Vegan Hiker Sets New Record On Pacific Crest Trail
By Tom Banse
Two athletes have separately set new speed records for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Last Wednesday, a Bellingham woman completed the hike from the bottom of California to the Canadian border in 60 days. Then last Thursday, a California man topped her by accomplishing the feat in 59 days. Correspondent Tom Banse got the first interview with him.
The Pacific Crest Trail starts in a desert on the Mexican border and stretches for more than two and a half thousand miles (2,655 miles to be precise) to Canada. A 31-year-old woman from Bellingham covered that distance - alone - at a blistering pace of more than 43 miles per day. Heather 'Anish' Anderson sliced more than three and a half days off the previous fastest time when she jogged across the northern border by the light of her headlamp. But Anderson's record would stand for less than a day. Santa Monica College track coach Josh Garrett averaged nearly 45 miles per day on his solo hike.
Josh Garrett: "I had a couple of close calls. One of my biggest problems was falling asleep while walking... I almost went over a ledge."
Photo: Hiker Josh Garrett. Courtesy of Mercy for Animals.
Neither hiker cooked on the trail. At one point, Anderson posted on her facebook page that she was subsisting on Oreo's dipped in coconut oil and protein shakes for dinner. Garrett is vegan and says he gorged on energy bars, vegan jerky, peanut butter and licorice. Josh Garrett: "We don't need to eat meat or any animal products in order to be healthy or in order to be strong. So I just wanted to go out there and prove that. And I hope I did."
The 30-year-old Garrett used his hike to raise awareness and money for Mercy For Animals, which works to prevent cruelty to farm animals.
These new male and female Pacific Crest Trail records are credible but unofficial. No independent entity sets standards or verifies long distance hiking records.
Garrett reached the northern border in 59 days, 8 hours and 59 minutes.
The previous fastest known time on the PCT was set by Scott Williamson of Truckee, California, who hiked the trail north to south in 64 days, 11 hours in the late summer and fall of 2011.
Both hikers carried their own food and camping gear.
Josh hospitalized on day 3 with heat stroke, but resumed hiking the next day.
Josh Garrett - Hiked June 10 - Aug. 8, 2013: 59 days, 8 hours, 59 minutes.
Heather Anderson - Hiked June 8 - Aug. 7, 2013: 60 days, 17 hours, 12 minutes.
facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnishHikes?ref=stream&hc_location=stream
Pacific Crest Trail Association: