I've read a lot about the advantages/disadvantages of a SOBO thru. Mentioned often is a Harts Pass or Rainy Pass start to avoid the issues associated with starting at Manning Park. Assuming a Harts Pass start, how are people getting there?
My plan is to allure a friend from home (Boston) to fly to Seattle with me, rent a car, drive to Harts Pass, hike the ~60mi roundtrip to the border and back to the car. I'll resupply from the car and head south. This is, however, a tough sell. I'd appreciate ideas here.
I would also appreciate some input on hiking south overall this year. I've read the weather/snow data, and understand it's a relatively high snow year and a bit soon to tell how things will end up in July. With that being said I've never hiked out west, so I'm really not sure what kind of snowy hiking conditions one would expect, aside from general navigational issues. Is the snow soft/deep, or generally a hard pack that's easily traversed? My plan is a July 5th - 10th start without snowshoes. I will be taking a GPS unit and ice axe, but otherwise didn't plan on altering my kit much.
Lots of questions, but I'd appreciate any of them answered.