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Fwd: Washington Pacific Crest Trail

I am passing this on to those of you who are interested in the condition of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington State.

From: "David Foscue" <>
To: "Nancy DuPont" <>
Cc: "Bob Ballou" <>, "Reuben Rajala" <>,
        "Lynn Sprague" <>
Subject: Washington PCT
Date: Fri, 28 Jan 2000 22:24:50 -0800
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.2314.1300

Bob forwarded your E-mail to me.
The Washington PCT is being maintained for stock, but it is difficult.  As you know, one tree can stop a horse trip and we have lots of trees here.  Imagine trying to maintain the trail through the Sierras if there were thick forests with trees 150 - 200 feet tall and 10 feet thick that suffer through 50 to 80 feet of snow each year.  In places there is a fairly narrow snow free window.  I remember my first plan to hike in the North Cascades on the PCT (it may have been the Cascade Crest then) in the early 70's.  We couldn't get within 8 miles of the trail head because of 20 feet of snow on the ground on the Fourth of July.
I have planned rides on the PCT in Washington terminated by winter caused slides.  However, I've been lucky with the blowdowns - there was a trail crew cutting away at one impassable downed tree when I arrived.   At another I was able to unpack and unsaddle my horse and get him to scrunch enough to get under a tree across the trail on a steep slope. 
Except for such problems, I have found the PCT to be maintained for horses.  Well there is one problem bridge near Glacier Peak that seems to get wiped out by avalanches fairly regularly and It seems to take several years to get replacement funding.  When the bridge is out it is "impassable to stock" but some make it through.  As I write, I think of another area I had trouble - there was a an area south of Snoqualmie Pass that had been logged 10 or so years before.  The trail just kind of petered out in a series of game trails.  Hikers were having the same troubles riders were with the area. 
Anyway, I did not find that the PCT in Washington was being maintained for horses at a lower level than in Oregon and California, as a rule.  I haven't ridden all or Washington recently so I may not be aware of new problems --- but I do try to keep my ears open.
I would appreciate knowing what stretch of the trail your correspondent had trouble with.  We can see that the area gets attention this year or put some heat on the particular forest to do its work.
See you in DC?
David Foscue

Nancy DuPont, Executive Director
Heritage Trails
1350 Castle Rock Road
Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Our Mission: To preserve and protect trails and answer the question, "Where are you going to ride your horses, and where are you going to keep them."
Telephone (925)937-7661 FAX (925) 943-7431

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