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Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/15/2011 14:25:14 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds

Ed Schmidt
(suttree) - F

Locale: ON, CANADA
Truth on 02/15/2011 14:43:50 MST Print View

>so the best you can do is to get out on the trail and learn about it for yourself.

Time to go hiking...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
re on 02/15/2011 15:12:44 MST Print View

Thanks for the four articles!

Too bad it was so rainy in Washington, that's such nice scenery.

I was walking around Mount Hood Sept 2 to 6, I must have just missed you, but I did talk to a couple through hikers.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/15/2011 15:29:07 MST Print View

Wonderful series, Ryan. Thanks for all the inspiration.



Kathy A Handyside
(earlymusicus) - M

Locale: Southeastern Michigan
Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/15/2011 15:40:39 MST Print View

I can't express my appreciation to you, Ryan, for posting this wonderful series! Thanks so very much. I felt like I was right along, hiking behind you. You are that good of a writer. I dream of doing the PCT sometime, but that won't be for a few years - at which time I will be in my early 60s and will probably have to do it in sections, rather than one long haul. Still, I want to do it. I so want to do it. Thanks again and I look forward to other stories by you about future hikes.

Nathan V
(Junk) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lake State
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/15/2011 15:54:44 MST Print View

Great job, I enjoyed reading every installment. One of the best articles that has ever been on BPL.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
bag on 02/15/2011 16:04:45 MST Print View

IMO definitely the humidity ...

i could get away with temps in the rockies that i cant on the coast with my down clothing ...

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/15/2011 17:03:26 MST Print View

Bravo! Excellent adventure and excellent writing!

John McAlpine
(HairlessApe) - M

Locale: PNW
Passport? on 02/15/2011 17:28:28 MST Print View


Great read!!!!

I have a stupid question..... Did you need your Passport to cross into Canada? I hear that's how you get out of there. I'm aware of the "Application for Entry to Canada Via the Pacific Crest Trail" permit. THANKS

Robert Carver
(Rcarver) - MLife

Locale: Southeast TN
Thanks on 02/15/2011 17:31:18 MST Print View

Ryan, great writing. Really enjoyed all the articles.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
Great report on 02/15/2011 18:04:35 MST Print View

I guess I can't complain any more that we had 4 days of rain in Washington on my thru-hike...

Thanks for the article. That brought back a lot of great memories.

Patrick McNeill
(patmcneill) - F
Washington IS tough. on 02/15/2011 18:59:22 MST Print View

Thanks again for a brilliant series Ryan.

What shocked me about Washington was the cumulative effect of hiking day after day in wet weather. What surprised me were the mice. It was a constant war fighting them off and I could never get a peaceful sleep because they were always on the offensive.

The most amazing thing about the PCT is how kind strangers are. The friendships on the trail, folks picking me up hitching, angels welcoming me into their homes or driving me back to the trail, people doing trail maintenance, kind people in towns when I looked indigent, the people who stock the caches, provide water reports and free maps, and run the kickoff. I am surely missing many dozens of people. The kindness was overwhelming and life altering. Thank you all.

Eric Ross
(dec0y) - F
Great posts on 02/15/2011 20:11:13 MST Print View

Great writing, Ryan.

It took me until your last article to realize that you and I hiked together on the section between Timberline Lodge and Lolo Pass last year (I think we also hiked with 'The Graduate'). I was the weekend hiker with the big white dog which made my ford over the Sandy river that much more interesting.

Glad you made it!

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Happy Tuesdays on 02/15/2011 21:10:15 MST Print View

The last four Tuesdays have ended so nicely with reading your epic PCT account. Your parting words "Take any ideas people give out as just that - ideas. There is no perfect way to do anything in backpacking, so the best you can do is to get out on the trail and learn about it for yourself." are so appropriate. But thanks too as I know we all appreciate your blow-by-blow account and how your gear worked. Very inspiring to say the least. Somebody said earlier, one of the best reads on BPL. I'll echo that and add I think it is the best read on BPL. Ryan, thanks for sharing it all with us.

Warren Greer
(WarrenGreer) - F

Locale: SoCal
Water Purification on 02/15/2011 21:36:19 MST Print View

Ryan, I noticed you have two forms of water purification, that to me seems mostly the same. Can you explain that for me. Not sure why?

Dug Shelby
(Pittsburgh) - F

Locale: Bay Area
One of my favorite lines: on 02/15/2011 22:21:31 MST Print View

"The end was so close we could taste it, but right now it tasted like rain."

Awesome stuff Ryan, and again, the gear reviews at the end have been helpful. After months of reconfiguring & studying, I was encouraged to find my gear list very similar, section by section. As a first time thru-hiker this is very assuring! Thank you very much for the time you spent on this series.

One thing I wondered about was how your footwear held up. What did you wear on your feet, how did they perform, would you have done anything differently? Everyones feet are so different, as are the weights & displacements/gait & hiking styles, but I'd love your personal take. I have my set-up already, but my curiosity needs to know! :).

Thanks again!


Edited by Pittsburgh on 02/15/2011 22:25:03 MST.

Einstein X
(EinsteinX) - F

Locale: The Netherlands
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/16/2011 04:47:19 MST Print View

I haven't gone out hiking since a long Pentecost weekend in 2010. Reading your articles definitely reaffirm that I need to go out asap. I hope this year I can get a TMB fast pack and a section hike of the Swiss part of the Via Alpina's red trail under my belt.

Thanx Ryan!


Ryan Linn

Locale: Maine!
Re: Hiking Through Hyperbole: A Walk in the Clouds on 02/16/2011 05:40:41 MST Print View

Thanks again for all the comments, everyone. I'll see what I can do to answer a few of the questions/comments.

-Kathy: I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Section hiking affords some major benefits over through-hiking, so I hope it works out great for you. Also, I've met a heck of a lot of 60+ through- and section-hikers on various trails, and they always seem to be having the best time out of anyone I've met!

-Eric Chan: Yeah, definitely the humidity. Probably at least a little bit due to running out of fat reserves and natural insulation along the way, too. By the end I was not too happy about the idea of eating more hiker food. I just wanted a slab of meat and fresh vegetables.

-John: Passport... well, I know you need it to get back in to the US if you plan on going through Vancouver (which I did). If you plan on going to Manning Park lodge and then hiking back into the US, it would also probably be a good idea. But there's no border guard at the PCT crossing. I probably shouldn't say any more.

-Patrick: Amen to the kindness of others. I heard you'll be on the CDT in 2013... I don't know if I'll be able to make it, but it would be really great to hike with you again!

-Eric Ross: I keep my identity hidden :) It was nice to meet you!

-Warren: I ordered five bottles of Aqua Mira drops at the beginning of the PCT and kept the spares in my bounce box. I also had a pile of the solid tabs left over from the New England Trail the previous year. I kept a few in my first aid kit as back up, and then when the liquid drops ran out I switched entirely to the solid ones.

-Dug: My usual advice for future through hikers is "don't listen to anything that anybody says!" But I guess that's a little extreme, so I've toned it down to this. Glad you liked it.

As for my footwear: I started with my trusty NewBalance 811's (Campo to Idyllwild), then switched to Montrail Mountain Masochists (Idyllwild to Mammoth), then back to NewBalance 909's (Mammoth to Old Station) once I figured my feet were okay since I hadn't had any blisters in a while. Then back to the Montrails (Old Station to Cascade Locks), and then I decided to switch things up a bit at the end and tried Vasque Blurs (Cascade Locks to Canada). My feet just don't seem to agree with the PCT-- they were getting blistered up practically everywhere except the Sierras. I think having constantly wet feet in that section actually helped keep my feet healthy (weird, since the opposite is usually true back home). I'm not a certain what made the NB's work less well out west than in the east, but here are the differences I saw: I went with a snugger fit and stiffer soles in the Masochists and Blurs, which seemed to help. The trail tread on the PCT was generally dry, gravelly, dusty, and/or sandy, versus softer/springier dirt (or mud) and solid slab rock on the AT. Different shoes for different trails, I guess.

Whew. That's a lot. Cheers, everyone!

Bryan Crook
(bcrook007) - F

Locale: Nebraska
Well done on 02/16/2011 09:05:34 MST Print View

Well done! Outstanding series of articles. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
All NOBO PCT thru-hikes are ... on 02/16/2011 10:44:13 MST Print View

Reading accounts about other people's thru-hikes generally leaves me with the sense that all NOBO PCT thru-hikes are alike. Of course the individual experience in terms of attitude, company, weather, encounters (human and animal) are different, but so much seems and feels the same, sometimes even down to specific experiences. I live in WA state, and the fellow I started hiking with from White Pass northwards joked with me that Mt. Rainier was invented by locals as a marketing ploy --- we didn't see it until Needle Sight Gap just after Snoqualmie Pass. I had been telling other thru's about all the wonderful berries in WA state in August, but not that year (2008). You didn't mention crossing the Suiattle River, however, so I wonder if that and the giant log blowdown north of Milk Creek were the same fun last year?

I also broke the lower section of my carbon fiber pole after about 3000 miles of use, though for me it was slipping on the first patch of ice in the Smokies last year. I've switched now to use the lightest titanium poles that Leki sell (and guarantee for life).

But even apart from specifics like this, there just seem to be so many more similarities than differences when looking at and reading someone else's NOBO thru account.

You definitely had a better camera than me, however, and/or better ability at using it; I'm sticking with my cell phone for this coming year, albeit an upgrade.

It's fun seeing a thru-hike account summarized like this in four sections; I'm sure that discipline made you think through your daily journal to pick & choose experiences to make it work in that format.
Any chance you'll be documenting a CDT thru next year? :-)

Edited by brianle on 02/16/2011 10:46:17 MST.