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mrmirenga
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mrmirenga
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PostThu Apr 20, 2017 11:24 am 
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Hi Everyone - I'm wondering if anyone might have any experience or information on hiking WA Section H during mid-June (a friend and I are hoping to go northbound from BoG to White Pass around then).

I've been poking around with the snow chart on postholer but I'm unable to find any information on the month of June for previous years (not sure if I'm using the site correctly).

I know that thru hikers generally start from the US-Mexico border in late April which usually has them starting WA Section H in mid to late August which concerns us a bit in terms of traversability in mid-June.

Any help would be greatly appreciated - thanks in advance!
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RandyHiker
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PostThu Apr 20, 2017 4:24 pm 
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That section includes the highest elevation section of the PCT in Washington, "The knife edge" at  around 7,000 ft near the top Old Snowy mtn.   I have skied in that area on Memorial Day weekend several times.  The PCT also maintains fairly high altitude as it passes Mt Adams.   

So I think you will be walking on snow most of the way from where the PCT crosses the road from Trout Lake until you reach White Pass.  I expect that you would also be snow camping. 

That section would make an enjoyable ski traverse at that time of year.

From BoG to the road crossing from Trout Lake will have much less snow, but you might encounter some boggy and muddy sections and some snow in the Indian Heaven region.
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Conrad
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Conrad
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PostThu Apr 20, 2017 5:51 pm 
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My 2c for passing Old Snowy: There are two trails pasty Old Snowy, low & high. I was blocked on the low trail in late July '08 by steep rock-hard morning shade snow (no crampons or ice ax); mid-June might actually be be better (softer). The high trail melts earlier but looks scary if snow-covered.
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Adohrn
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Adohrn
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PostThu Apr 20, 2017 10:39 pm 
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The knifes edge has some pretty nasty run outs if snow covered.  This includes low and high routes over Old Snowy and, basically everything else between Packwood glacier and the Coyota trail junction.  Something like 1 to 1 1/2 miles of trail.  There is no way to skirt around or bypass this section.  It goes way past backpacking and into mountaineering.  If you do this with snow/ice  you need to be proficient with an ice axe and crampons.  No joke. This is an above average snow year so it will be snow covered in June.
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Julia
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PostThu Apr 20, 2017 10:58 pm 
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What the rest are saying.  Traversing onto Old Snowy & the Knife's Edge is going to be very difficult in June this year (most years--gets better in July usually).  We've needed crampons/ice axe in July there before, even.
Also, route finding in that section can be very difficult in the snow.

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Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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JVesquire
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 8:13 am 
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If you make it even that far, you'll have come through the Mt Adams section and Indian Heaven which, barring a major change in the weather this spring, will likely still be covered in snow.
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DIYSteve
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DIYSteve
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 9:19 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
That section includes the highest elevation section of the PCT in Washington, "The knife edge" at  around 7,000 ft near the top Old Snowy mtn.  I have skied in that area on Memorial Day weekend several times.

FWIW, we skied there July 4 weekend a few years ago in conditions that indicated ice axe and proper boots.
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Token Civilian
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 9:21 am 
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Piling on here - unless you're proficient in or desiring spring snow hiking, it's too early season in mid June.
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Grannyhiker
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 9:35 am 
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This is a big snow year, and we're having an unusually cold, soggy spring so far.  It's still snowing at those higher elevations.  Normally, you'd be able to get through the higher sections in early July, encountering snowbanks but probably able to go over or around.  This year, it just might be early August!

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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey
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RichP
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 10:08 am 
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Maybe skip that last part in the Goat Rocks or walk forest roads/ highway to finish up to White Pass?
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Conrad
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 2:33 pm 
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Adohrn wrote:
basically everything else between Packwood glacier and the Coyota trail junction.  ... There is no way to skirt around or bypass this section.

More or less, but: I did manage to backtrack a ways (while heading S) from the Packwood Glacier and drop and pass a few hundred feet below it. But I did slide several dozen feet on shade-hard snow, skinned a knuckle & abraded my pack. Ice ax & traction footwear would've been a big help.
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mrmirenga
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mrmirenga
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 3:38 pm 
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Thank you all so much for the responses - they're highly valued!

I think we'll probably have to reconsider given our lack of mountaineering/ice axe experience.

Much appreciated!
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texasbb
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texasbb
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PostFri Apr 21, 2017 3:39 pm 
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RichP wrote:
Maybe skip that last part in the Goat Rocks or walk forest roads/ highway to finish up to White Pass?

I'd save Section H for another time before skipping that part.  I've met several northbounders up there who volunteered that the knife edge rivaled anything they'd seen since Mexico.
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markh752
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markh752
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PostSun Apr 23, 2017 3:13 pm 
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mrmirenga wrote:
Thank you all so much for the responses - they're highly valued!

I think we'll probably have to reconsider given our lack of mountaineering/ice axe experience.

Much appreciated!

Great decision!
But unlike the previous posters who cautioned about alpine travel near the Goat Rocks "knife edge", I believe that your greatest obstacle would have been navigating the many miles of viewless forest "trails" covered with snow.
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