Class of 2001
In early June, 2001, the 1977 PCT Kelty Kids hiked an 8-day loop out of Courtright Reservoir that included a couple of days heading southbound on the PCT (from the Florence Lake/Blayney Meadows/Muir Trail Ranch trail to Wanda Lake, just north of Muir Pass). Here's a brief report on our trip.
PCT trail conditions
There's still quite a bit of snow on both sides of Muir Pass, down to about 11,000'. It's soft, a mess to walk in (lots of postholing after midmorning), and melting fast. (I'm guessing that most will be gone by the end of this week.) The hikers we encountered reported that Muir was the worst pass in this regard; snow is already gone from most others. Starman and Wolfhound (shown here on Mt. Whitney) reported that glissading down the north side of Forester was "fun." Much of the trail down to about 10,000' is a muddy stream.
The lower crossing of Evolution Creek is pretty easy--if you don't cross right at the trail. If you go about 15 feet upstream from the trail crossing, you won't even get your knees wet. It's not particularly fast or cold; basically it's now a nonevent. Whiteroot reported that the only other stream he's had to ford up to that point is Wallace Creek (south of Forester Pass).
The mosquitos at 8000'-10000' are out in force, but they're not terrible. I'd characterize them as annoying, but not intolerable. To those hikers who're whining about the terrible mosquitos, I have only two words: southern Oregon. (On our 1977 thruhike, the only time we ever considered quitting was when the mossies there became unbearable, causing us to literally run down the trail, flailing our arms to try to brush 'em off before they'd bite.)
PCT hiker update
We saw over 30 northbound hikers, which was lots of fun for us. We regaled any who would listen with stories of our 1977 trek, back when men were men, the whippersnappers hiking the trail now were in diapers, and the trail was hardly a trail.
We can report that the following hikers are alive and well. Let me rephrase that: they are alive and well, hungry. The stretch to VVR is among the longest between food drops, and more than one mentioned that they were running low on supplies and were anxious to get to VVR for burgers, pies, etc. etc. (Did we feed them? Of course not! Like bears, once thruhikers become habituated to real food from backpackers, the problem becomes increasingly worse. They raid other backpackers' food caches and sometimes even make bluff charges. Eventually, the problem thruhikers must be relocated or even destroyed.)
This is who we saw: