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[pct-l] firsthand backcountry reports

On Wed, 3 Mar 1999 08:41:38 -0800 reynolds@ilan.com writes:
>Even, me, an affectionado of butane stoves, would break out my old
>MSR if I went snow camping. 
> these are my personal observations (guesses)

   "would"? "if"? Goodness, Tom,  backcountry conditions must be mild
indeed if you need to set your fuel canisters in the freezer to get them
cold! <VBG> Why not just toss them and/or the MSR (or a bunch of
briquettes and a hubcap, whatever) in one of your backpacks and actually
go snow-camping - someplace safe, of course. I'm not "challenging" you at
all, but it seems to me that some of this speculation could be tidied up
by people just, well, _doing_ whatever they're talking about. 

     It's rough for the folks back East (tho it sounds like some of them
are seeing a tougher winter than we Westcoasters are) to picture the PCT
right now, but lots of us live near the trail (you do).  We don't have to
rush to some presently avalanche-prone  part of the High Sierra to check
out a stove or tent - or see what "conditions" are along most parts of
the trail. Websites can offer just so much (once, FI,  I skied in one of
the "almost dry" parts of the Sierra - the powder snow had  little
water-content, which is what the sensors measure). And, not to quibble,
but I think posted trail "observations" tend to imply more accuracy than
just a "guess"....

You know me: I'm just an out-of-shape, cowardly, poor, and inept
lady-camper (with family problems making it hard for me to get out much
this winter). However, many  list posters speak often of being highly
experienced mountaineers (ski and otherwise), and of spending a great
deal of time on rugged High Sierra trips; there's talk of Everest climbs,
technical belaying in whiteouts, crossing armpit-deep rushing snowmelt
waters - one poster suggested doing the trail in dead-winter to "make it
more interesting". Surely a quick overnighter or even dayhike to some of
the snow-covered (?) areas-in-question should be possible for such folk,
with La Nina spring just around the corner and all.

Current reports from people who have actually walked (or skied or
showshoed - or scooted on their bottoms) the trail are much more useful
(and real trip reports so much more entertaining, IMHO) than speculations
based on various sorts of "data" - to me, anyway. I've found the PCTA
website very appreciative of firsthand reports, and RSs rely on
early-season hikers to give them the skivvy about the backcountry -
please take the time to visit them or give them a phone call update after
your latest trip, so that _every_ hiker, not just members of one internet
list, may benefit.  Just a well-meant personal "observation" <g>....... 
TIA              bj

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