I Start April 6th!

Yes.  That was nerve-racking.  As expected, about a thousand thru-hiker wannabes rushed the PCTA website all at the same time.  The mosh pit grounded the website to a near halt.

The way the process works, now that I have seen it, is that when you first select your date, they give you exactly thirteen minutes to complete all the pages of the application.  I would fill out the form and click next and it would take nearly a minute before the next page would appear.  I would frantically fill out the form and then sit there watching a flashing “Processing…” message.

The final page before hitting the submit button required me to enter my credit card if I wanted to make a donation and to purchase a permit to climb Mount Whitney.  I had one minute to do it.  I typed as fast as I could, but I wasn’t fast enough.  When I hit the submit button, my application timed out and I had to start over.  I did that right away only to find that 32 of 35 slots of April 6th were taken!

The second time I skipped making a donation.  I have already done that before, so hopefully it will not make a difference in my application approval.  I clicked the submit button.  Processing…

My phone beeps.  I received a new e-mail from the PCTA with a confirmation notice that my application has been successfully submitted.  Now I wait for the formal approval which should be in about three weeks.  As I gave myself a window of April 6th to September 15th, I do not expect for it to be declined.  The first major step of this hike has been successfully completed.  Now I pack for a three-day, two-night section hike of the Ice Age Trail to celebrate.  It is supposed to be cold and rainy.  It is ideal conditions for a shakedown of my gear.


My heart can now stop beating so fast.

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