2018’s section hike was planned for Tehachapi Pass to Horseshoe Meadows, then Tuolumne Meadows to Belden — skipping the High Sierras that we hiked in 2016. Hoping for 521 miles. We made 178.5 miles, then exited Horseshoe Meadows for Lone Pine.
The first 140 miles from Tehachapi Pass to Kennedy Meadows camp ground are the driest, hottest, and most exposed miles I have ever hiked. With water carries from 17 to 21 miles, and risking longer if caches are dry, we usually drew 5-6 liters at reliable sources. That’s about 11 to 13 lbs of water. We carried a week of food for the first leg–another 13 lbs. Pack base weights just under 12 lbs. Fully laden packs, 38 lbs. That’s by far the most we have carried on the PCT.