QUOTE(findingnine @ Mar 28 2007, 09:41 PM)
Time off this summer is sure to occur. I have been hearing enough about the West Coast Trail to peak my interest. Anyone know about this. What kind of prep is needed. It is unadvisable to go alone?
Depends on your experience. I went with a resonably experienced cousin of mine. I hike quite a bit too, but was slightly out of shape for the trip. We kept each other company, and did the trip in three days. usually its takes six or seven according to parks canada, but we were there in the dry season and using ultralight packs. The cost is somewhat of a point - up to $120 just for using the trail. Plus, booking is like a concert - opens up at various times, and sells out fast. I reccommend september shoulder season, as it may be more dry. Also, much of the trail was washed out by a hurricane a short while ago. Not sure if it's back up to snuff, or if it will even be open this summer.
It is a beautiful trek, one of the best I have ever gone on. Be sure to buy a dungeness crab at the nitnat narrows ferry crossing! (oh my goodness!) A good book to prepare yourself is "blisters and bliss". Grab it at MEC, or check out the other guide books.
As for a partner - this depends on your personal hiking philosophy. I'm more of a solitary hiker, but have been chastised by people who would NEVER go alone. It's totally up to you, but I reccommend it if you are not experienced. If you aren't perpared for the trip, definitely get in shape, and walk around with a loaded pack. You could do this in ft. mac, or on the wauskahegan in edmonton. Are you a regular hiker? If not, the MEC dudes will surely set you up, just be skeptical about the gear you really need. Some people's experience is that this is a cakewalk, other say that it is a very challenging hike. One thing is sure, we met sevral injured people on the trail (and tons of germans), so tread lightly. Don't try to whack the trail like we did, though, taaake your time, and don't let the egotistic german hikers convince you that you need to prove a point.
I must stress, this was a ridiculously beautiful and breathtaking hike. Then again, little rain, little challenge, if you have bad weather, your perception of it might be terrible.
If you go in september, maybe we could meet up at the trailhead - I would love to do the trek again!
Good luck, supernatural BC website should give you the basic info logistically. Darrenbarefoot.com is a vancouver blogger who hikes this alot, I think he has some good content regarding WCT as well.
Oh yeah. Tide tables.