PCT 24 hr Challenge

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Hobbes
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PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by Hobbes » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:50 am

Don't know how many follow any of the PCT bloggers, but some of them can be pretty interesting. Each year around March/April, I start following a few who I figure will hit the Sierra in May. If they have an IG stream, the photos can/do provide an excellent visual of conditions for planning any early season alpine hikes.

When Andy & I were planning our Whitney hike (http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... =1&t=18106), I was actively following this couple who had entered a few days prior:

https://www.instagram.com/trail_snacks/
https://www.instagram.com/pagggy/

I then found out he had a blog, which turned out to be pretty addictive.

http://notabadplacetopee.com/

The net net was we exchanged a few emails regarding conditions, etc. It was also quite evident they were both very strong hikers. A few weeks later he mentioned he was going to try for the 24 hr challenge while in OR. I thought about it a bit, and decided since the two seemed to represent the best of what hikers should be like, I'd pitch in and sponsor some miles.

Since I knew he was a bull (42 miles in one day into Mammoth in alpine conditions), I added a caveat that I'd sponsor miles over 60. Then, last week he mentioned Spikes was also going to try, so I matched the deal for both of them.

They set out yesterday @ 5am, and reached Cascade locks @ 4am this morning. Total distance: 73 miles. That's right, 73 miles - not solo, but as a young couple. Impressive, no?

Image

Image

PS Have fun catching up on his blog. I think many will like his upbeat, positive style. You may also note they met at mile 400.








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alpinemike
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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by alpinemike » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:39 am

I just don't know how people do it! I've hiked my share of long days. 25 I think in the High Sierra and it was pretty brutal. I suppose if you just never stop you can pull it off, (while also maintaining a 3+ MPH pace) but I worry about how your body feels after doing something as extreme as that.

Been following his blog as well. Used it to help my buddy Dan who's on the PCT with conditions reports. Although Austin is wayyyy ahead of Dan now. The 20+mile days I did with Dan in Northern Yosemite a couple weeks back were very challenging.
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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by Hobbes » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:19 pm

Andy mentioned you were helping support a friend who was hiking the PCT this year. I recall Schmalz - who did Cottonwood to the OR border a few years ago - saying he thought TM to Sonora (N Yosemite) was the hardest section he encountered. Not just the snow, but all the water crossings as well.

I guess Austin is gunning to finish by 8/1 so that he jump over to the AT. Crazy, huh? There's another couple out there trying to do the calendar year triple crown.

I just gotta laugh to myself.

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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by alpinemike » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:23 pm

Yep I supported him and got a bit of an ass kicking on that section from TM to Sonora! My buddy said exactly the same. Hardest section so far and he's now in NorCal and he hasn't had anything come close to it. 7 water crossings I recall where you got your feet wet and more where we avoided them somehow. I met someone who was doing the triple crown in a year. He had finished most of the AT and did about 1000 miles on the CDT already when I met him in TM. That was early June. I wouldn't be surprised if he's only a week behind Austin or maybe 2.
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chulavista
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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by chulavista » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:34 pm

How much does a mile cost?

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Tom_H
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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by Tom_H » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:31 pm

Hobbes wrote:the two seemed to represent the best of what hikers should be like
Could you expand on that? I didn't know there was a standard of what hikers should be like. Seriously, I don't know what that's supposed to mean.

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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:21 am

Tom_H, what came to my mind was this quote:
In our entertainment-driven culture, especially among younger users, wilderness has become not so much a place to find quiet reflection as a playground for physical and mental testing. How far? How fast? How high? Does all this activity fatally compromise wilderness? Perhaps not, but it does change it.
William Tweed, Uncertain Path: A Search for the Future of National Parks, Page 113

I think in an age of changing perceptions of wilderness and even legislation (didn't we have a thread on whether mountain bikes should be allowed in wilderness areas a while back?), this is an issue that definitely needs to be discussed.

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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by balzaccom » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:48 am

Quantitative measurements are easy to compare; miles per day, altitude gained and lost, etc. Once you start doing that, comparisons can quickly become competitions.

I don't remember John Muir ever doing this....or David Thoreau. Or me. But HYOH....
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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by Hobbes » Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:39 am

Over time, fads and temporary enthusiasm wax & wane. It's both a function of (fickle) human nature, as well as commercial marketing efforts. Every activity/walk of life can become a target - it seems pretty random, because you never know when/if/where it will strike.

One day you're hanging out at the park/neighborhood/beach/mountains/museum/lake, minding your own business, and the next, a horde of people have descended, driven by whatever media has attracted their attention. If you get lucky, the group(s) move on to the next craze, leaving the true aficionados - including new adherents - to their own devices.

So, the question becomes, is it possible to distinguish between those who are really interested in promoting separate agenda, or intent on using particular fora to express both direct and/or oblique message(s) vs those who appreciate whatever "it" is for exactly what for it is?

Politics seems to permeate everything, which tends to render subjective perspectives a function of orientation. Are the mountains just nature to be appreciated and treasured, to be experienced while fully in the moment? Or, is the wilderness just another avenue towards greater meaning, to be leveraged in order to address wider topics and other important issues of the day?

AFAIC, I decided to support some kids who epitomize "being there". While I recognize everyone has the right to free speech, personally I simply have no patience for those who merely use nature as a platform/starting point for some other purpose. Now, how one experiences "being there" is also subject to differing opinions; I get that. All I can really say, is that in my experience, each of us has the ability to decide if we want to be happy or bitter.

Happy people tend to be social, as well as support and offer encouragement to others. Those who are sad appear to think inward, to focus on the self. There's really no right or wrong, but it's incumbent to be sufficiently aware enough to stick to one's own tribe. There's a reason the same people/types meet each year in the wilderness. Interestingly enough, HST has their own couple who met under similar circumstances.

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Re: PCT 24 hr Challenge

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:04 am

Another interesting quote from Tweed (Page 116):
We must reinvigorate the perception that wilderness is an antidote to contemporary urban culture. We must market this perspective because other points of view are sold daily to all who will listen. If we fail, the critical mass of political support that has created and sustained these places could easily be lost.
The reality is many organizations that advocate for wilderness protection are sport/competitive. Also, I think most thru hikers and fastpackers would be bummed if their favorite wilderness areas were eliminated. My guess is they probably will go to bat to protect them. We don't have a conceptual framework to understand this because we're in uncharted waters. In the 1970s, it was very simple. The Sierra Club was the preserve and protect organization. Now we have many organizations that do that. Two that come to mind are Outdoor Alliance and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Very different organizations, but both share many of the same values and goals.

I can understand Tweed's viewpoint that wilderness areas weren't supposed to be gyms and that if they're now seen that way, it's possible that people won't object to them being taken away. After all, if you can still go for a jog by an open pit mine or luxury resort in what used to be a wilderness area, who cares. But if the gestalt is changed, that is if the perspective is changed, then it suddenly becomes hey, I want to go on that epic run, and I don't want to see an open pit mine or luxury resort. I'll do whatever it takes to preserve it so I can continue to enjoy my 25 mile run through the wilderness. The same with hunters who don't want to see mining and pollution in their favorite hunting grounds.

I can see how the focus on protecting wilderness areas may be becoming more self-centered i.e. I wanna keep do something athletically challenging and fun each year so I'll do whatever it takes to protect the wilderness versus I want to preserve the wilderness for my children, grandkids and future generations. I can understand why Tweed would be alarmed by that. I personally am alarmed by it as well. It is very different from what I grew up with and find familiar. Things are now very unfamiliar. So a new conceptual framework has to be developed to replace the old one.

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