PCT Trail Report
PCT Trail Report
Thru hikers are starting to trickle through the Pacific Crest Trail's Oregon section. Heavy snowpack in the mountains has slowed things down a bit for those completing the 2500+ mile journey, but the main pack should be hitting the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead at the Columbia River in the next few weeks. Just in time for the big PCT Days weekend event at Marine Park in Cascade Locks, September 2-4, 2011.
I got out for a section hike last week, northbound from Olallie Lake, and met a few section-hikers, flip-floppers and southbounders along the way.
I ran into Scott Williamson by Wahtum Lake. He was on his way to setting another PCT speed record. He started at the Canada border on August 8, and he had already crossed all of Washington state, and then some, by the time I met him on the 21st.
Yeah, that's over 500 miles in two weeks. He averages like 40 miles a day. Unsupported.
We sat and talked gear a bit - he had made most of his gear himself. I could hold his entire pack with just one finger. Bink apologized for it being so heavy, since it was full of food, but it was still lighter than my daypack. My GoLite Jam for my 8-day jaunt was more than twice as heavy as his.
Bink said to say hi to Lint. Hi Lint.
The weather was fantastic for my century stroll. Mountain views extended from the Sisters to Mt. Rainier. Wildflowers are just starting to get going up at elevation, and, mmmm, huckleberries are just starting to ripen.
There were still some patches of snow here at there at higher elevations. Mosquitoes weren't too bad, and I cowboyed it out under the stars every night. I had the trail mostly to myself, and got in some 20+ mile days.
I had hiked the section from Olallie to Timberline with Dandy when he last thru-hiked a few years back, and I have been using the PCT on Mt. Hood for years, but it was the first time I had ever hiked the PCT all the way to the Columbia.
Looking at Mt. Jefferson and Olallie Butte from Indian Mountain north of Hood, I couldn't believe that those tiny triangles so far away had loomed large in the sky just a week before.
If you want to learn more about thru hikers and long-distance hiking, don't miss the PCT Days festival September 2-4, 2011, in Cascade Locks, Oregon.