The only powder to get high on falls from the sky

About a month ago, PCTers were in a blissful mood. Our start dates were coming within reach and the Sierra snowpack looked to be on the “lightish to normalish” side of things. But by now it’s been raining and snowing for pretty much a solid month and we’ve come to grips that this year’s snow will likely be on the “huge-ish” side of things. With a little more than a week before I head to the Southern California desert, it’s time to make my first set of snow decisions. I’m likely to hit snow after Idyllwild, after Wrightwood and after Kennedy Meadows. Idyllwild leads me onto Fuller Ridge. From what I hear, it’s not a good idea to go there without an ice ax and crampons when there’s a lot of now. It’s been hard to find good beta on it over the net though. The problem that I’m faced with is that Idyllwild is only 180 miles from Mexico and I’ll be there quickly (May 9th). So if I want my snow stuff there, I need to decide soon whether or not I want them sent to me. I can’t wait until my first real stop, Warner Springs, to call home for them because there won’t be enough time to get them before I leave for Fuller Ridge. I’m still going to wait until the last possible moment to call for them. I guess that means that I’ll make this decision at the Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off (ADZPCTKO2006). I bet there will be someone there with good beta. Otherwise, I’m definitely carrying my ice ax and crampons from Kennedy Meadows north through the Sierra. I may also choose to have my snowshoes sent there but I’m highly unsure about that. I haven’t come across any (recent) past hikers that brought slow-shoes. But I have come across many of them that complained about some sort of “post hole hell”, as if there was ice in hell and the “god’s country” the Sierra Nevada was that hell. I don’t think John Muir snowshoed and that man barely ever had a negative word come from his pen.

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