As we navigated our way through the last mud covered switchbacks of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail), we caught a glimpse of Monument 78 standing proudly on the border between the United States of America and Canada. This monument had been in our sights for more than five months. Even in the initial planning phase of the 2650 mile (4286km) journey, this was always – without ‘ifs or buts’ – our ultimate goal.
Today’s Milage: 13.7mi (22km)
Bush Camp: 12.1mi) to Boulder Oak: (25.8mi)
Remaining Miles to Canada: 2624.2mi (4,223.24km)
Today’s Milage: 12.1mi (19.47km)
US/Mexican Border: (0.0mi) to Bushcamp: (12.1mi)
Remaining Miles to Canada: 2637.9mi (4245.28km)
It was 3:50am – my eyes opened. As I went to take my earplugs out I could see my brother Kenyon was already gearing up for the day. I stared at the tarp above me knowing what my brother and I were in for.
Firstly, I’d like to thank my parents for being such wonderful trail hosts. They put me, their homeless son, up for a few months while I prepared for my trip over to the United States.
It’s actually quite an accomplishment to be well prepared for a thru-hike. By well prepared, I mean prepared in all areas which include training, equipment, knowledge of the region and it’s weather, a setup of communications while abroad from family and friends, permits, visa extensions, itineraries, finance for the trip as well as for ongoing home requirements.
With five months until I depart for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), I’ve been leaving my training hikes until the evening as the morning sun is way too hot here around this time of year. Things will continue to heat up until the end of January next year. I struggle with the heat even when not hiking, which is something I’m mentally preparing myself for before I take on the PCT.
A few minutes before starting the day, I just lay in bed thinking of everything I had to accomplish. A couple of months prior, I took comfort in knowing that I still had more than six months to prepare for the massive 4,264km (2560 miles) hike ahead of me. This morning presented a significant day. It finally marked six months before I’d depart Australia for the United States before heading out on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Time had suddenly turned from ticking – to tick-tocking.
One of the first things we did was exit our hotel and walked a few blocks in the sweltering 113ºF (45ºC) heat in search of the Big Bus Tour. We aren’t tour people but this tour was a great way to get our bearings in such a new and spread out city. Sadly, the best part about the bus tour for myself was the soundtrack which played between commentary. It was that good I spent a bit of time in search for it online but couldn’t track it down. My success rate for tracking things down is usually quite high.
A lot of training and gear selection went towards the preparation of a hopeful summit of Island Peak (Imja Tse) 20,305ft. With the biggest snowfall Nepal had experienced in almost a century, our dreams of climbing our first peak above 6000m vanished overnight. We were trekking towards Gokyo Lakes when the snow started to fall. At first the snow was light and made for great photos, but three hours later it was falling in sheets.
Above: My brother taking on one of the many high passes of New Zealand. Waiau Pass is not to be taken lightly. It’s notorious for it’s sudden change in weather conditions. I pieced together this animated gif as my brother hiked his way south towards Hanmer Springs.
This is a reblog from my brothers blog site. Below the following images is a link to the last day of his traverse of New Zealand.