It’s time to start planning your itinerary for the PSA Trek–July 29-August 4. Whatever itinerary you come up with, you gotta’ know the basics of itinerary planning at Philmont. Here they are. Get out your maps, start trail-talking with friends and soon you will have both a crew (seven person minimum, maximum twelve persons) and an itinerary. And remember, planning is half the fun!
The 9,000 foot rule
Philmont requires that the first three nights at Philmont be slept under 9,000 feet elevation. You can hike as high as you want on any day. The reason for this rule is altitude sickness prevention.
Your itinerary must comply with this requirement. The night before reporting to the Welcome Center on July 29 must be spent in the Philmont area and that counts as the first night. The night of July 30, spent in Camper Tent City, counts as the second night. In order to be compliant with the rule, the first night on the trail must be spent at an official Philmont starting camp or one of the following staffed camps: Zastrow, Carson Meadows, Abreu, Urraca, Crater Lake, Miner’s Park, Clark’s Fork, Cito, Hunting Lodge, Harlan, Indian Writings, Ponil, Miranda or Dean Cow. Trekkers providing their own transportation to the Valle can spend the first night at Ring Place or Whiteman Vega. No exceptions, even if a camp is below 9,000 feet.
Hikes on successive days should generally be in conformity with hikes found in approved Philmont itineraries. Itineraries with hikes substantially exceeding the length of those found in approved Philmont itineraries may be subject to disapproval by Logistics.
Even though your itinerary may comply with 9,000 foot rule and be in conformity with hikes found in the approved itineraries, your itinerary should be appropriate for the hiking abilities of your crew. Not everyone can do a super-strenuous itinerary.
Itineraries shall include the opportunity for 3 hours of conservation work. If the itinerary does not include a camp where the opportunity is offered, or if doing conservation at a camp where it is offered would substantially interfere with the crew’s ability to participate in program, the crew should ask at another staffed camp for an alternative service opportunity and have the camp staff sign the crew leader’s copy when completed.
Bus drop-off/pick-up points
Your itinerary planning must take into account the established bus drop off/pickup points. Those points are Zastrow, Turkey Creek, Cito Turnaround, Rayado, Six Mile Gate, Ponil Turnaround, Lovers Leap, Bear Canyon and the Express Ranch Turnaround. (Just south of the Maxwell Turnaround.)
In addition to the above, personal vehicles may be used to get you to and from the “parking lot” south of Whiteman Vega Camp in the Valle Vidal on Cerrososo Road east of McCrystal campground.
Food pick up points
Your itinerary should provide for food pick-ups. You can pick up food at Ring Place, Rich Cabins, Baldy Town, Ponil, Ute Gulch, Phillips Junction, and Apache Springs.
Your itinerary planning should include consideration of drop-off and pick up points, hiking abilities of crew members, food pick-up, and compliance with the 9,000 foot rule. The rest is up to you. Get your Philmont maps out, start planning itineraries, share those itineraries with friends, and join in the fun of planning! Your Trek experience starts now.
Registration cut-off is June 15, 2012.