Greetings, As you may have heard I have obtained a revised start date. From March 14th to June 1st; we’ve traded post holing in the Sierras for the triple-digits temperatures in the Southern California desert. The article below explains our reasoning, We will add the blog and tracker link closer to June 1st. Thank you!
We have been watching the snow pack and its water content grow at a record pace for the month of February across the State of California. The implications for the 2019 backpacking season along the PCT (and many other trails) are very significant. Here is what February looked like for Sacramento:
This cold and wet weather translated to record snowfall in the Sierra. The March 1st Department of Water Resources snow and water survey found, across the mountains of California, a snow pack at 153% of normal for this date (and 133% of the April 1st average which marks the traditional maximum snow pack for the year). It is worth listening to at least some of the report of the DWR staff at the March 1st measurement:
The DWR staff shared that February broke all records for snowfall in the Sierra-Tahoe region and almost exceeded the maximum for any single month ever (and February only has 28 days). At the measuring station where the press conference was held, there was 113″ of snow (43.5″ of water equivalent) which compared with 13.5″ the prior year.
The good news is that water should be plentiful along the PCT. The bad news is that this could well recreate the kind of melt conditions with raging river crossings that resulted in the loss of several PCT hiker lives just several years ago:
As thru-hikers have pushed beginning dates earlier and earlier into April and March, these are the conditions that should encourage hikers to reconsider and delay those plans.