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Kyle

PCT in a weekend?

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Kyle--

I'd be interested in doing it and I know a few other guys who are into long distance runs. I think it would make a great race. I'm not really competitive but I think the support of a group might make it more interesting. There was recently an article in the Seattle Times about hiking this stretch of trail and the merits of lightweight hiking.

I wonder what the time record is. I can imagine someone doing it in 12 twelve hours-- that's only three 4 hour marathons and a 4 hour marathon is reasonable.

I'd be willing to go in the opposite direction as you and trade cars (at least temporarily).

Anyone else interested?

[This message has been edited by Matt (edited 09-10-2001).]

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Yeah, I saw the Times article too- that's mostly what got me thinking about it again. The idea of a car swap is a good one- would save my wife a lot of driving wink.gif I'm not competitive or fast at all- I can just keep pounding out miles forever.

I know one other guy that's sort of interested... I agree it would be more fun & motivating to have more people along, not to mention safer. You could also share a few things (ie water filter) & go even lighter. Let's think about it... I'm looking at maybe 9/22-23 or 9/29-30, but I'm fairly flexible. I know the days are getting short, but hey, that's what my Tikka is for.

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I've heard of it being done in 24 hours. Have to warn you, the last few miles to Stevens Pass must be one of the ugliest stretches of the PCT in WA, I was just there. You get to pass under power lines, ski lifts, thru clear cuts, even cross a dirt access road. The stuff around Spectacle Lake and Cathedral/Deception passes is a lot better, I've hit several sections of the trail this summer. Have fun.

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(This isn't really a climbing question, but what the hell)... I'm talking about the gorgeous stretch of the PCT between Snoqualmie & Stevens Passes. It's ~72 miles with lots of up & down. I've had this little obsession lately with the idea of hiking it in a weekend, & I might give it a shot this month. I'd carry about a 10 lb pack & wear trail-runners, & I'd probably go solo because I don't know anyone psycho enough to do this with me. I'm in great shape right now & I think I could do this fairly comfortably, but I still have this nagging feeling that the idea is a bit over the top. Has anyone here done this? Am I out of my mind? Any tips- like opinions on whether it's better to go N-S, or S-N, etc? TIA,

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Kyle,

It has been done as I recently heard a tale from my friend about it. Good luck and have a great time. Hey Mike was it Rock Ninja that did this?

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I did from Snoqualmie to Cathedral Rock a few years back...

Go north young man...the trail's layout seems to favor this aspect...more gradual uphill, steeper downhills going north...It's no as steep as you think, the hills are pretty flat but in that tend to run-out longer, which can be aggrevating as you just want to hurry up and top out and quit all the fartin' around switchbacking....

You can also cut off a portion of the PCT past Spectacle Lk, and not have to hump the entire portion of Waptus...Cut over to Pete Lk then to Waptus...you'll see it on the map...

Oh....yeah according to the pros out there...better rope up and carry an ice axe for the harrowing Kendall's "Katwalk"...wow that has to be like a 5.12b sketch-fest...

I think to make it in a weekend you would HAVE to press to Waptus in a day...That's about the halfway point (as I try to remember what the map looks like)...From Waptus I think is some of the steeper section to gain elevation up to Deep Lake and then again out of the Deep Lk valley up toward Cathedral Rock....

Have fun wacko!!!

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Some friends did the route N to S a couple years ago. They did it in 3 days with 20 lb. packs. Not the speed or weitht you are considering, but they did enjoy themselves. They found enough water along the way so they only carried 1L at a time. Of course stopping every couple hours to filter/tablet might slow you down some if you intended to run.

If you are interested in running the route go to the FootZone store on Capitol Hill and ask for Jeff Dean or some of the other long distance trail runners - they should have plenty of information for you.

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In '97, I hiked it northbound in 2.5 days. I was slowed down by 2 people joining me for the first full day (and subsequent next morning). My pack was probably around 13 pounds at the TH. I didn't run any of it, just as long as you get up early enough and keep moving until just past dark, you'll be fine. Skip the filter, too. There's water/springs galore, even late season.

Hitch hiking from either pass isn't too difficult, either! Good luck. If you pull it off, then you should try the next section to Stehekin in a weekend, now that's a bitch!

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I did it sometime ago and think you'll have a blast. My partner and I were trying to do it as fast as we could so we brought minimal food a rain jacket and a small pad. We left Stevens ( which as someone said earlier is very ugly) I would do it that way again mostly because we hiked most of the less pretty sections at night but also because if for some reason we would want to bail (eg injury or rain) exiting via Salmon La Sac is an easy option. If you are in shape it should be a piece of cake over a weekend. I would love to hike the other sections of the WA PCT in the same manner. Let us know how it goes.

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I did it some years ago, but with the opposite philosophy - I took my time. If I liked a place, I'd stay there for awhile. Noone knew when to expect me back, so I had no schedule and no deadlines. My brother dropped me off at Snoqualmie, and I hitch-hiked back from Stevens when I was done. Beautiful trip.

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I've done that section in a somewhat leisurely 2.5 days before, but that was also when there was 16 hours of daylight.

To put it into perspective (I'm over analyzing this, but when long distances are involved, it often times is the only REAL perspective):

Right now there is only ~12 hours of daylight so that leaves you with 4 hours less time a day than if you were to do it in June with 16 hours of daylight. If your hiking a fast 3mph, then you lose about 12 miles a day that you can hike.

If you were to hike a faster 3mph NON-STOP all day for two days, you would complete the 72 miles, but when you put in the breaks that are almost always needed at some point (i.e. 5-15 minute lunch, breakfast?, others), an average time will tend to be 2.5mph which means.... you would need ~15 hours a day over two days to complete a 72 mile leg of the PCT. If you hike 2-3+ hours in the dark both days, you can do it. However, your best bet is to do it when there is mucho daylight.

Now if you run, that's another story...

Let me know if you end up doing it. Hiking 30-40 miles in a day (mid summer) is done more often than you may think. Good Luck...

Tod

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Thanks for the math Tod. This time of year the key to success will be logging lots of miles in the dark with a strong headlamp. Good luck Kyle!

[This message has been edited by Matt (edited 09-21-2001).]

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I was all packed & almost did it last weekend, but some family obligations came up at the last minute & I cancelled (& damn the weather was nice too!). Now I'm thinking I'll wait until next season & do it mid-summer when the days are longer (hiking a lot of miles by headlamp just isn't _that_ much fun). I want to spend the last remaining nice weekends this season getting as much climbing (ICE!) done. Thanks all,

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