Tags: pacific crest trail | winter | danger | hikers

Pacific Crest Trail Winter Woes Plague Spring, Summer Hikers

Image: Pacific Crest Trail Winter Woes Plague Spring, Summer Hikers
A wet winter on the Pacific Crest Trail is causing treacherous conditions for hikers. (Pancaketom/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 26 Jun 2017 05:08 PM

An unusually wet winter has made the Pacific Crest Trail more hazardous for many hikers this spring, causing many to turn back before completing the entire trail.

About 3,000 hikers each year try to cross the entire 2,650 mile trail, but only about a fourth of them make it in 2016, according to The Associated Press.

Besides the extra snow pack that triggered at least one avalanche, this winter's melting snow is making streams and creeks on the Pacific Crest Trail run faster. 

Hiker Anya Sellsted was crossing a creek over a log in Yosemite National Park when she was sucked under the tree and began to drift down the creek with the current. She grabbed some exposed branches and saved herself, but was terrified by the experience, she told the AP.

The trail winds north through California from the Mexican border, then through Oregon and Washington, ending up at the Canadian border. The Sierra Nevada Mountains are the highest part of the trail, and it goes through Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks.

In addition to the near escapes, more than a dozen people hiking the Pacific Crest Trail have drowned this year. Officials are urging hikers to use extreme caution and to wait for more snow to melt before they try to hike the trail.

“Conditions are more like mountaineering than backpacking,” Jack Haskel of the Pacific Crest Trail Association said, the AP reported.

Sellsted tried to stick it out after nearly drowning in the creek, but when she came to another dangerous crossing, she decided to leave rather than take her chances.

“I got humbled pretty quickly,” she told the AP.

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An unusually wet winter has made the Pacific Crest Trail more hazardous for many hikers this spring, causing many to turn back before completing the entire trail.
pacific crest trail, winter, danger, hikers
274
2017-08-26
Monday, 26 Jun 2017 05:08 PM
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