[pct-l] Pct-L Digest, Vol 112, Issue 7

Rachel Egger egger888 at gmail.com
Fri Jun 22 15:36:59 CDT 2018

Hello all,

Long-time lurker on the list, and a member of PCT classes 2016 and 2017. I
have not completed the trail, but I was a thru-hiker in 2017; let me

I completely agree that no one who hasn't finished the trail should be
accepting completion awards, but much of the rest of this issue is just
semantics between hikers. There was an aggressive attitude on the trail in
2017 that anyone who skipped any part of the Sierra, (whether they intended
to flip or come back in a more favorable year was irrelevant), was not
thru-hiking. In my book, anyone who sets out intending to walk the distance
between borders is a thru-hiker, and finishes their hike when they decide
they can no longer continue that season, for any reason. In most cases,
that "finish" is not actually trail completion, but that shouldn't negate
the experience of a long-distance thru-hike or belonging to the hiking
community. Self-proclaimed "purists" who refuse to accept reasonable
alternates (which are part of ALDHA-West's definition for the triple
crown), or who shame other hikers who made choices to skip sections for
personal safety, are part of the problem. The phrase "continuous footpath"
on trail is often invoked to justify walking through wildfire closures, or
trespassing on private land to walk around closures.

I think we're all on the same page really, i.e. just be honest about what
you did or did not do. But we don't have 6 words for the variety of
thru-hike any one person completed, and I think the backlash against
perceived non-traditional thru hikes has frustrated a lot of folks who were
victims of circumstance. This causes them to decide to just round up in the
face of a lot of trash-talk about the personal choices they made. I don't
mean to excuse that behavior, only to add a little context for folks who
weren't on the PCT in 2017. It's disappointing not to hit 100%, and people
need to learn to cope with that, but the community at-large could also do a
better job of accepting hikers who missed the mark. (Is that a problem
created by the young people like myself who happened to come to trail
post-Wild? Meh, maybe.)

Anywho, thanks for listening. I appreciate that pct-l still exists in a
world where the Facebook group is often too noisy.

-Do-Over, PCT '17
(For the record: 2200 miles done and a few more to go. I skipped the
sections in fire closures and flip-flopped back for half the Sierra in the
fall to avoid 2017's lethal peak-melt.)

More information about the Pct-L mailing list