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Jordan
y



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Jordan
y
PostThu Feb 22, 2024 1:08 pm 
Hello. I have been enjoying doing long, single day speed hikes the last couple of years. Last year I did the Spider Gap to Buck Creek loop, non stop it took me 15 hrs truck to truck. This year I am eyeing section J of the PCT. I usually hike north of HWY 2 so the area is fairly new to me. At 70 some miles I am trying for around 24hrs with only stops for water/food. I have a few questions for those who have done this section. Is it easier to start at Stevens and go south or start at Snoqualmie and go north? I imagine the trail is easy enough to follow but what about in the dark for 8hrs, still easy enough to follow? The internet says the trail is steep in places, what part of the trail is the longest slog up, I want to be ready for the hard parts. And any other need to know knowledge about this section. I've never worn any ankle/knee supports, for those who have, do they work? Thanks, Jordan

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dave allyn
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 1:25 pm 
Try "hiking the Pacific crest trail" by Tami Asars, from Mountaineers books. Excellent elevation profiles. Stevens pass is 1000 feet higher than Snoqualmie so has a little less gain. The southern end of the trail gets more traffic so might be easier in the dark. I don't remember anything particularly steep.

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Jordan
y



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Jordan
y
PostThu Feb 22, 2024 1:39 pm 
Thats a good thought. How is the the catwalk? Anything to worry about if I'm coming from Stevens and my legs are jello?

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Chief Joseph
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 2:08 pm 
Not sure about the area closer to Stevens pass but from Snoqualmie heading north it's very exposed to the sun, so I would try to go through there during a cooler time of the day. Someone fell and died going through the Katwalk a few years ago but it seems that was an isolated incedent.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.

Jordan
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dave allyn
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 2:16 pm 
The catwalk is wide and not scary.

thunderhead, pula58, Jordan
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 2:33 pm 
https://www.rei.com/product/234625/fenix-pd36r-pro-rechargeable-flashlight This is much brighter than your high beams on full power, and can last through a summer night on medium. I've skied in the dark with the previous version.

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RumiDude
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 2:34 pm 
Another vote for going north to south. The PCT is graded for stock, so there are no really insane grades. But there are several long ascends and descends. There's also a couple creek crossings, one in particular, which can be tricky during snow melt. Rumi

"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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Jordan
y



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Jordan
y
PostThu Feb 22, 2024 4:39 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
https://www.rei.com/product/234625/fenix-pd36r-pro-rechargeable-flashlight This is much brighter than your high beams on full power, and can last through a summer night on medium. I've skied in the dark with the previous version.
Looks like a nice light, will take a look at that. I'm thinking about investing in top of the line GPS. Any thoughts?

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Jordan
y



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Jordan
y
PostThu Feb 22, 2024 4:40 pm 
RumiDude wrote:
Another vote for going north to south. The PCT is graded for stock, so there are no really insane grades. But there are several long ascends and descends. There's also a couple creek crossings, one in particular, which can be tricky during snow melt. Rumi
Sounds like I'll be going North to South. I'll be there in mid August so the creeks should be low. Which one should I be worried about?

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Cyclopath
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 5:11 pm 
Jordan wrote:
I'm thinking about investing in top of the line GPS. Any thoughts?
There are two camps on this, but I really enjoy having a GPS watch. It can do "turn by turn" on the trail, or just show your position on the map and topo contour lines. Having that at your wrist is amazingly convenient. Paired with an app on a phone, with its large screen, I don't see a use for hand held GPS anymore personally. The watch screen is smaller but can answer basic questions pretty quickly and I don't have to take my phone out very often anymore.
So this or this would be on my radar.

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Jordan
y



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Jordan
y
PostThu Feb 22, 2024 5:25 pm 
Cyclopath wrote:
Jordan wrote:
I'm thinking about investing in top of the line GPS. Any thoughts?
There are two camps on this, but I really enjoy having a GPS watch. It can do "turn by turn" on the trail, or just show your position on the map and topo contour lines. Having that at your wrist is amazingly convenient. Paired with an app on a phone, with its large screen, I don't see a use for hand held GPS anymore personally. The watch screen is smaller but can answer basic questions pretty quickly and I don't have to take my phone out very often anymore.
So this or this would be on my radar.
Yes this would keep me from having a another device on top of my phone and SpotX. My last GPS was in 2003. What is turn by turn?

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jsb
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 6:09 pm 
Hey Jordan, I hiked Section J this past summer... trip report here: https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8037726 I'll take a stab a some of your questions...
Quote:
Is it easier to start at Stevens and go south or start at Snoqualmie and go north?
As stated by others, you're going to net about 1000' downhill going southbound, but over 70 miles, I think this ascent vs. decent difference comes out in the wash.
Quote:
I imagine the trail is easy enough to follow but what about in the dark for 8hrs, still easy enough to follow?
In daylight, the trail is very easy to follow. If you've got Gaia GPS (or any of the similar GPS apps) on your phone, it is next to impossible to get lost. There are a number of trail intersections though, so keeping an eye on the GPS, keeping an eye out for signage with the PCT logo, and/or regularly checking in with a paper topo (with trail numbers) when you come up intersections, is key. Overall, I think the trail will be easy to follow in the dark with a good headlamp.
Quote:
How is the the catwalk? Anything to worry about if I'm coming from Stevens and my legs are jello?
The Katwalk is plenty wide if there is no one else using it at the same time. If you're nervous about it, you can just wait and then hug the uphill side when you cross solo. With respect to jello legs, as long as you don't fall like you just stepped on a landmine, I think you'll be alright. My only addition to what others have added here is that the section of trail from Chikamin Ridge to Commonwealth Basin (in either direction) would absolutely suck in the dark. I guess if you've got a really solid headlamp, it wouldn't be too bad, but you're talking 5+ miles (over the 10 mile stretch) of talus hopping. I can't imagine it would be fun to have to worry about your foot placement in darkness during that section. Also - this section has some of the best views, which you'd miss out on in the dark. Good luck and have fun with the one day push. Get after it!

Jordan
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hbb
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hbb
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 6:58 pm 
Jordan wrote:
How is the the catwalk? Anything to worry about if I'm coming from Stevens and my legs are jello?
If you are capable of walking on a city sidewalk, you can handle the catwalk. It is level, relatively smooth, and roughly 8 feet wide. I run through that area regularly, the biggest hazard is day-hikers taking selfies. A bigger concern in that general area is the section of trail below Chimakin Peak. There are a few miles of talus in that area, and it's slow going in my experience. There are some social trails around the various lakes that could potentially create confusion, both otherwise you should have no issues following the PCT. You should know right away if you've got off track somehow.

Jordan
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Cyclopath
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Cyclopath
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 7:01 pm 
Jordan wrote:
What is turn by turn?
A lot of devices will let you plan a route (or do it for you from the TH), where the device knows you're following the PCT from Stevens to Snoqualmie. It will tell you trail miles left, tell you which way to go at trail junctions, and warn you if you leave the trail, like if you walk off the end of a switchback at 2 am because it's dark and you didn't see. It's definitely not necessary, but I find it comforting to do a quick check and see that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. 🙂 I really like having it in a watch because it's easy to check quickly without getting my phone out. The phone is really attention grabbing, wants to show me all the texts and emails and every kind of thing, the watch just has my position on the map right on the trail, and then I go back to focusing on my surroundings. I use it skiing back down Amabilis at night even though I know the way. Quick glance and I know when the next switchback is.

Jordan
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hbb
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hbb
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PostThu Feb 22, 2024 7:05 pm 
Jordan wrote:
The internet says the trail is steep in places
I don't find it steep. It's graded for stock, and compared to say, trails in the Alps in France or Switzerland, very mellow and runnable.

Cyclopath, Jordan
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