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Discodan - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2007

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DiscoDan
City: Coxsackie
State: NY
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2007
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Oct 2nd, 2007

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 658
Journal Visits: 78,649
Guestbook Views: 1,517
Guestbook Entrys: 55

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Snow, Snow and More Snow

It continued to snow virtually all night. Woke up to a tent filled with condensation and as a result, most everything in my tent is cold and damp including my sleeping bag. Up at 0515 with an on the trail target time of 0630; we didn't actually get hiking until 0700. Still cold and snowing as we headed out. As we climbed in elevation, the snow intensity increased and the depth of snow on the ground got deeper and deeper. Above tree line, the trail virtually disappeared in some areas. Sometimes we could just barely make out where the trail was, but based on how hard it was snowing, it wasn't going to be long before any sign of the trail would disappear....not a good thing. I broke trail for about 30 minutes, if that, before I was just exhausted. I would take a step, sink down to my crotch, take another step and sink down...and on it went. The weather situation was deterioating rapidly to the point of being dangerous. In fact, we were in what I would call full fledge!
d winter mountaineering conditions for which none of us were prepared for.
Based on the terribly dangerous conditions and the fact the weather showed no signs of improving, the decision was made to get off the trail at Harts Pass, just 31.1 miles shy of the Canadaian Border. The decision was a unanmious one from all ten of us. What a bummer to be so close only to have to get off the trail. It was definitely the right decision and in reality, not a hard one to make. My thinking when it comes to the outdoors is safety is always the top priority, period. Mother Nature can be very unforgiving at times, and this was certainly one of those times.
Fortunately, there was a Forest Service road that we were able to hike out on at Harts Pass and it would be about an 18 mile walk to the closest town of Mazama. After hiking for about an hour or so, a pickup truck was coming down from the pass and ended up giving all of us a ride to Mazama where we made transportation arrangements to get us back to the town of Winthrop where we had stayed just two days ago.
As we were coming down the road from the Pass, the snow fall intensified even more, so I could only imagine how bad it must be at the higher elevations.
Got to Winthrop and checked into the same lodge as before. We were all cold, tired and soaked so the first order of business was a nice hot shower.
Talking to the locals, this was truely a freak snow storm this early in the season, but it certainly looks as if the snow is here to stay based on how much had already fallen and how much more was forecast to fall. Just my luck...darn it all.
There are some folks that are considering a 20 mile road walk followed by about a 30 mile trail walk along Ross Lake to get to the border so they can say they "walked to Canada". For my way of thinking, what they are doing is just not the same as hiking the PCT, but to each his own.
My plan is to get a ride over to the Seattle area tomorrow with Figaro and his mom so I can hopefully get to the airport in time to meet Lee. From there, we'll head up to Manning Park on Thursday and perhaps Friday morning I'll hike down to the Northern terminus of the trail. Missing the last 31.1 miles because of weather issues and the corressponding safety concerns is synomous to having to skip a portion of trail closed because of a fire. In my mind, I've thru-hiked the PCT and I'm mighty proud of my accomplishment. I'll come back next summer with Lee and we'll hike the last 31.1 miles for final "closure" but for now...I'm one happy and safe hiker.
Disco

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DiscoDan's PCT Adventure Journal

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org

 

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