The first week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and I hiked from Campo to Julian. What else I experienced in PCT week 1 you can read in this article 🙂 Here it goes to my first post: PCT – Arrival in the USA.
Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 1
- Distance 118.76 km
- Time 29 h 41 min
- Speed 4.0 km/h
- Min altitude 688 m
- Peak 1845 m
- Climb 3184 m
- Descent 3383 m
Day 1: The start of the Pacific Crest Trail
Day: April 5th 2019
Distance: 11,4 mi, 18,2 km
Accumulated: 11.4 mi, 18.2 km
I am at the Monument, the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail and am excited, happy and impatient. I need to start, but before I have to take a few pictures.
Since it is a little drizzly I start in my rain jacket. Nevertheless, it is perfect hiking weather: not too warm, cloudy and a light breeze. After a short time it goes up- and downl. The trail will certainly not be easier. Thanks to the rain, there are many water sources that are normaly dry.
A lot of hikers rev up and have a hell of a pace. I am calm and run my pace. I have half a year ahead of me and my body has to get used to the strain. After 11.4 miles I decide to set up my tent and meet Nils, who was also at Scout and Frodos place. We chat, cook dinner and go to bed early.
Day 2: The first night in my tent
Day: April 6th 2019
Distance: 9,0 mi, 14,4 km
Accumulated: 20.4 mi, 32.6 km
The alarm goes off at 5:30 and I’ve slept more than 10 hours. Some condensate in the tent but nothing dramatic. I’ll run out and make breakfast at Hauser Creek. The sun comes out and the temperatures rise quickly. Perfect for drying my sleeping bag and my tent.
A steep ascent follows and I meet two trail runners who want to take a photo with me. Sure, no problem. Since the first day is still in my legs, I decide to stay at the campground in Lake Morena and treat myself to something to eat. Afterwards I Drink a few beers and sit at the campfire with other hikers.
Day 3: Lost on the PCT
Day: April 7th 2019
Distance: 12,2 mi, 19,5 km
Accumulated: 32.6 mi, 52.1 km
It starts early and I notice after a short time that I have lost my way. Behind me is Nils and we’re trying to get back on the trail. According to the map we only have to walk to a small stream, which crosses the PCT again later.
Arriving at the stream we notice that the plan is not so easy to implement and decide to wade through the ankle deep stream. Again on the PCT it goes through great nature. At Kitchen Creek a longer break is taken to refill water, to eat and to relax. Kitchen Creek is a paradise.
Afterwards it goes a few miles further to the Campsite.
Day 4: Some relaxation
Day: April 8th 2019
Distance: 8,9 mi, 14,2 km
Accumulated: 41.5 mi, 66.4 km
The next morning we walk through a breathtaking backdrop to the Campground of Mount Laguna. Here we buy food and I treat myself to a salad and a beer. Afterwards we talk to other hikers and relax.
A short day, but the body has to get used to the effort. The first hikers are already out after 3 days with tendinitis, because they had to run 36 miles (57 km) in the first two days.
Day 5: The Unexpected Storm
Day: April 9th 2019
Distance: 18,2 mi, 29,1 km
Accumulated: 59.7 mi, 95.5 km
I start a little later and enjoy a beer for breakfast, which a trailangel has left on the spot. It’s colder and stormier today.
The wind gets so strong, you can barely move forward. I can hardly enjoy the great views, as I have to be very careful with my steps.
After 15 miles (24 km) I notice that the all places for tents are empty. It’s impossible to set up a tent. Other Hiker have also moved on. The storm sweeps over the mountains at frightening speed, leaving an unpleasant feeling behind.
I stay calm and know the sun won’t go down for another two hours. So I still have time to find a place to sleep. Shortly before 6 pm I meet a place where several Hikers placed their tents with difficulty. I decide not to pitch my tent. It’s too late and too stormy.
Instead, I’m going cowboycamping. I place my mattress between two other tents, pack my sleeping bag into my waterproof bivi and try to sleep as sheltered from the wind as possible. The night is a grey one and nobody comes to rest. Around 11 pm, the storm calms down a bit and I fall asleep.
Day 6: The day after the storm
Day: April 10th 2019
Distance: 15,8 mi, 25,3 km
Accumulated: 75.5 mi, 120.8 km
The next morning they all look super dirty. The sand went into the tents and through the sleeping bags. Nevertheless, everyone is happy to have survived the night.
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The PCT continues through nature with breathtaking views. It feels like a western movie. Karl May described the scenery perfectly in his books, although he was never there – somehow impressive. Shortly before Scissors Crossing the camp is set up and I enjoy the sunset. A fantastic day.
Day 7: Rest day in Julian
Day: April 11th 2019
Distance: 1,5 mi, 2,4 km
Accumulated: 77 mi, 123.2 km
We walk a few miles to the road and hitchhike to Julian. My first hitche is super comfortable and I almost fall asleep on the mattress at the back of the car. Arrived in Julian “Moms Pie” offers free apple pie with ice cream for PCT Hiker.
The four of us Nils, Lila, Debo and myself share a room at Julian Lodge. Showering, washing clothes, buying food for the next days and relaxing. For dinner we have a big Mega Pizza.
The first week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and tomorrow we continue towards Warner Springs. I’m curious to see what happens next. Here it goes directly to Week 2
If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.
Best regards, Martin