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Number of JMT permits this year?

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  • John
    Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT
    Message 1 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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      Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 

      Could be another record year for the JMT.

      JD
      Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
    • Barbara Karagosian
      Hope they don t drink all the water, lol!
      Message 2 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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        Hope they don't drink all the water, lol!



        On May 22, 2013, at 6:18 PM, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:

         

        Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 


        Could be another record year for the JMT.

        JD
        Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail

      • Frank Dumville
        The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit.  Does the 1300 number include all permits
        Message 3 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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          The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit. 
          Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not include the JMT.
          I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing problems will be reduced.
           
          Snap
           
          From: John <johndittli@...>
           
          Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 
        • Don Amundson
          Some have said Cheryl Strayed s book Wild is somewhat responsible for the increased numbers. I think the prospect of a low snow year may be another. I agree
          Message 4 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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            Some have said Cheryl Strayed's book Wild is somewhat responsible for the increased numbers.  I think the prospect of a low snow year may be another.  I agree with Snap about the dropout rate being higher than 50%.  I just did the first 77 miles of the PCT before the "herd" left after the kickoff. One guy I met decided to stay at Morena Lake, mile 20, until the kickoff to recover from blisters. The two guys I was hiking with dropped out on the second day. There were some others who were going into Julian (a hitch hike from mile 77)  for "body repairs."  At the mile 68 water tank I saw a few gruesome looking feet being attended too. I gave my knee brace I carry "just in case" to a young guy who developed knee pains.  His girlfriend was complaining of leg pains.  I had the feeling in the short time I was on the trail that at least 75% of those I encountered would be dropping out.
            I don't know how you could possibly keep track of the numbers due to the myriad of variables. Some are picking up where they dropped out in previous years.  Some are section hiking.  I know too that some people get a PCT permit just to hike the JMT and/or other areas with no intention of doing a thru hike or even 500 continuous miles on the PCT.  There are a relative few that complete the trail as a thru hike and I have to applaud them.  A 2660 mile walk is a quite an undertaking.                                                                                                                                                                            

            To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
            From: nccctsd@...
            Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 20:01:33 -0700
            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Number of JMT permits this year?

             

            The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit. 
            Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not include the JMT.
            I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing problems will be reduced.
             
            Snap
             
            From: John <johndittli@...>
             
            Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 

          • k2poohtri
            I bet the lottery system is in the not to distant future...
            Message 5 of 18 , May 22, 2013
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              I bet the lottery system is in the not to distant future...

              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" <johndittli@...> wrote:
              >
              > Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT
              > this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that
              > means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered!
              > Could be another record year for the JMT.
              > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trailsee book here
              > <http://www.johndittli.com>
              >
            • judithsmcguire
              We can thank Cheryl Strayed s Wild for the big uptick. The AT attrition rate is 75% (much bigger the year after A Walk in the Woods was published. I d expect
              Message 6 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                We can thank Cheryl Strayed's Wild for the big uptick. The AT attrition rate is 75% (much bigger the year after A Walk in the Woods was published. I'd expect this would play out on the PCT as well.

                Judo

                --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville <nccctsd@...> wrote:
                >
                > The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit. 
                > Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not include the JMT.
                > I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing problems will be reduced.
                >  
                > Snap 
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: John <johndittli@...>
                >  Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 
                >
              • John
                I ve emailed the PCTA for more detailed info as I am interested in the data. The numbers were gleaned of the blog so I am unsure of the exact relevance. I m
                Message 7 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                  I've emailed the PCTA for more detailed info as I am interested in the data. The numbers were gleaned of the blog so I am unsure of the exact relevance. I'm sure the 50% completion rate is approximate.

                  But from the PCTA website, last year ~800 thru hike permits were issued and 353 people emailed them saying they completed the trail. Assuming that most of these people were truthful, and also making the likely assumption that there were some that finished and didn't report back to the PCTA, the completion rate for last season was at least 44%

                  If this years spike is due to the book, then I would guess the attrition rate to be higher as there may be a lot more "unprepared" people starting.

                  Interestingly, this increase somewhat mirrors the marked increased in permits written for the JMT in the last few years.

                  JD
                  Walk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trail
                  see book here 
                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville wrote:
                  >
                  > The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit. 
                  > Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not include the JMT.
                  > I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing problems will be reduced.
                  >  
                  > Snap 
                  >
                  > ________________________________
                  > From: John johndittli@...
                  >  Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 
                  >
                • John
                  the completion # may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed. John ... issued ... to ... attrition ... or ... make
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                    the completion # may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed.

                    John
                    --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" wrote:
                    >
                    > I've emailed the PCTA for more detailed info as I am interested in the
                    > data. The numbers were gleaned of the blog so I am unsure of the exact
                    > relevance. I'm sure the 50% completion rate is approximate.
                    > But from the PCTA website, last year ~800 thru hike permits were issued
                    > and 353 people emailed them saying they completed the trail. Assuming
                    > that most of these people were truthful, and also making the likely
                    > assumption that there were some that finished and didn't report back to
                    > the PCTA, the completion rate for last season was at least 44%
                    > If this years spike is due to the book, then I would guess the attrition
                    > rate to be higher as there may be a lot more "unprepared" people
                    > starting.
                    > Interestingly, this increase somewhat mirrors the marked increased in
                    > permits written for the JMT in the last few years.
                    > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trailsee book here
                    >
                    > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville wrote:
                    > >
                    > > The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or
                    > more. There is no specific thruhiker permit.Â
                    > > Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on
                    > going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not
                    > include the JMT.
                    > > I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make
                    > is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing
                    > problems will be reduced.
                    > > Â
                    > > SnapÂ
                    > >
                    > > ________________________________
                    > > From: John johndittli@
                    > > Â Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the
                    > PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate,
                    > that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are evenÂ
                    > rendered!Â
                    > >
                    >
                  • Ned Tibbits
                    Historically, the PCT completion-in-one-season rate hovered around 10% during the “early years” of the 1970s and ‘80s, climbed into the 20% bracket in
                    Message 9 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                      Historically, the PCT completion-in-one-season rate hovered around 10% during the “early years” of the 1970s and ‘80s, climbed into the 20% bracket in the ‘90s, hit about 25% after 2000, and is closer to 30% mark currently.
                       
                      Since we have been trying to educate and train aspiring thru hikers from 1982, we have found (probably to no one’s surprise) that few really know what they’re in for! Most, I think, romanticize the experience while the majority of the rest just hope for the best, then run off the cliff.
                       
                      Only a few really consider what it will take realistically to accomplish. This means they have to go out onto the trail the years prior during “thru-hiker season” to see what’s there, what skills it will take to get around, how their body is going to react, how much food they will really need to crank out those miles everybody seems to be seeking, or even whether they really want to do it at all.
                       
                       
                       
                      Ned Tibbits, Director
                      Mountain Education
                      www.mountaineducation.org
                       
                      From: John
                      Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 7:55 AM
                      Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Number of JMT permits this year?
                       
                       

                      the completion # may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed.

                       
                      John
                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "John" wrote:
                      >
                      > I've emailed the PCTA for more detailed info as I am interested in the
                      > data. The numbers were gleaned of the blog so I am unsure of the exact
                      > relevance. I'm sure the 50% completion rate is approximate.
                      > But from the PCTA website, last year ~800 thru hike permits were issued
                      > and 353 people emailed them saying they completed the trail. Assuming
                      > that most of these people were truthful, and also making the likely
                      > assumption that there were some that finished and didn't report back to
                      > the PCTA, the completion rate for last season was at least 44%
                      > If this years spike is due to the book, then I would guess the attrition
                      > rate to be higher as there may be a lot more "unprepared" people
                      > starting.
                      > Interestingly, this increase somewhat mirrors the marked increased in
                      > permits written for the JMT in the last few years.
                      > JDWalk the Sky: Following the John Muir Trailsee book here
                      >
                      > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville wrote:
                      > >
                      > > The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or
                      > more. There is no specific thruhiker permit.Â
                      > > Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on
                      > going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not
                      > include the JMT.
                      > > I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make
                      > is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing
                      > problems will be reduced.
                      > > Â
                      > > SnapÂ
                      > >
                      > > ________________________________
                      > > From: John johndittli@
                      > > Â Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the
                      > PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate,
                      > that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are evenÂ
                      > rendered!Â
                      > >
                      >
                    • John
                      Interesting statistics Ned, where did you get your data? John
                      Message 10 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                        Interesting statistics Ned, where did you get your data?

                        John

                        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Ned Tibbits" <ned@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Historically, the PCT completion-in-one-season rate hovered around 10% during the “early years” of the 1970s and ‘80s, climbed into the 20% bracket in the ‘90s, hit about 25% after 2000, and is closer to 30% mark currently.
                      • Carolsteveyoung
                        Re: the WILD book impact, interestingly C S herself was wildly unprepared as she describes in exquisite detail. Chucking those boots! Steve Y Geneva IL
                        Message 11 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                          Re: the WILD book impact, interestingly  C S herself was wildly unprepared as she describes in exquisite detail. 

                          Chucking those boots!

                          Steve Y
                          Geneva IL


                          On May 22, 2013, at 11:57 PM, Don Amundson <amrowinc@...> wrote:

                           

                          Some have said Cheryl Strayed's book Wild is somewhat responsible for the increased numbers.  I think the prospect of a low snow year may be another.  I agree with Snap about the dropout rate being higher than 50%.  I just did the first 77 miles of the PCT before the "herd" left after the kickoff. One guy I met decided to stay at Morena Lake, mile 20, until the kickoff to recover from blisters. The two guys I was hiking with dropped out on the second day. There were some others who were going into Julian (a hitch hike from mile 77)  for "body repairs."  At the mile 68 water tank I saw a few gruesome looking feet being attended too. I gave my knee brace I carry "just in case" to a young guy who developed knee pains.  His girlfriend was complaining of leg pains.  I had the feeling in the short time I was on the trail that at least 75% of those I encountered would be dropping out.
                          I don't know how you could possibly keep track of the numbers due to the myriad of variables. Some are picking up where they dropped out in previous years.  Some are section hiking.  I know too that some people get a PCT permit just to hike the JMT and/or other areas with no intention of doing a thru hike or even 500 continuous miles on the PCT.  There are a relative few that complete the trail as a thru hike and I have to applaud them.  A 2660 mile walk is a quite an undertaking.                                                                                                                                                                            

                          To: johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com
                          From: nccctsd@...
                          Date: Wed, 22 May 2013 20:01:33 -0700
                          Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Number of JMT permits this year?

                           

                          The PCTA issues Long Distance Hiking permits for trips of 500 miles or more. There is no specific thruhiker permit. 
                          Does the 1300 number include all permits or only those planning on going the entire distance? If the former then many of those may not include the JMT.
                          I suspect the dropout rate is higher than 50% but more people may make is through the JMT this year because the snow and stream crossing problems will be reduced.
                           
                          Snap
                           
                          From: John <johndittli@...>
                           
                          Wow! I just read that 1300 thru hike permits were issued for the PCT this year (up from 800 last year). With an annual 50% dropout rate, that means 650 JMT hikers before any JMT specific permits are even rendered! 

                        • Ned Tibbits
                          Just lived it, really. I began planning my PCT thru hike when I was 15 in 1972 and when there was no one to talk to about it. Sure, Ryback published in 1970 or
                          Message 12 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                            Just lived it, really.
                             
                            I began planning my PCT thru hike when I was 15 in 1972 and when there was no one to talk to about it. Sure, Ryback published in 1970 or so, but you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call someone who had done the trail back then. Even the Rangers didn’t know much. We didn’t have the online trail community like we do now! Essentially, I was in the dark for details and had to rely on my own experience with what I anticipated to be my future trail realities (snow, creeks, weather, no trail in existence, no signage, no people on-trail, few people at trailheads, ranger stations not being open, little local food sources like now, etc.).
                             
                            After my CDT trip in 1980, I started Mountain Education to help people learn how to deal with these “Realities of the Trail” so they could do a long hike or at least stay in the backcountry long enough to soak some of it up. I always stayed aware of any news about “thru hikers” since my experiences changed my life as a young man. I wanted to talk to someone who had done the PCT to see if they felt on their journey the same or similar personal, internal changes that I did, but communication wasn’t as prolific as it is now and I didn’t meet one until 2005 when I heard about the PCT Kickoff assembly down near San Diego.
                             
                            So, my “stats” are not from anywhere, just my own awareness of the subject over the years.
                             
                             
                            Ned Tibbits, Director
                            Mountain Education
                            www.mountaineducation.org
                             
                            From: John
                            Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 10:19 AM
                            Subject: Re: [John Muir Trail] Number of JMT permits this year?
                             
                             


                            Interesting statistics Ned, where did you get your data?

                            John

                            --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Ned Tibbits" <ned@...> wrote:

                            >
                            > Historically, the PCT
                            completion-in-one-season rate hovered around 10% during the “early years” of the 1970s and ‘80s, climbed into the 20% bracket in the ‘90s, hit about 25% after 2000, and is closer to 30% mark currently.

                          • John
                            Parallel universes Ned! I too was in the PCT planning phases at 15 (1973) and attempted the walk (incomplete) the year after high school graduation ( 76). It
                            Message 13 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                              Parallel universes Ned! I too was in the PCT planning phases at 15 (1973) and attempted the walk (incomplete) the year after high school graduation ('76). It was all about figuring it out yourself. The trail only existed as a red line some people drew on a bunch of maps (I still have those maps!!!)

                              Ryback was my hero (still have the book(s) too!).

                              John

                              --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Ned Tibbits" <ned@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Just lived it, really.
                              >
                              > I began planning my PCT thru hike when I was 15 in 1972 and when there was no one to talk to about it. Sure, Ryback published in 1970 or so, but you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call someone who had done the trail back then. Even the Rangers didn’t know much. We didn’t have the online trail community like we do now! Essentially, I was in the dark for details and had to rely on my own experience with what I anticipated to be my future trail realities (snow, creeks, weather, no trail in existence, no signage, no people on-trail, few people at trailheads, ranger stations not being open, little local food sources like now, etc.).
                            • Frank Dumville
                              Yes, the PCTA issues a completion certificate for section hikers as well as thruhikers. I ve been issued three permits from the PCTA for long section hikes
                              Message 14 of 18 , May 23, 2013
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                                Yes, the PCTA issues a completion certificate for section hikers as well as thruhikers.
                                I've been issued three permits from the PCTA for long section hikes resulting in one completion certificate. That would come out to a 33% completion rate.
                                 
                                Snap

                                 
                                From: John <johndittli@...>
                                 
                                the completion # may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed.

                              • John
                                This would only be true if you got three permits in one season and then completed the hike in that same season, not sure why you would do that though.
                                Message 15 of 18 , May 24, 2013
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                                  This would only be true if you got three permits in one season and then completed the hike in that same season, not sure why you would do that though. Congratulations on your completion!

                                  John

                                  --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Yes, the PCTA issues a completion certificate for section hikers as well as thruhikers.
                                  > I've been issued three permits from the PCTA for long section hikes resulting in one completion certificate. That would come out to a 33% completion rate.
                                  >  
                                  > Snap
                                  >
                                  >  
                                  >
                                  > ________________________________
                                  > From: John johndittli@...
                                  >  the completion # may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed.
                                  >
                                • Frank Dumville
                                  My point was that I and others that aren t thruhikers are often included in the permit and completion numbers skewing the results. Snap  
                                  Message 16 of 18 , May 24, 2013
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                                    My point was that I and others that aren't thruhikers are often included in the permit and completion numbers skewing the results.
                                    Snap
                                     
                                    From: John <johndittli@...>
                                     
                                    This would only be true if you got three permits in one season and then completed the hike in that same season, not sure why you would do that though. Congratulations on your completion!

                                    may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed. >
                                  • John
                                    Ok, I get that, thank you. I had a long talk with the PCTA today and found out some interesting, though not as informative as I had hoped for, information.
                                    Message 17 of 18 , May 24, 2013
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                                      Ok, I get that, thank you. I had a long talk with the PCTA today and found out some interesting, though not as informative as I had hoped for, information.

                                      First off there is a spike in permits this year due in large part to the fact they went from group permits to actually issuing each individual a permit; BIG difference.

                                      I also found out that they do specifically record thru hike permits, and they do record those that finish the same year they started. However it's all moot as they have all the info but have never processed it!! With the exception of last year when someone volunteered 100+ hours to crunch some data. That's where the ~800 starts and ~350 finisher numbers came from for 2012.

                                      I talked to the Yosemite people last year and they are beginning to pay more attention to permits issued there with Whitney area exit points.

                                      Probably not a lot of people interested in this, but I'm trying to pin some numbers on the trends.

                                      Thanks again for your input.

                                      John


                                      --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, Frank Dumville <nccctsd@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > My point was that I and others that aren't thruhikers are often included in the permit and completion numbers skewing the results.
                                      >
                                      > Snap
                                      >  
                                      >
                                      > ________________________________
                                      > From: John <johndittli@...>
                                      >  This would only be true if you got three permits in one season and then completed the hike in that same season, not sure why you would do that though. Congratulations on your completion!
                                      >
                                      > may include those that completed over several seasons, so the attrition could be skewed.>
                                      >
                                    • Ned Tibbits
                                      Son of a gun, John, I had no idea! Another reason why someday we’ve got to meet! I’ve got that stupid B&W, red-lined, USFS map book of the PCT in CA, too!
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Jun 3, 2013
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                                        Son of a gun, John, I had no idea! Another reason why someday we’ve got to meet! I’ve got that stupid B&W, red-lined, USFS map book of the PCT in CA, too!
                                         
                                         
                                        Ned Tibbits, Director
                                        Mountain Education
                                        www.mountaineducation.org
                                         
                                        From: John
                                        Sent: Thursday, May 23, 2013 1:43 PM
                                        Subject: [John Muir Trail] Re: Number of JMT permits this year?
                                         
                                         

                                        Parallel universes Ned! I too was in the PCT planning phases at 15 (1973) and attempted the walk (incomplete) the year after high school graduation ('76). It was all about figuring it out yourself. The trail only existed as a red line some people drew on a bunch of maps (I still have those maps!!!)

                                        Ryback was my hero (still have the book(s) too!).

                                        John

                                        --- In mailto:johnmuirtrail%40yahoogroups.com, "Ned Tibbits" <ned@...> wrote:

                                        >
                                        > Just lived it, really.
                                        >
                                        > I began planning my PCT thru hike when I was 15 in 1972 and
                                        when there was no one to talk to about it. Sure, Ryback published in 1970 or so, but you couldn’t just pick up the phone and call someone who had done the trail back then. Even the Rangers didn’t know much. We didn’t have the online trail community like we do now! Essentially, I was in the dark for details and had to rely on my own experience with what I anticipated to be my future trail realities (snow, creeks, weather, no trail in existence, no signage, no people on-trail, few people at trailheads, ranger stations not being open, little local food sources like now, etc.).

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