The Plan - The Pacific Crest Trail

I plan to do the hike in April 2017, a journey of about five million steps and a trail I have wanted to do for years.

The Pacific Crest trail, designated a National Scenic Trail, is 2,650 miles or 4265 kilometers long and stretches from the Mexican border, near the small town of Campo in Southern California; to Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The route travels through 25 national forests and 7 national Parks, most of it through protected wilderness area. It traverses scenic and pristine desert areas and mountain ranges in California, including the Sierra Nevada Range; and the volcanic Cascade Range in California, Oregon and Washington States.

Total elevation change for the hike is 420 880 ft (128 284 m), the highest point being Forrester Pass at 13, 153 ft(4009 m) in the Sierra Nevada, the lowest point Cascade Locks in Oregon at 140 ft (43 m).

I plan to start the trail in the latter part of April 2017 in a northbound direction (Nobo). I will be hiking on my own, mostly resupplying in small towns a few miles off the trail, together with a few mail drops at designated areas. The gear needed to travel the desert, with its water sources few and far between, is quite different to that in the mountains, where bear barrels are needed in the Sierra Nevada to protect bears from getting to your food; crampons and ice axe for snow covered areas, and warmer clothing for elevation). The trick is to travel as lightweight as possible, without sacrificing all one's creature comforts! My goal is to thru-hike the whole distance in about 5 months, and arriving in Canada before the winter snows– the weather window for "snow free" travel through the mountains is relatively short.

I am extremely grateful for the support and help from my brother Darryl, for his discussions and meetings with conservation organisations (including HESC and SAWC), and for being my trail manager in South Africa; my sister Cathryn and my brother-in-law Mike (www.thedesignspot) for creating my web page, logos and ideas to assist with fund raising efforts; and to my partner Stan for all his encouragement and listening to trail jargon and re-supply details. Also thanks to Ben Rudis for his advice on PCT thru-hiking, Kate in Phoenix for assisting with postage of my mail drops along the way, and to my family and friends for their support in my efforts to try and bring awareness and raise funds for the conservation of the rhino.