Yesterday, long distance hiker Josh Garrett launched his attempt to set a new record for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail end-to-end. The 30-year old track coach at Santa Monica College will be trekking the entire 2655 mile (4272 km) this summer as he also hopes to raise funds and awareness for a cause that is very near and dear to his heart.
The current speed record for the PCT is 64 days, which means in order to break the record, Garrett will need to average close to 42 miles per day for more than two months. Thats a pretty grueling pace for most of us, although he does have the benefit of having walked the entire trail before. Back in 2009 he backpacked the PCT in 88 days, which is a great effort for someone who wasn’t even considering a speed record at the time.
While on his hike this summer, Garrett hopes to raise funds and awareness for the Mercy For Animals organization. It’s a non-profit dedicated to preventing cruelty to farmed animals. Over the past 18 months Josh has become a vegan and that lifestyle has inspired him to want to do more for improving the way we treat animals in general. The MFA website has posted an interview with him discussing his efforts. They also have a page in place for anyone who wants to sponsor Josh. He is hoping to raise $26,550 and is already nearly 10% of the way there.
The Pacific Crest Trail wanders from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada along the far-western portion of the United States. The route goes through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, providing hikers with some extremely scenic landscapes along the way. It passes through California, Oregon and Washington, avoiding civilization almost entirely. It is considered one of the best long-distance hiking routes in the world and true gem amongst backpackers the world over.
You can follow Josh on his adventure along the PCT at his Twitter feed which is @VeganHiker. Not too many updates so far, but hopefully we’ll hear from him regularly as he attempts the new speed record.
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