Jun 27, 2014 at 11:26 am #1318407
Hello, I thru-hiked the PCT last year–got as far as Trout Lake, WA where I got off trail for my partner and I now have a window where I can complete the rest of trail from that point. I have exactly 17 days to do this and have to start next Saturday, July 5th, late afternoon/early evening. I understand the conditions in that area will have snow, but not sure how much and what sort of gear I should bring? Should I bring micro-spikes? I didn't use trekking poles last year, is it highly recommended for this section? Possible to do without? Finally, is it possible to go directly from Snoqualmie to Stehekin, bypassing Skykomish? I basically want a very fast, stress free trek and not have to deal with hitching and such.
Any input, advice, comments are really needed as I want to make sure I go into this section prepared since this will be my first solo hike and while I know it'll only be about a couple of weeks, I have an extremely healthy understanding and respect for how remote and dangerous this section can be. A trillion thanks again!Jun 27, 2014 at 12:11 pm #2115199
@wandering_bobLocale: Oregon, USA
Snoqualmie to High Bridge Ranger Station is about 175 miles, plus a 10.6 mile road walk into Steheken. That old road washed out several years ago and I don't know how far up it the shuttle bus runs these days.
Is it possible to do, skipping Skykomish? Yes, but you'll have to be in very good condition to carry 10-12 days' of food out of Snoqualmie. Add in an ice axe and crampons and you'll have a very heavy pack.
I'd suggest you call the Stevens Pass ski area. It is just west of the highway trail crossing. They used to accept packages delivered by bus freight. That would give you the POSSIBILITY of a re-supply atop Stevens Pass.
Last week while hiking from Panther Creek back to Cascade Locks, I met 3 south-bound thrus who were forced to bail at Harts Pass due to deep snow. They had hitched to Cascade Locks and were starting north from there back to Harts Pass.
Andrea Dinsmore (PCT MOM) would be a great contact regarding your plans and current trail conditions from Stevens Pass north.Jun 27, 2014 at 12:34 pm #2115209
Thanks Bob! Yes, I know that early July is still pretty early for this section, but alas, this is my only window…I'm hoping another week will melt some of that snow. From my understanding, hitching into Skykomish is the only hitch needed? The Stehekin bus is on trail, no? All other re-supply points from Trout Lake are walkable from the trail? Also, would you recommend Microspikes/trekking poles then? Thanks!!!Jun 27, 2014 at 8:30 pm #2115349
Having finished my PCT thru-hike last year in the snow on October 30th…I'd say crampons would be better than microspikes, PLUS snowshoes, PLUS trekking poles and maybe even a light ice ax (last season had some super sketch sections when I passed through) No way I could have carried 10-12 days of food plus all my gear…I had about 6 or 7 days as the longest stretch and maxed out at 48 lbs in a frameless GoLite Pinnacle..maybe you can fair better with a better pack and some really good dehydrated food.
Hard for me to say for sure, since your experiences will be different then mine were last year. Enjoy the trip regardless of the weather, because for me at least, it was one of my all time favorite areas to hike. Northern Washington with snow on the ground — magnificent! (and kind of scary at times).
You can see some of my trip photos (in the snow) on my site: http://www.peaksandvalleys.weebly.com under the thru-hike "PCT" link.
Cheers, Seth "Naturally Caffeinated" Brewer
edit: CLARIFY: I had snow from GOAT ROCKS WILDERNESS mostly all the way to the border (once over 5K usually, but sometimes even lower elevations..Glacier Peak Wilderness was the most challenging, and the lost 15 miles to the border was brutal with many washouts and some really loose footings)Jun 27, 2014 at 8:44 pm #2115352
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
"the lost 15 miles to the border was brutal with many washouts and some really loose footings)"
I can imagine being that close to the end
might be tempted to take more chances at risky route
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