Hello! I'm planning on doing some section hiking NOBO on the PCT this summer. Unfortuantely, I can't do a complete thru-hike, but I'm wondering given the time I have available at about 10 weeks, from approximatley 1 June to 15 Aug 2011 (I could maybe start a week or 2 earlier to do 12 weeks), can anybody help me with some recommendations on the best part of the trail to join and depart from. For example, one option is to just start at the beginning and go as far north as possible in the time I have, but i'm not sure if June would be too late to start given the desert temperatures, water sources, etc.
I know "best" is subjective, but given the weather, ie temp or snow, etc and other issues like where would the groups of thru-hikers that start in April timeframe (ie. kick-off) be on the trail in early June. I am a solo hiker, but would feel more comfortable if other people were around, not necessarily a whole bunch but maybe a few, especially if I'm in the Sierra. I understand there could still be a lot of snow in June. As a side note, I'm from Hawaii, so I'm not used to really cold temperatures any more although i have done som 1-2 week trips other places in snowy conditions.
As far as gear, I'm trying to move toeards Ul equipment and lighten my load. My goal is to carry no more than 20-22 lbs ever if that's possible. So any recommendations on lightweight gear especially in low temp, snoy areas like the Sierra would be appreicated. For example, do I really need an ice axe, microspikes, heavy down insulation layers, waterproof rain gear top & bottom, etc? and if so, what are some good UL recommendations? Do I need a bear cannister anywhere outside teh Sierra? if so, is the Bearvault BV 450 sufficient, or should I opt for the 500?
For maps and navigation - would ETB's atlas cards be sufficient or do i need something else?
Resupply strategy - some suggestions on best places to stop, not sure I would send too many boxes ahead, except for maybe a gear swap. What is the longest time between any places to resupply food and fuel?
I'll try and post my gear list as I flesh it out. I have been reading the forums the past few months so i have some ideas of what others are carrying but feel teh need to ask more specific questions now. So any help would be appreciated.