View Full Version : PCT thru-hiking article

07-22-2004, 09:34
Good reading about thru-hikers on the PCT this year..

Trail trekkers pass a mountainous milestone

By Elizabeth Fitzsimons
July 20, 2004
The San Diego Union-Tribune (http://javascript<b></b>:NewWindow(%20'FIISrcDetails','?from=article&ids=sdu');void(0);)
Editor's note: This is the sixth in an occasional series of stories following two North County residents as they hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

Buzz and Izzy are halfway there.

The North County hikers have logged 1,371 miles in their journey from Campo to Canada on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail.

Known off the trail as Paul Longton, an Oceanside architect, and Nancy Imbertson, co-owner of an Encinitas construction business, the friends have left the High Sierra and entered the volcanic Cascade Range, which they will follow to the finish.

"It feels like we're making progress," Imbertson said Friday from Old Station, a small town surrounded by Lassen Volcanic National Park, about 60 miles east of Redding.

"It's a milestone and that was good."

Longton reported via e-mail that evening that they "just ate a Reuben sandwich for an appetizer and a large pizza for the entree. Ahhh, yes . . . and beer has been involved."

Longton's beard had grown so much that when they arrived in South Lake Tahoe on July 2 and he gazed into a mirror, he thought, "I got skinny! A skinny old guy with a long beard."

He trimmed off an inch and now is "a skinny old guy with a short beard."

Imbertson was suffering from shinsplints and hobbling along the trail, but she has recovered.

"I'm really happy to not do this crazy wobble thing anymore," she said.

Next week they will cross the state line into Oregon. Longton, 55, and Imbertson, 40, began their trek April 23 at the U.S.-Mexico border near Campo and expect to reach the trail's end in Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia on Sept. 7.

Now, in the thick of their journey, they have found themselves with too much company.

"We were at a water source yesterday and there were 10 people there," Imbertson said. "We have to get out of this bubble of hikers."

Yesterday was Imbertson's 40th birthday. There were no specials plans that she knew of. But she did have a concern.

"I'm afraid Buzz will say, `For your 40th birthday, let's do 40 miles.' "

08-31-2004, 09:51
Another good PCT article..


09-14-2004, 09:31
Update from the LA Times on the PCT thru-hikers..

ON THE LAM; Freeze-dried food, nausea, heat, bugs. Having fun yet?

Barbara Egbert
Los Angeles Times
September 14, 2004

Barbara Egbert, husband Gary Chambers and their 10-year-old daughter, Mary Chambers, started hiking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in Mexico on April 8.

* Mile 739, Day 52

Mary wakes up feeling queasy and throws up after drinking some water. She still hikes 15 1/2 miles that day.

Two days later, we veer off the Pacific Crest Trail to climb 14,497-foot Mt. Whitney. Mary leads the way up and back, running the last few yards to the top with her father.

We return to the trail and in the next few days trudge on to climb Forester Pass, the highest point on the PCT at 13,180 feet. Five more high-altitude passes -- Glen, Pinchot, Mather, Muir and Selden -- exact their own torture: electrical storms, snow flurries, snowfields, rockfalls, rough stream crossings and hordes of mosquitoes.

* Mile 1,000, Day 72

At one of the more rugged and scenic parts of the trail, we cross from Yosemite's Tuolumne Meadows to Sonora Pass. Wilmer Lake sets the standard for mosquito hell. We catch up with other thru-hikers Carol and Brian (Carol's on crutches after breaking her knee at a stream crossing) and Crow and Sherpa (Sherpa's got a shoulder wound after getting whomped by a bear).

* Mile 1,100, Day 80

A thru-hiker approaches and calls Gary by his trail name: "You must be Captain Bligh!" It's Popsicle, who began the journey with a broken arm. Popsicle says he's been tracking Mary's little footprints for weeks.

* Mile 1,154, Day 82

All the way through Yosemite, answering nature's call meant providing a blood feast for bugs. We spend the night at Sierra Club's Peter Grubb Hut (Mile 1,157.3), where we instantly become trail specimens: Some women at the hut were wondering what thru-hikers look like when we walk through the door.

* Mile 1,326, Day 93

We're halfway through. I'm not sure whether I'm ecstatic at how far I've come or depressed at how far I have to get to Canada.

* Mile 1,348, Day 94

Because of Scrambler (Mary's trail name), we tend to attract a crowd when we stop at resorts or pick up resupply boxes. Parents want to know how a little girl can cope with the rigors of long-distance backpacking. Mary takes it all in stride -- literally and figuratively.

* Mile 1,417, Day 97

It's our hottest day yet, 107 degrees according to Gary's altimeter/watch. We hike 25 miles to a backpacker camp at Burney Falls in McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park. We sweat gallons in this heat and scrupulously plan each day around finding water sources. It's almost painful to gaze at the thunderous falls, all that water.

* Mile 1,472, Day 100

We celebrate our milestone day with a family check-in: Gary's right knee is aching, my feet hurt all the time and Mary is wilting in the heat. Our treat? Freeze-dried beef stroganoff and freeze-dried chocolate cheesecake decadence.

* Mile 1,560, Day 106

After a 24-mile day, we can't find water at Scott Mountain Campground in Shasta Trinity National Forest. Luckily a car camper brings us 3 gallons and two peaches. Another camper gives us a mango, and the next morning we get fresh raspberries. Heavenly.

* Mile 1,630, Day 110

I see three bears next to the trail. This is the first day of bow-hunting season for bears. I meet a man from Acton who claims to have killed a 600-pound bear a few years ago.

* Mile 1,775, Day 118

Our friend Alex meets us at Highway 140 west of Klamath Falls, Ore., with homemade cookies and new boots for me.

* Mile 1,825, Day 120

Gary fought nausea yesterday and feels much worse now. Flu? West Nile virus? He staggers into Mazama Village at Crater Lake, Ore., where we have a room reserved. We'll have to take a "zero-mile day."

To be continued ...

09-15-2004, 10:00
9th and final San Diego Tribune article on the PCT thru-hikers..