Published on January 15th, 2014 | by Pat
1700 Miles on the PCT in Just Under 3 Minutes
BEND, OR — Oregon-based photographer, writer, and artist Kolby Kirk (a.k.a. The Hike Guy), likes to set lofty goals for himself. For instance, back in 2009, he resolved to get in shape by going on 100 hikes within 240 days, or roughly 3 hikes per week.
It was this resolution that led him to launch 100hikes.com, ultimately spawning his current website, thehikeguy.com. And that’s not to mention the 400 miles of trail he hiked across three countries in the process.
In years since, Kirk has continued to set the bar high for himself. In 2010, he hiked over 500 miles (the 500th mile being in New Zealand… on his birthday, no less), and in 2012, he resolved to make it 700 miles.
But his goal for 2011 was a benchmark in terms of Kirk’s work as a writer and inspirational leader. That year, after being laid off by his employer of six years, Kirk resolved to hike the Pacific Crest Trail — that is, the 2600+ mile trail that begins in northwest Mexico and stretches up through California, Oregon, and Washington into Canada — as far north as he could possibly go.
Starting in Campo, CA, he hiked for 159 days, covering 1700 miles, meticulously tracking his progress along the way. The result, aside from the experience of a lifetime, and the outdoor expertise gained from thru-hiking one of the continent’s most formidable landscapes, was one of the coolest hiking videos ever (watch it above, and be sure to watch thru the end).
Taking a “selfie” each day of his adventure, we can see the Hike Guy’s progress condensed down to three minutes, as the landscapes and vistas change rapidly behind him, showcasing the diverse terrain and countryside one experiences on the PCT.
Even more striking, though, is how Kirk’s expression almost never changes throughout the video, reflecting the resolve and determination of a man who has had his world turned upside-down and refuses to let it stop him.
Oh, and he lost 90 pounds over the course of the hike… as well as growing one of the most epic beards the PCT has ever seen.
If the PCT isn’t on your bucket list after watching this video, you’re just doing it wrong.
Decide the PCT is a challenge you simply MUST take on? Don’t go it alone. The Pacific Crest Trail Data Book, written by the Pacific Crest Trail Association, is your essential, cut-to-the-chase handbook to the Pacific Crest Trail. Packed with trail-tested features, it’s useful both on and off the trail, covering pre-trip planning for resupply stops, how to set daily on-the-trail mileage goals by knowing trail gradient and the locations of campsites, water sources, and facilities, and how to easily calculate distances between two points on the trail. This guide will prepare you for both north-bound and south-bound hiking trips, and is a must-have for any PCT-aspiring.
Like this stuff? Subscribe to our FREE monthly newsletter for even more stories of travel and adventure, right from the trailhead to your inbox.