The winter issue of the PCT Communicator magazine is out!
PCT News - Pacific Crest Trail Association
Barney Mann tells the story of William Gray and The PCT’s Third Bestseller in our most recent Communicator Magazine. For more of his articles on the history of the trail, check out the collection at the bottom of our PCT history page.
The first bestseller about the Pacific Crest Trail, The High Adventure of Eric Ryback, was published in 1971. It sold 300,000 copies in seven printings and was translated into Finnish, Japanese and Braille. The most recent bestseller, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, is being made into a movie after almost two years on bookstore shelves. But there was a third PCT bestseller. And just like the other two, it changed the author’s life. Read the full article.
“Two Bar Betty” Wheeler’s report about our summer’s work in the Goat Rocks appears in the winter issue of the PCT Communicator magazine. We didn’t have space to include these pictures in the magazine, but they’re too glorious not to share.
The U.S. Forest Service has upheld its 1988 order closing the Pacific Crest Trail to mountain biking. In a Nov. 25 letter to the Pacific Crest Trail Association, Regional Forester Randy Moore states that the order is consistent with legislation, regulations, directives, the recommendations of the PCT Advisory Council and the PCT Comprehensive Management Plan.
“In order to continue to protect the trail as a resource and to provide a safe and unique recreation experience for the primary users – hikers and equestrians – the continuance of Regional Order 88-4 is needed,” Moore wrote.
Meanwhile, a national partnership of trail leaders, recreation advocates and federal land managers has opened a dialogue on how, when and where mountain bike use fits into the National Trails System.
PCTA continues to believe that the PCT is best used and protected as a resource for hikers and horseback riders. That said, PCTA believes mountain bikes are an integral part of the National Trails System. PCTA supports quality recreational experiences for bikers on public land and we are committed to working with cycling groups to ensure that they have equal opportunity to develop long-distance riding opportunities.
We look forward to participating in the national dialogue in 2014.
In early November, PCTA staff attended the 14th Conference on National Scenic and Historic Trails in Tucson, Ariz. The biennial conference sponsored by the Partnership for the National Trails System, included representatives from scenic and historic trail groups from around the country, federal officials, and others interested in the development, protection and expansion of our national trails.
There has been much discussion of late about the push by mountain biking groups to gain new access to some National Scenic Trails where they have been historically prohibited, including the Pacific Crest Trail. The topic was front and center during the conference. Representatives from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) attended. They participated in meetings about the issue and gave presentations on best practices for building new bike trails and how varying user groups have worked together on some trails.
Most notably, representatives of the Partnership for the National Trails System, PCTA, IMBA, the Backcountry Horsemen of America, American Hiking Society and other trail advocacy groups sat down with leaders from the Federal Interagency Council on Trails. The council includes officials from the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and other federal land management agencies. Among many responsibilities, it’s the council’s role to develop policy for the National Trails System and to ensure quality experiences for all trail users.
The group has agreed to discuss the issue from a system-wide perspective, and will consider a variety of factors and perspectives. We are working as leaders within the Partnership and we are committed to the partnership approach of thoughtfully addressing the issue in collaboration with other stakeholders.
The Partnership recognizes the complexity of this issue and that one size does not fit all. Partnership members have agreed that appropriate uses for each scenic trail will be different depending on a variety of factors. We are committed, as individual partner groups, to supporting one another as we work independently to address issues concerning the nature and purpose of each trail.
The diversity of experiences offered within the National Trails System and the uniqueness of each trail is an important part of ensuring quality recreational experiences for generations to come. For example, the newest National Scenic Trail, the 800-mile Arizona Trail, was designed with bikes in mind and was built by hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Most of that trail, except where it runs through wilderness and the Grand Canyon National Park, is accessible to bikers.
In tandem with our primary partner in the management of the PCT – the US Forest Service – PCTA is committed to working within the Partnership for the National Trails System on developing a meaningful dialogue around the mountain bike issue. We feel it’s imperative that this conversation be civil, thoughtful and deliberate. We urge people to be respectful of those with different recreational desires and to remember that our long-term interests – protecting wildlife and the environment, creating quality opportunities to have fun and being good stewards of public lands – are universal.
Liz Bergeron is the executive director and CEO of the Pacific Crest Trail Association. She currently serves as president of the board of the Partnership for the National Trails System.
To our friends and supporters,
We’ve seen Black Friday, Cyber Monday and a long, wonderful season on the trail. Today help us offset that by participating in #GivingTuesday. This is a national day for donating to the causes that you love.
Your donations make an impact. We’re challenging you to play a part. Send us into the holidays with laces tied tight. Thanks for your support. Donate right now. It’s easy.
Send in your stories from this year. Rodger Dodger will edit them into a book.
PCT Class of ’13,
Want to help me create a PCT ’13 book? Hopefully you are all having fun reminiscing while getting photos/videos to Red Beard for the class video. So I thought now would be a good time to ask if you were interested in going old school, and getting out your pen and paper and telling a story about your trip.
Which story? You know the one. It’s the first story you think of when someone asks about your hike. If you are Anish or Zen Master, perhaps it’s the story about how you shattered the speed record of the PCT. Or if you are EZ Rider, maybe it’s the time you put out a lightning strike forest fire. For Spoons, it might be the time you decided to drop your pack after a 42 mile day in order to run the last 50 miles of the Cascade Crest ultramarathon.
But what if you aren’t a speed-hiking, fire-fighting, ultramarathoner? Then tell me about the time you organized an 18-person night-hike with glow sticks, or had a barbecue by a mountain lake, miles from the nearest road. Tell me about the time you hiked 20 miles the wrong way, or belly-crawled to avoid getting blown off the ridge by hurricane-force winds. Tell me the time that you almost got run over in your sleep by jeeps speeding past your head, or about when you almost got arrested for indecent exposure.
I’d like to put together a book with as many stories as I can get. Not only from hikers, but from trail angels, or trail crew, or loved ones left at home. The only stipulations are that it has to be about the PCT, and it has to be about this year’s hike. The book will be self-published. Contributors will get free copies to share with their family and friends. Other members of the class of 2013 will be able to buy it at cost. The book will also be sold online at Amazon.com, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to the PCTA.
Most people I talked to on the trail thought this was a good idea. Most people I talked to had a story they wanted to tell. Now it’s time to put your pens where your mouths are.
Are you interested in contributing to this book? Please let me know, along with just a sentence or two about what you’d like to write about. For example, here’s my story: I ran across two day hikers in the Sierras. After a ten minute conversation, we discovered that they were my wife’s uncles, whom she hadn’t seen or spoken to in over 25 years.
So, what’s your story? e-mail me at email@example.com
ps. Please forward this request to anyone you know that you think might be participating. The list I have doesn’t even include half the PCT hikers, let alone any trail angels or anyone else that might want to participate.
pps. Here is my trail journal if you are interested http://rogerdodgerpct.blogspot.com.
If you dream of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but want a little help, Yama Mountain Gear has launched a program that’ll hook you up with free gear and advice. In return, you’re challenged to give back to the trail. Yama is an ultralight gear company founded by Gen “Magnet” Shimizu, a long distance PCT hiker. The advisers in the mYAMAdenture program are a dream team of well known PCTers.
mYAMAdventure connects participating hikers with mentors experienced in long-distance hikes. In addition to advice in the planning process, hikers also receive some gear for their hike from gear makers who have teamed up with mYAMAdventure. We aim to help aspiring long-distance hikers while giving back to those protecting our trail systems.
In return, each hiker is asked to fundraise for the Pacific Crest Trail Association, with a group goal to raise $10,000. The hikers will also share photos and stories from their journey online, in hopes of inspiring others to pursue their own dreams — perhaps even embark on their own long hike someday. We’re seeking five people to hike in 2014. If you think you’d be a good match, you can apply on the program page at: www.yamamountaingear.com/mYAMAdventure.
If you can’t go on the hike, but want to follow the hikers’ progress this year, we’ll have their bios available from the above link. We’ll also feature photos and status updates from our group accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr.
As a small business in the outdoor industry, the biggest reward comes from helping people to get outside, especially for their first ‘long’ hike. We can’t wait to welcome this year’s hikers and see the program grow in future years.
Gen “Magnet” Shimizu & YAMA Mountain Gear
The Keen room in Portland was at capacity, and author Cheryl Strayed had the crowd of 200-plus captivated from her first answer.
This was a PCTA fundraiser on the evening of Nov. 13. at Keen’s headquarters in the Pearl District. Keen is a PCTA corporate partner and Tim McGuire, a business unit director for the company, is a PCTA board member.
The format for the event had Mark Larabee, managing editor for PCTA’s quarterly magazine – PCT Communicator – interviewing Cheryl about her best-selling memoir, Wild. Filming had been happening that day in and around Portland for the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, and several members of the production team were in the audience.
PCTA Executive Director and CEO Liz Bergeron warmed up the crowd by talking about PCTA and its mission. Many had only learned of the trail through the book.
Larabee opened by noting that Wild had become a huge success. He asked Cheryl what it was like hanging out with celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford. Cheryl flashed her trademark smile.
“You mean Bob?” she giggled, “Bob, who’s kissed me on this cheek and this cheek?”
Just like she did in her book, Cheryl was open and honest about her experience on the PCT, what she went through writing the story and what her life has been like since the book topped the charts. She spoke for nearly an hour and answered questions from the audience.
Wild has been an amazing success and has brought much attention to the PCT and the PCTA. The movie will bring even more, and PCTA is planning on capitalizing on that publicity to advance our mission of taking care of the trail.
Many thanks to Tim McGuire and Keen for hosting this great event and for the people who paid to come and support PCTA, and a very special thanks to Cheryl for volunteering her time.
Every year someone volunteers to collect, edit and publish a movie about the year’s thru-hiking class. For 2013, Red Beard has streamlined the process at 2013pctclassvideo.com. If the site is an indication, this is going to be an outstanding class video. Submit your pictures and video ASAP. The deadline is January 15th.
Last year’s thru-hiker DVD can be seen here. It should be watched at least three times. We’re fond of the trend towards mixing video into what was previously a slideshow.
All of the existing class DVDs can be downloaded at planyourhike.com/media/pctdvd.php
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