Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Big Snow

Every year on the PCT, snow is the big talk of the trail.. that and water in the desert.  The snows this year were huge, about 120% above average.  There is water in the desert, but before I knew it I was postholing up to my hips in snow across Fuller Ridge and feeling good about my decision to mail my sandals back to Kyle and have him send me my shoes and ice axe (Thanks!).  Ice axe? I was just in the low hot desert the other day and now I find myself straining against the thinner air at 9000 ft with miles of snow ahead of me.  Only about 10% of hikers this year have attempted Fuller Ridge, several have been rescued via helicopter in desperate condition.  Many more bailed off the ridge after wandering aimless and lost for hours or even days.  I cannot recommend that anyone attempt Fuller, it took Neon and I a solid 12 hours of very hard snow travel to eak out 14 miles to a place we could camp.  We were exhausted. 10 of those hours were off trail, it was awesome but only because we knew how to use a compass and topo maps.  After just 100 miles out of Idyllwild, my new shoes blew out. Defective pair.

I've found that it is difficult for me to fit more than 5 days worth of food in my pack, I ran out as I walked into Big Bear City, Ca today.  In the Sierras there is a 10 day stretch with no easy resupply points so somewhere between here and there I'll have to figure something out.

There are many wonderful people on the trail this year, I'm probably around more thru-hikers than I was around on the AT.  What a culture, pictures coming soon.

Ryan Hasty
Big Bear City, Ca

1 comment:

Aliese said...

We love hearing all the details Ryan. Keep it coming. It's a little unnerving that you are already needing your ice axe, but glad you are good with the navigation (compass) Whew! We will send a package to the address you posted.

Take care, Aliese