PCT Southbound

Go your own way

Old School and Shortcut

Backpacking Experience
Multiple two night trips

OS - Already in good shape, did one 10-15 mile walk per week with gear.

Ross Lake water taxi to the PNW trail, N to border July 1st  

So. Kennedy Meadows Oct 8th

Hike Result
Old School made it to the US/Mexico border, Shortcut got off at Snoq. Pass and hiked from Sonora to VVR in the Sierras


Old School and his wife Shortcut were working on the West Coast and wanted to take a break from their careers before starting the next chapter of their lives. After three weeks on trail, Shortcut quit the thru-hike attempt due to injuries at Snoqualmie Pass, and Old School decided to go on. Throughout the trail he took significant time off trail to spend time with her. To make these meetings work and keep on schedule with his mileage average, he had to hike big miles days when he was on trail.


“Doing big days back to back is a very romantic idea. But in reality it makes the PCT feel way more like a job. You have to get up and put in your miles, and you really need to be dedicated to going and to going fast. And I think there is a romantic idea associated with that, to say I did 100 miles in 3 days, but the reality is I didn’t stop and lay by a lake, or have a long lunch with my friends. It means I did 100 miles in 3 days and that’s all I did.”


“I think that our relationship worked well because we were dedicated to the relationship more than we were dedicated to the trail. I’m guessing a lot of people have relationship difficulties on trail because they are dedicated to the trail more than anything. Personally I’m lucky because of how supportive my wife was. Having done the first three weeks together she saw how much I loved it and how much of a dream it was for me, and she was super supportive of that. It’s something that we knew would only last for a couple of months and we could stick it out with me hiking and her coming to visit me every two weeks. And I would work really hard to make sure she felt loved along the way. And that meant that I would check for cell phone service on top of every ridge and I would use my one hour of breaks every day to sit on that mountain and call my wife. It was a big effort on both of our parts, and the most important part was that desire of wanting what’s best for each other, even if it meant sacrificing for each other.”


“Know what kind of a hiker you are, and make your expectations based on what you already know about yourself. So if you know you are a very competitive or athletic person, make your expectation to finish. But if you look at yourself and say I love to hike but I don’t know if I can go the distance, then put your expectations in a realistic place.”

The trail itself doesn’t tell you anything (it’s a dirt path), but it allows you to put yourself in situations that tell you who you already are.

The trail was moreso in every way than I expected. It was more beautiful, but more difficult. More rewarding, but more challenging. I think with every expectation I had, good and bad, it was more extreme in every way. And that’s what made it so interesting and so captivating.”