Like a thru hiker, time marches on...
...is still in the planning stages
Greetings Pacific Crest Trail Community!
This is an official update regarding ADZPCTKO 2016! We
realize that we are releasing the dates of the kick off
later than we have in recent years. Primarily, our reasoning
- The campsite reservation system for the County of
San Diego underwent a major revision in the last year
and we are now required to have a contract with the
county in order to hold our event at Lake Morena
Campground. They have experienced a series of
setbacks, which have
prevented us from receiving the contract in a timely
manner. We reserved the campground for the event long
ago, but are STILL waiting for the final contract from
the county so we can begin to negotiate the terms. We
have been assured that we will receive the contract
soon, but until that happens, we can’t go forward with
key things (renting equipment; lining up food service;
notifying vendors, potential presenters, and attendees,
etc.) We had hoped to have a contract in hand before
making any announcement, but since we have been getting
so many inquiries, we are letting you know what’s
- In the past, we have not announced the details
of the event until fairly late in the season –
because we want to encourage hikers to plan their
start dates independent of the KO. The PCTA’s
implementation of the permit quota has helped to
spread out the “herd” and we would like to do our
part by encouraging you to use our ride share board
on the ADZ website to find a ride back to the KO
from wherever you are on the trail. It has been used
quite successfully in past years.
Please keep in mind that the ADZPCTKO is put on
entirely by volunteers…who also have full time lives
outside of this event. We work very hard to put on a
great weekend for the hikers, and could certainly use
more help. If you are interested in joining our gang,
please let us know and we will add you to our email
Thanks for your patience. We will post updates
regularly (at least once a week) whether we have new
information or not…
The ADZPCTKO Organizers.
As always, we encourage hikers to plan their start date
independent of ADZPCTKO. You have lots of other factors to
consider: snowpack, weather, school and work schedules, permit
availability, best airfares, etc. etc. Planning around ADZPCTKO
should be way down the list. You can always get a ride back to
Lake Morena from points north along the trail; our Ride Board
can facilitate your transportation needs. Happy New Year!
Getting to Lake Morena
- If you need a ride to kick off or you can give a ride,
check the Ride
- March 4: Registration opens for 2015 thru
hikers only. Registration will remain open until we're full;
last year, that took 17 days.
- March 10: Registration opens for those who
want a cabin.
- March 15: Registration opens for past thru
- March 20: Registration opens for
future thru hikers and other interested folks. It'll remain open
until we're full, but that might be only a day or two.
- March 25: Registration opens for day
visitors. If you weren't able to snag a campsite, you're welcome
to come out for the day.
- March 28: Registration closes for campsites
- April 17: Registration closes for day
visitors. Day visitors can register onsite.
New for 2015
new for 2015: two ADZPCTKOs! The dates are:
- Wednesday afternoon, April 22, through Friday morning, April
- Friday afternoon, April 24, through Sunday morning, April
You can attend either session, but not both. All the important
events and seminars will be presented at both sessions.
With two sessions, we hope to spread things out a bit, making it
less crowded on the trail, and less crowded at Lake Morena.
Did we say seminars? We've got all the traditional favorites,
plus new ones including "Mindfulness on the Trail" and "Winter on
the Trail," the latter one presented by someone who knows that topic
better than anyone--Shawn Forry (better known as Pepper), who along
with Trauma just completed the first-ever winter thru hike on the
Also new this year: at each session we'll be conducting a raffle
with lots of cool prizes, including packs, shelters, and more.
Alas, it is no longer free for thru hikers to attend the Kick
Off. There are several reasons for this change:
- The fee, $10, is a nominal amount, and is much less than our
cost per hiker.
- The $10 fee is the same amount Lake Morena would charge
thrus to stay for two nights; however, at the Kick Off, the fee
includes presentations, vendor displays, some meals, and lots of
- We are doing our part to decrease the sense of entitlement
that has been steadily increasing over the years. By paying a
nominal fee, thru hikers make a contribution not only to the
event but to the community that helps support them on their
- Charging a nominal fee also decreases the number of no-show
thru hikers, which can be as high as 25% in some years.
We hope you will agree that is a positive change that will ripple
out into the greater PCT community.
Photo: Monte Dodge
ADZPCTKO co-founder, president and wagonmaster, and
giant of the PCT community Greg "Strider" Hummel passed away
December 31, 2014, succumbing to ALS. ADZPCTKO will go on
without him--but it sure isn't going to be the same. Rest in
Check out the ADZPCTKO online store
Did you pick up a T-shirt at KO? No? Well it's not too
late...because we just opened our
online store! You'll not only find our latest T-shirt, featuring
words of wisdom from PCT legend Billy Goat, but also T-shirts from
previous years, in men's and women's styles. Oh yeah: insulated
travel mugs and travel wallets too. Remember our motto: All shirts guaranteed to be as wrinkled as shown in the photos.
year the ADZPCTKO organization reserves the entire park, so
you can't book a campsite through the park reservation system.
Instead, you make your reservation on this site when registration
opens in March. All campsites are shared; we fill each site to the
maximum capacity allowed by the park (8 campers). When you make a
reservation, it's not for a "campsite"; rather, you're reserving one
of the eight spaces in a campsite.
In 2014, registration for different groups of people began on
different days, starting with 2014 thru hikers on March 3, and
ending on March 20 after everyone had a shot at registration.Check the
registration page for details. Check back here periodically for more details, or
follow us on Twitter (@adzpctko).
Did someone say "bandana"?
all about the tradition started by 2002 thru
hikers Gottago, Yogi, and Cupcake, and learn how you can get a
Who should attend ADZPCTKO?
Our focus has always been on Pacific Crest Trail
and the events at Kick Off are designed primarily for these intrepid
hikers. If you:
- Are attempting to thru-hike the PCT in 2015, you can
get needed permits and we offer seminars, up-to-date information
on trail conditions, last-minute equipment checks, an
opportunity to get to know your fellow hikers, and plenty of
inspiration and guidance from those who've gone before.
- Are planning a thru-hike attempt in the next few years,
you can see (and buy) state of the art equipment from vendors
who specialize in ultralight gear for long-distance hikes, learn
more about the trail experience and the beautiful country that
the PCT traverses, and join the trail community.
- Have completed a substantial portion of a thru hike,
you can reconnect with others you hiked with, and share your
pictures, your knowledge, your joys, and your harrowing
experiences with a new generation of hikers.
If you're not in one of these categories, ADZPCTKO is probably
not for you. Although we'd love to throw it open to anyone and
everyone who has a passing interest in the PCT, we no longer have
the space to do that. Come on back when you're ready for your thru
What to Do Now