the border on the PCT, the snow maps still look rough.

Basically the plan is to hitchhike from burlington (or hire a cab) down highway 20 to Ross Lake, then hike up Canyon Creek to NF-374 at Chancellor campground. Either hike up what looks like a service road at Park Creek, or continue down NF374 to the PCT and continue north to the border, then back down to continue my trip. I figure it gives me a few days extra for snow to melt, and puts me at a reasonable distance from the border to avoid extending my trip by too much (food considerations).

Any thoughts, any idea if the road/trail conditions are going to work for this? Snow still looks heavy (to my inexperienced eyes), should I consider skipping the Canadian Border to start?
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Re: Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

Postby postholer » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:10 pm

The snow maps tend to under do the snow amounts. So if they're showing snow you should find plenty.

Frankly, I wouldn't do Oregon or Washington until mid July in a normal snow year. Even then the bugs are going to absolutely awful.

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Re: Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

Postby AxiomUnbroken » Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:42 pm

I read the bugs were not as bad southbound, compared to northbound... with snow on the ground, I would assume the same. The lower valleys the exception and certainly valid if they are wet from snow melt. I find it unfortunate the snow maps would be lower then expected, but that would mean the trails would be covered in 5-8 feet of snow for 2-5 miles at places. Is this what I am understanding? Should I expect this to melt or be melting, would the traverse to the Canadian border be feasible? Should I bypass it? I would be happy to do so if it unsafe... if somewhat difficult I am sure I would be fine.
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Re: Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

Postby postholer » Mon Jun 27, 2016 7:10 am

The bugs will be horrendous southbound. Most of the trail doesn't have snow on it, but significant portions still do.

"...the trails would be covered in 5-8 feet of snow for 2-5 miles at places." I don't know where you got that from. Whether it's 6 inches or 6 feet, you still have to walk on it. When exactly it will melt out to acceptable levels for you, only you can say.

No one can tell you what to do. You know yourself better than anyone else. The general conditions of the trail are fairly obvious. Given your uncertainty, I would definitely wait.

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Re: Southbound - Canadian Border Questions

Postby AxiomUnbroken » Mon Jun 27, 2016 11:28 am

Thanks, I am going off the NOAA snow maps superimposed over a topo map: http://ww.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/m ... uidebooks/

I did check the NOAA website, their resolution is poor, so when imposed over a normal map and zoomed (as this is), its not a good indicator of general trail conditions. If your saying most of the trail is snow free, it certainly sounds better than the map I am viewing. Thanks!

Also Harts pass snow record: http://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=515
It has not been updated since the 1st of June, so no use.

My main concern is running into any steep cliffs that would have snow blocking the trail. Making passage dangerous. Walking over snow is fine, I just don't exactly want to find that I have to make dangerous traverse after dangerous traverse, just to realize the trail is impassable and I have to turn around anyway. lol. Keeps one up at night. Also I have been looking for any blogs indicating experienced hikers have already started, and have found none. I will update after the 4th when I start, if I get the chance, but it might be a week or so before I have internet access on my phone. Thanks again!

PS. Good to know about the bugs, will keep it in mind.
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