Mid January and today is the day to attempt another PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) permit. They’ve changed “The Rules” and threaten confiscation and revocation of your permit if you aren’t starting where and when your permit states. I’m a rule follower…I steer clear of getting in trouble! Why risk something unpleasant if I can stay within the boundaries of “the rules.”

Since we aim to traverse the Sierras this year, and we avoid treacherous snow conditions, it’s impossible to know when or where that will be. Yet we have to have a crystal ball and make predictions by 10:30 this morning! (two hours 13 minutes as I write this!)

The PCTA (Pacific Crest Trail Association) and the local agencies that oversee and protect the environs covered by the PCT, have tightened “The Rules.”  It’s not as easy as “Let’s start where we left off.” Or “Let’s wait and see when the conditions are suitable for two Senior hikers.”

We feel that since we are starting somewhere in the middle of the 2650 mile trail, our chances are good at getting whatever we apply for, but who knows where we’ll actually start depending on weather conditions? 

But let’s complicate this a bit more. I have a grandbaby on the way. IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST – In TEXAS! Prime time for the SOBO stretch between Sonora Pass and Kennedy Meadows. Then Debbie has another milestone family event in June! AARRGGHH!

 We have to decide today!

So we hedge our bets and roll the dice. Pick a place and date. We could always relinquish our permit and apply for another IF there is one available for the time and location when the time comes.

What are your strategies for selecting start and end dates through the Sierras?