Monday, August 19, 2013

Getting Ready for 6 Days of PCT

The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650-mile hiking trail that runs through beautiful portions of the Sierra Nevada of California and the Cascades of Oregon and Washington. I became fascinated by the idea of hiking the trail when I met some one in college who had done it. People who do it in one "go" are called "thru hikers" and usually start at the southern end (Mexico border) in the spring and finish in the north (Canada) in the fall. It is a huge commitment of time, money, gear, and physical exertion.

I don't know if I will ever do the Pacific Crest Trail in its entirety, but I like the idea of doing parts of it. For the most part, you can count on the PCT going through scenically awesome backcountry. This summer, my honey Max and I decided we wanted to do a fairly well-known Washington section- Steven's Pass to Snoqualmie Pass. Here's what the Washington Trails Association website says about this hike:

"Imagine not crossing a road for 75 miles! Backpackers who complete the Snoqualmie- Stevens segment of the Pacific Crest Trail will hike through some of the most remote and diverse mountain country along the entire 2650-mile trail."

We are pretty excited. We are leaving in the morning. We've had to figure out how to get to and from the trailhead, since it's a point-to-point hike. We've wrestled with how much food to bring, and just how much, if any, red wine is practical to carry. We took a 16-hour Wilderness First Aid course together last month just to feel extra prepared.
Max and I are both experienced backpackers, but this trip will definitely step it up a notch for us. We are planning to hike about 75 miles in 6 days, on a section of trail that gains a total of 16,000 feet of elevation. To top it all off, Max just spent Friday and Saturday riding his bike to Vancouver, BC, which is about 200 miles. I have a few more things to put in ziplocks, then I'm headed to bed to get an early start!

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