|| From Desert Floors To Mountain Tops ||

Hiking the Crest, the first 12 days and 265 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail

In 2011 I hiked the entire length of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. It took me 130 days to cover the 4265km distance through the States California, Oregon and Washington. It was a journey of a lifetime here are some entries I made during townstops.

Ok so this is it, by now it is impossible to put all my thoughts about this trip in words. It just overwhelms me!
I have seen so many different scenerys in the last days and met fantastic people as I did not in years.

Let me tell a litte bit about the trail so far, the PCT is pretty well marked by now so I just needed the map one time where the trail was covered with snow in the San Jacinto Mountains. It is also well worn and maintained, some sections are also overgrown and covered with fallen trees but more than 95% was easy to follow.

Southern California is not that flat as I was thinking, you go up and down and it can happen that you climb just less than 2000 feet in a 14 mile fully exposed to the sun switchback section. San Felipe hills for example, but I climbed them late and the light in between the hills was just awesome.

I encountered high winds at San Jacintos descending Fuller Ridge where my tarp was frozen by the morning. Trees looked awesome all covered with ice which fell down by the first sunlight. Looked like crystals on this huge pinetrees. I also was kind of weak by the high altitude and too less food which gets more and more important.

Descending from Fuller Ridge was a 25 mile downhill from 9000 feet just down to the bottom of the desert floor. Which was mentally tough but felt great the next day and San Gorgonio Wilderness balanced it more than well.


I changed my allready worn out Salomon XA Pro which did not work in this terrain because of the rubber toe cup I love normally on mountain trails. But it made my toes blistering because of the poor ventilation. You can feel the heat comming from the ground. I switched to a really wide and perfekt ventilated pair of Montrails. Love them from the first mile on trail.

Had some issues with my Laufbursche Huckepack at the beginning, the shoulderstraps are to poor cushioned for my needs. I padded them with some parts of my Z-Lite wich works good. But it seems that I get used to it more and more. But I guess I have to switch the backpack in when I come to the Sierras. Will need more gear because of the huge amounts of snow.

It took me ages to get this gallery done!Just a small selection of pictures I made so far.


6 responses

  1. Great photos!
    How many water do you carry?
    Do you meet other hikers regularly on the trail?
    What day and night temperatures did you face in the desert?

    12. May 2011 at 20:25

    • matthiaskodym

      Depends on the waterless stretches between caches and springs or creeks, but SoCal is pretty wet this year so the most water I have carried so far was 3 Liters for a 20 mile stretch. But i drink as many water as I can at a source.

      So far the desert nights where really warm, most of the time I used just my silkliner, but had some cold nights on San Jacinto (approx. 0°C) and in some Canyons allready.
      Highest day temp so far was 37°C but with a good wind chill. So excellent hiking conditions so far for me.

      12. May 2011 at 23:36

  2. Ingo

    Hey Matthias!

    I wanna see a picture of the big bear 😉
    Keep walking, take care!


    12. May 2011 at 23:20

  3. hi Matthias

    I was already waiting every day for your first report – nice to read from you! I am following you on the map 😉
    Awesome pictures!
    Had the same problems with my pack.

    Good hike for next section, stay safe and happy!

    13. May 2011 at 04:57

  4. RioLeichtsinn

    Hi Matthias,
    but where is your beard? 🙂
    Have fun and beautiful experience.
    Beste Grüße, Rio

    15. May 2011 at 06:23

    • matthiaskodym

      Haha I figured out that it is just not useful in this region. Going for one in oregon. Woods and beards, makes sense!

      17. May 2011 at 16:54

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