Day 161: Formulating a plan

Sun. 9/29/13
0 miles, currently at Mile 2599.3, Rainy Pass

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Scouting drive to Hart's Pass.

Today our group planned a zero day, and our focus was to try to figure out every possible option we had for these last 60 miles, lay them all on the table and try to make a safe, smart decision.

The first thing we did today was take a drive up to Hart’s Pass to see what the weather was doing up there. Adam drove, while Cuddles, Fun Size, Lighthouse and I rode along. We left feeling pretty low and expecting to turn the car around halfway up due to snow. We were surprised as we climbed that there wasn’t as much snow as we thought. The weather is still supposed to get nasty, but at least we knew what we were starting with.

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The PCT at Hart's Pass.

So we found snow up there, but probably just a solid 2-3″. We found the trail and hiked both directions for a short ways. We were able to follow it with no problem. We were feeling better, but there were still some serious things to consider. First, more snow is on the way over the next few days. The forecast says accumulations of up to 2 feet total could be expected. Second, Hart’s Pass is at 6,000 feet, but we will get higher than that – up to 7,000. That means even more snow and colder temps. Third, navigating out here in snow can be tricky. Fourth, it’s going to be cold. Fifth, we all have slightly different comfort levels in these conditions.

One thing was for sure, and pretty unanimous – we are all very determined to complete this thru hike. If there’s a chance we could hike the PCT to the monument at the Canadian border, we’re going to do it. We gathered together in a hotel room and started the discussion. After all kinds of alternate options were tossed around, we settled on sticking together, staying in town one more day while the bulk of this storm moves through, then head out Tuesday morning, bound for Canada, hoping for the best. Fun Size’s girlfriend is gathering all the winter gear she can get her hands on and meeting up with us, so we might have some warmer gear from them, which is awesome. I visited an outfitter today and bought a pair of goretex boots and a new, warmer base layer. A few others did the same. So we’re gearing up – physically and mentally for this last push. We have a strong group of amazing people here that I feel very comfortable and safe with, and I am feeling confident that we can do this.

Tomorrow we gather our gear together, food, and watch what the weather does. Plans can still change, but that’s kind of where we are right now.

Congrats to all of you that have made it, by the way! Seeing the photos on the PCT Class of 2013 facebook page is really motivating!

60 miles. 4 days. 3 nights. That’s it. We’ve got this!


Tonight I love the hot tub at this hotel. It was fantastic sitting in there with Adam while cold raindrops landed on my shoulders. Any way I can take that thing with me on the trail?

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Project Rock Removal from the road to Hart's Pass.

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This tiny adorable little mouse squeezed himself under the tread of Fun Size's shoe. He was about as big around as a quarter. Cutest thing ever!

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What is the record number of passengers in the Pickle Jar? We got 8 in today, I think.

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Another snow shot from the PCT at Hart's Pass.

Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!

With love,
Toots Magoots
(Robin Grapa)

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7 thoughts on “Day 161: Formulating a plan

  1. I’m pulling for you and everyone else to finish strong and safe! Congrats for making it this far in such crazy weather. I’m practically at the edge of my seat with every post lately! Can’t wait to hear how you guys crush those last 60 miles! Sending warm thoughts your way. :)

  2. Hey Kid, adapt a plan and plan to adapt!! trek safely, praying for you all and hoping mother nature will be a little more cooperative for all of you. Think Canada Eh!!!!!!! You Go Girl — Pappy —-

  3. Robin, I have been following your journey since July, and have been sharing some of your moments with friends. I wanted you to know I read your request for prayers, and I am praying for you and your companions.

  4. Robin, you are an amazingly dedicated blogger! I love keeping up on your adventure. Such a dependable poster you are.

    You and your group are just east of us, here in Bellingham. I’d love to offer some kind of help but am recovering from hand surgery and can’t drive at the moment.

    I’m wishing you all the best of luck and hope you are able to continue your hike. May the mountain spirits be with you!

    Randy.

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