[pct-l] PCT medal and awards

David Hough reading PCT-L pctl at oakapple.net
Fri Jun 22 14:54:21 CDT 2018

So over 13 years, I've done almost all the PCT official and hiker alternates,
 * the equestrian route through Sulphur Springs campground, which probably
 doesn't exist any more;
 * the bit of the Eagle Creek alternate between Wahtum Lake and the Indian
 Mountain trail;
 * the Angeles NF part of the official route that's been closed to protect
 the frogs for many years (so it's time to change the official route?)

So what?  With luck I could get my family and friends to listen
for about five minutes.    Much more interesting would be the story of
somebody who got through the High Sierra safely, early in a high snow year,
even if they got burned out of Mt Jefferson and Columbia Gorge.

So what should ALDHA-West do?    One approach would be to give up on giving
certificates for unverified completion, and instead invite anybody who
claims completion to give a five minute talk on the high points and low
points and what they learned.     Then the speakers get a certificate
that they gave a presentation at ALDHA-W (which is verified) without
implying endorsment of all their claims.

Of course, anybody who has credibly
done something really new and different and interesting is likely
to be invited to give a longer presentation, since that's always been about
80% of the talks at ALDHA-W.

In my off-trail life, I attend professional conferences which have invited
keynote presentations, referreed contributed presentations, and poster 
sessions for anybody who thinks they have something interesting to 
communicate.     That has the advantage that the other attendees can spend
as much or as little time on each poster as they think worthwhile.

But ultimately it hardly matters.    One's hiking achievements,
whether they are truthful or exaggerated,
do not figure in academic tenure decisions or matter much to an audience much 
larger than ALDHA-W members. 

Of course an organization like ALDHA-W or PCTA could issue a booklet
to hikers that they could get stamped at trail angels and trail town 
businesses.    That's like the Camino de Santiago.    
A completed one would be about as credible as any other certificate.
It wouldn't prove you hiked between the stamped points, 
but it would be a nice souvenir.


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