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Mzion - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2012

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Matthew "Mouse" Zion
City: Boulder
State: CO
Begins: May 10, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, Jul 15th, 2012
Trip Distance: 2,155.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 2,104
Journal Visits: 10,421
Guestbook Views: 610
Guestbook Entrys: 14

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Cascade Locks

Oh, Oregon. The last week and a half has been a challenge to say the the least. As I approached Crater Lake the snow started to show up and the trail began to disappear. I met a section hiker, Wag Daddy, and we hiked into the Mt Thielson area together and into the snow together. As I tried to navigate with my phone I got two messages, one from Duane telling me to "enjoy the snow, you'll know what I mean when you get here" and another from Tuna Helper urging me to absolutely do the Diamond Lake alternate and not go into Thielson so I replied "too late." And it was everything they promised, lots of snow on fairly steep grades - this was my first major run in with snow on trail and was demoralizing. I can't thank Wag Daddy and his unwavering positive attitude enough. While I know I would of been fine getting through eventually but I probably would of sat down and had a 30 minute pitty party for myself before pushing on. Wag Daddy took a picture probably every 5 minutes and was always stopping me to look at the views. When we got to the first water source after 25 miles from Crater Lake and it was buried in snow we resorted to packing our bottles with snow and his comment was "Look how the tide has turned, we had no water now we have as much as we want." The snow conditions were much the same for all of the high areas around the volcanic peaks of the Cascades - Thielson, Diamond Peak, Three Sisters, Three Finger Jack, and Jefferson. So over the 500 miles of Oregon I walked over a hundred miles in snow. When I was low enough to be out of the snow I spent my time running from the swarms of mosquitos. I even came up with a rating system of kills per minute and around the Summit Lake area I was killing 30 per minute. Eventually the mosquitos thinned out the further north I made it. Oregon kicked my ass but as tough as it was I feel much more confident with my abilities to navigate and negotiate snowy conditions. I caught up to Duane at Olallie Lake Resort and I think he'll be following me around for the rest of the trip since I have GPS on my phone to help find the way if we find more snow in WA. I have heard some WA "horror" stories about the snow but all are atleast two weeks old and we've been having really hot weather so I'm hoping that the summer melt has been progressing quickly. We're suppose to have another week of warm temperatures this coming week while we make our way toward the bigger stuff and hopefully this is enough to free up the high country for overland travel. I'll try not to go a whole state again without writing again!

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Journal Photo

Pacific Crest Trail - 2012

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:


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