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PCT thru-hike attempt

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  • PCT thru-hike attempt

    Hi all, starting Sunday May 14 I'll be attempting a northbound thru-hike of the PCT. I'm excited to be in lands that I don't know, even the shape of the mountains is different. For those who would like to follow along, I'll be updating a blog site - https://smokebeard.wordpress.com, which also contains my Instagram feed @edthesmokebeard.

    Happy Trails all


  • #2
    Good Luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      Good luck Ed!
      Looking for Views!

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      • #4
        After 369 miles and a "Jones Fracture" on the left foot, the trip has ended.

        Comment


        • #5
          Really sorry to hear this, Ed, especially so early into your hike. I'm sure you must have had an amazing time completing the 369 miles that you covered.

          Out of curiosity, is this a mechanical injury due to a single event or a stress/fatigue injury?
          My mind was wandering like the wild geese in the west.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by All Downhill From Here View Post
            After 369 miles and a "Jones Fracture" on the left foot, the trip has ended.
            Bad news!
            Stress fracture or due to a traumatic twist? I read the PCT is deadly this year.
            Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

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            • All Downhill From Here
              Editing a comment
              I think first a bad roll, then stress over time, possibly worsened by bad form. It's not a bad break, and the bones are aligned, so I think I'm looking at 6 more weeks.
              Some people have been washed away in river crossings, and at least 1 person fell down an ice chute. The snow and meltwater are epic.. of course people like me who started later are now hitting 110-120 degree days in the desert section, so pick your poison I suppose. At least you can night-hike.

              Boy the trails and peaks are very different than the ones here.

          • #7
            That stinks!

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            • #8
              For those interested in pics, it's here : https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945...57685250363506

              It was wild being out there, at first 7, then 8, then 9, then 10000 feet. You definitely feel it, even with a lot of miles on your legs at 5000. The trails out there are awesome, smooth, flat, sandy. People listened with horror as I described the streambeds, I mean trails, here in the NE. Attitudes towards gear were different also, at least for me - basically everything is disposable, or its acceptable if it lasts only a few months, provided its lightweight - because then you either complain to the manufacturer and get a replacement, or simply buy a new one. When I asked someone "but would you spend $500 on a new sleeping bag to save a pound", they immediately answered "yes" - without thinking. Price seems no object.

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              • bfinan0
                bfinan0 commented
                Editing a comment
                Wow, that's a totally different culture. Especially considering the flat, smooth trails you're describing. I've still got 31 years until my big hike, but this is kind of convincing me to stay east. My plan for ten years already has been to spend most of 2049 on the ECT, AT and IAT, starting in Key West on January 2 and seeing how far north I can get before autumn turns into winter... but I'd kind of been wondering whether to give the west a try.

            • #9
              Great pics. But man do those feet look trashed! Lots of people on the trail?
              Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

              Comment


              • All Downhill From Here
                Editing a comment
                The trail is pretty busy, even this late, I think I camped alone maybe twice. Probably a dozen or so people started the same day, and there were about 15 people the first night at mile 20, and probably closer to 30 the 2nd night at mile 42, due to persistent sleet and wind (and availability of a restaurant with a bar). Never went more than a few hours without seeing someone.

                The blisters started from too-large shoes (by design) but not double socks (which I forgot to do). Then, I got a 'foxtail' seedpod thing stuck INSIDE the skin of my foot, which festered rather ... aromatically. The other blisters are just normal blisters, which came from double-socking in the mornings (before my feet swelled with the heat) but that was enough for my superfeet to dig into my heel pads...and on top of the infection, were no picnic. Finally at around mile 364, the latent crack in my metatarsal gave way, and I was just done.

            • #10
              Love the pictures. Looks like you had a great time. So sorry to hear about the injury. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

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              • #11
                Thanks, was planning to do the NPT and/or the Long Trail this fall, but the doc is being really cautious.

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                • #12
                  Bump. I'm making a 2nd attempt this year. Start date - April 14. I'll post a gear list shortly, but I'm shaving about 4-5 lbs off by replacing stuff.

                  https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/category/pct2018

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                  • #13
                    Excellent. If I ever do the trail I will know whose brain to pick.
                    Project-100: 100 peaks, one winter. https://project100singlewinter.wordpress.com/

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      All Downhill From Here what books did you find a good resource for planning?
                      If by chance some day you're not feeling well and you should remember some silly thing I've said or done and it brings back a smile to your face or a chuckle to your heart, then my purpose as your clown has been fulfilled ~ Red Skelton

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                      • All Downhill From Here
                        Editing a comment
                        Logistical planning - the Yogi resupply list, which is a series of laminated cards showing trail town mileage, amenities, post office hours, etc. Also the paper Halfmile maps at www.pctmap.net, and the free Halfmile phone app.

                        planning out the physical stuff - I didn't get much use out of any of the "how to thruhike" guides, they're a lot of "make sure you don't pack too much" and "get a backpack that fits", although I think someone new to backpacking would find it useful. I did meet several people who had never backpacked before while I was out there last year.

                        The biggest "plan" is to get into trail shape, and hit the trail at 20 miles per day or more.

                        For those of us used to hiking in the Northeast, the PCT, at least Southern California, is the easiest and best hiking you'll ever do. I started in good shape but was hampered by blisters which turned into an infection when a long seedpod embedded itself under my skin. Many people (young people) were doing 25+ miles a day right off the bat. Plenty of smooth, flat, well graded trail, with long, lazy switchbacks. I think there are only a handful of places that go up more than 500' per mile, and those are rare and short. Check out my photo album here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/145945...57685250363506

                        Case in point: 20170601_144002

                      • NumNum
                        NumNum commented
                        Editing a comment
                        That's some good information, thank you!

                    • #15
                      Shameless plug for my blog at TheTrek:

                      https://thetrek.co/author/ed-schernau/

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