Apr 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm #1235980
I'm planning on thru-hiking the PCT next year (2010). This will be my first thru-hike and I'm wanting opinions on the matter. I understand that most people start out on the AT before hitting the PCT. I live in the east and so I'm not really that excited about doing the AT right now. I did some trail work on the PCT a few years ago and realized that this was where I wanted to be ALL OF THE TIME. What are your thoughts?Apr 29, 2009 at 2:28 pm #1497873
I think it mostly comes down to what kind of experience you want. The AT is all about having fun for most people with all the town crossings, trail days, etc. The PCT seems to be more about just getting it done.Apr 29, 2009 at 2:50 pm #1497879
.Apr 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm #1497880
Why would you go anywhere but where you want to be all the time? You can always section-hike the AT at your convenience.Apr 29, 2009 at 3:52 pm #1497893
The PCT is completely doable as a first thru-hike. There is no reason you'd need to have hiked the AT first, and many of the people I met on the PCT hadn't yet hiked the AT. The PCT isn't like the CDT, which, I hear, is probably not the best trail to choose for a first thru.Apr 29, 2009 at 9:58 pm #1497964
@kentLocale: High Sierra
>> "…and realized that this was where I wanted to be ALL OF THE TIME."
I haven't done any thru-hiking, but your own words/thoughts make it quite obvious which you should do.
Listen to yourself / trust yourself. You put it in all caps for a reason!! (not offended; just supporting your passion for where you want to be…don't fight it.) Just because you live near the AT doesn't oblige you to hike it first, or ever, if you don't want to.
My 2c.Apr 30, 2009 at 7:42 am #1498008
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
The PCT is the only long distance trail I've ever hiked and I plan to hike it again. Lots of people make it their first thru hike. I even met someone who made it his first backpacking trip ever, and he was from Florida of all places.
You know you have to do it. The PCT has already bitten you. It will call to you the rest of your life. It won't leave you alone.Apr 30, 2009 at 10:31 am #1498060
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
"The PCT is completely doable as a first thru-hike."
Agreed. The PCT is the only long hike I've done; I live in the West so it was a natural for me, but it was the one I really wanted to do.
One nice thing about the PCT is, as I understand it, overall trail quality and grade are better than the AT, easier to do higher mileage days. You don't get lots of shelters and pit toilets, but there's still plenty of opportunity for social life if you want that, enough trail towns to make things work out pretty well. Ultimately what some consider the scary bits (rattlesnakes, snowy passes, stream crossings, bears, whatever) aren't that bad if you're reasonably prepared and just use common sense.Apr 30, 2009 at 12:57 pm #1498090
I kinda figured it didn't matter too much. Thanks for the replies and maybe I'll see some of you next year on the trail!
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