On his 13th (!) hike along the 2,663 mile Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from British Columbia down to the California/Mexico border, Scott Williamson, a tree climber from California, set a new speed record, finishing the length in 64 days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. That is insane. He added 20 miles to his hike with only 12 (another !) drops for food and gear. Interesting part of a recent interview with Mr. Williamson:

“There is more trash, more impact on the water sources and fires have really adversely affected the trail in the 19 years I’ve been on it, particularly in the last 10 years,” Williamson said. “The trail, especially this first 700 miles through Southern California, is radically different due to fire and tree disease. There are stretches that used to be pine forest that now are just chaparral because the trees died due to different diseases or fire. The first 700 miles of the trail are now shadeless.

“The positive changes are that, since there now are about 500 plus people thru-hiking it each year, the preservation and maintenance of the trail is exponentially greater than when I first started hiking this trail,” he added.

“I think the positives in the last 20 years vastly outweigh the negative changes. The maintenance level that is occurring now is much greater than 20 years ago, and I feel there is an effort to preserve the trail from the various threats, the development, things of that nature.”

(via The Goat)


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2 Responses to PCT RECORD

  1. Dan October 26, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Good to hear there is some good to go along with the bad when it comes to the overall conditions of this trail. The changes may be natural – sometimes this stuff goes in cycles.

  2. The Outage November 7, 2011 at 7:27 am #

    There’s been a crazy increase in thru-hikes over the past twenty years or so. Any thoughts as to what’s driving people to the trail?

    And is the ‘PCT experience’ degraded or improved by the ‘crowds’?

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