Backpacker Radio #191 | Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail 2.0: High Snow Year Considerations, Gear Changes by Section, and More
In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are chatting all things Pacific Crest Trail, round two. We are joined by our pal and two-time PCT thru-hiker, Michael “Grizzly” Ivey to talk through our top advice for hiking the PCT, with a special emphasis on doing so during a high snow year, which 2023 is shaping up to be. We go through suggestions for traveling through a snowy Sierra, including estimating food carries, how to approach water crossings, grouping, self-arresting skills, and more. We also chat through some more general tips including how to budget zero days, evaluating what type of hiker you are, and how to mentally approach the hike overall during a year with a large potential for chaos. We wrap the panel by breaking down how our gear changed from one section to the next during our own PCT hikes.
If you like the PCT, we think you’ll love this episode.
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PCT Panel with Chaunce, Badger, and Grizzly
Time stamps & Questions
00:05:04 – QOTD: If you worked in fast food, would you prioritize the drive-thru orders or the in-store orders?
00:12:53 – Introducing Grizzly
00:15:33 – Zach Tip #1: Be ready for everything that comes with a high snow year
00:18:10 – Daniel’s 2017 High Snow Year Trek post
00:21:10 – Zach Tip #1a: You can’t carry too much food
00:25:38 – Zach Tip #1b: Creek crossings in swift water above your mid-thigh are dangerous
00:30:26 – Discussion about snow bridges
00:33:01 – Zach Tip #1c: Avoid hiking solo, especially at water crossings
00:39:31 – Chaunce Tip #1: Know your own limitations
00:43:27 – Grizzly’s trail resume
00:47:10 – Grizzly Tip #1: Identify what kind of hiker you are and how that will affect your hike
00:50:51 – Zach Tip #2: Go into your hike with a flexible mindset
00:59:00 – Chaunce Tip #2: Learn how to self-arrest and practice it before getting on trail
01:05:25 – Grizzly Tip #2: No matter how dialed in your gear is, you’ll learn something new
01:14:03 – Chaunce Tip #3: Budget your zero days
01:23:37 – Zach Tip #3: Sun umbrellas are the shit
01:29:03 – Shoutout to Rachel!
01:29:20 – Grizzly’s PCT gear swaps
01:36:25 – Discussion about shoes
01:39:35 – Chaunce’s PCT gear swaps
01:40:50 – Zach’s PCT gear swaps
01:46:00 – Favorite spots in the desert
01:52:00 – Discussion about trail angels near the southern terminus
01:54:44 – Favorite spots in the Sierra/NorCal
01:59:20 – Favorite spots in Oregon
02:02:40 – Favorite spots in Washington
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