Hello and Thanks for Visiting!
This will be my first blog to date. With that in mind I’m lacking some of the typical blogging etiquette that would have created a more tasteful experience for readers of this website. I can only apologise in advance. However, you’re here now… so read on!
What a way to begin though. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Bound for Canada five months after setting off from what will be my eventual start point, approximately 2,650 miles away on the Mexican border.
About the PCT
Deliberately steering clear of civilisation, The PCT lies about 150 miles inland from the USA’s West coast. It travels through three states – California, Oregon and Washington. Each year several hundred people set upon the trail, chasing that allusive title of ‘thru-hiker’. As it stands, less people have thru-hiked the PCT than have climbed Everest, whilst a majority (60%+) fail to complete it.
*Thru-hiking is when a long distance trail is covered from end-to-end, rather than hiking a section.
Here’s some additional info about the challenge ahead:
- There are almost 60 major mountain passes to climb.
- 19 major canyons to descend into.
- Passing by over 1000 lakes and crosses up to 6 rivers a day in some areas.
- The trail is apparently well marked and you are left to your own devices to make it to the Northern Terminus in Manning Park, British Columbia. As it stands I’ll be starting on my own at the Southern Terminus in Campo, California.
As you can imagine when hiking through the wilderness of North America, it comes with its fair share of hazards. Willingly, I’ve tormented those closest to me with an information overload about the following…
- Bears – both Black and Grizzly. But that’s not all! (Those closest to me, please think twice before reading this!)
- Other interesting members of the animal kingdom found along the trail include cougars (the feline kind), rattlesnakes and even coyotes. I’ve since been warned that rogue cows, bees and mosquitos pose more of a threat. Click here for an amusing article about that.
- Dehyrdration – certainly for the first 300 miles or so through the desert. Water sources are scarce, so I’ll need to be well prepared and carry plenty.
- Severe weather – particularly in the mountainous areas where I’ll encounter snowy conditions.
Why am I doing this?
For those that are currently unaware, a huge motivator behind taking on this challenge was the unfortunate loss of a friend to a cardiac-related issue. Matt was in his prime and had notoriously lived life on the edge. Personal experience of this came from skiing and most often on the rugby pitch. It’s not too often that a Winger becomes a Flanker (only the crazy ones). He’d always aim to be in the thick of the action; whilst I’d be hunched over, hands on my knees, gasping for air… if I wasn’t injured already that is.
In Matt’s memory, I’m actively looking to fundraise as much money as possible for Cardiac Risk in the Young (C.R.Y.). This is a local charity helping to raise awareness and funds for those affected by YSCD (young sudden cardiac death). Click here or look on the menu for a link to my fundraising page.
Other personal reasons have led to the PCT too. It could be a great way to start again and focus on my passions. I get much more of a buzz when seeking adrenaline. For a few years now I’ve held back somewhat. Lots of mistakes along the way have somehow led me to doing this. Let’s hope that it leads to somewhere more positive!