Author Topic: Oroville to Castle Pass (PCT) in mid/late June  (Read 279 times)

Righteous

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Oroville to Castle Pass (PCT) in mid/late June
« on: April 28, 2017, 09:09:19 AM »
I've been planning a SOBO PCT hike this year, but my anticipated start date seems too early now given snow conditions.  While considering ways to change my plans to accommodate for the snow, I came across the PNT.  After a bit of research, and some helpful advice from PNTA staff, I came up with a plan to delay my PCT start date by ~12 days by beginning my hike in Oroville westbound on the PNT. 

I've been looking at maps and feeling better about the slightly lower elevation and seemingly less ferocious passes along that stretch of the PNT than I would find on the PCT.  A few questions for those who have hiked this section:

-I am obviously prepared to encounter snow and poor trail conditions at such an early point in the season.  I'm already prepared with an ice ax and microspikes: should that be enough?
-Factoring in trail conditions and a lot of food, is 12 days a reasonable time estimate for this section?  For some context, I have completed a thru hike of the AT (SOBO, '13), have moderate experience travelling in high-angle snowy terrain, and have plenty of experience with blow downs.
-Can anyone think of any potential resupply between the Loomis PO and arriving at Rainy Pass/Hwy 20 (several days SOBO on the PCT)?  I'm operating on the assumption that the Hart's Pass road will still be closed.
-Any notable fords that I should be concerned about?

I've ordered the 2017 Data Book, but still waiting for it to arrive.  I'm sure I'll find more answers there.  Any help is appreciated!

Dylan Carlson

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Re: Oroville to Castle Pass (PCT) in mid/late June
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 11:03:54 AM »
-I am obviously prepared to encounter snow and poor trail conditions at such an early point in the season.  I'm already prepared with an ice ax and microspikes: should that be enough?

That should do it. Waterpoof boots and gaiters would be advisable. If you don't already know how to self-arrest with your ice axe, study and practice.

-Factoring in trail conditions and a lot of food, is 12 days a reasonable time estimate for this section?  For some context, I have completed a thru hike of the AT (SOBO, '13), have moderate experience travelling in high-angle snowy terrain, and have plenty of experience with blow downs.
12 days is more than sufficient to hike from Loomis to Rainy Pass, even in early season conditions. It's ~120 miles.

-Can anyone think of any potential resupply between the Loomis PO and arriving at Rainy Pass/Hwy 20 (several days SOBO on the PCT)?  I'm operating on the assumption that the Hart's Pass road will still be closed.
There are no convenient resupply options in this stretch. They all require significant detour away from the PNT route along the "boundary trail" through the Pasayten Wilderness. Moreover, the Pasayten is fantastic and worthy of savoring without distraction.

-Any notable fords that I should be concerned about?
I recall the Pasayten river was a broad, swift, knee deep crossing in the heat of summer. It may present a challenge during heavy melt. I don't recall any other challenging river fords in the Pasayten.

Righteous

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Re: Oroville to Castle Pass (PCT) in mid/late June
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 09:46:53 PM »
Thanks!  Super helpful.  Sounds like I'll be on the PCT a few days earlier than estimated, but still a solid week and a half after my original date.

Still, not looking forward to carrying all of that food! :(