After 10 days of hiking, I have reached Hwy 12, which is the end of my first section on the PCT. So far, I have hiked 148 miles. I have been averaging approx 15 miles a day. This is quite an improvement from the Appalachian Trail where I only averaged about 10-12 miles a day for the first week and a half.
The past several days have involved extensive snow travel in the Mount Adams and Goat Rocks Wilderness areas. More specifically, I have hiked multiple miles traversing steep snow slopes, mountain passes, and ridgelines. Route finding has been challenging without a gps.
This brings me to an important point. Always carry a gps in the backcountry. Physical maps are a great resource, but when snow covers the trail as was the case during the past couple of days, maps can only get you so far.
Two days ago, I lost the trail and had to set up an emergency camp. By sending a SPOT gps tracking signal to my parents, they were able to direct me back onto the trail so I could retrace my steps. I saw where I made my mistake. Never let your guard down at the end of a long day.
So far, I’ve learned a lot of lessons on the trail. One, always carry a bug net. Two, carry a gps so you can plug in waypoints to make route fiding easier. Three, have a backup plan and tell people where you are going. Most inportant of all, stay calm and keep a level head.
All in all, I’m having the time of my life and seeing some amazing views. Next stop, Snoqualmie Pass.
Have a great 4th of July weekend everybody. God bless America.