In 2018, Rob took a shot at walking the 2650 miles of the PCT from Mexico to Oregon. However, knee injury, twisted ankle, surgery of someone very close to him, and smoke from fires in the mountains, motivated him to get off the trail more than originally planned.
Although he ‘failed’, he:
- Hiked 657 miles,
- Walked up 108,638 ft (20.6 vertical miles), and
- Burned 162,366 calories (as estimated by the AllTrails app he was using).
He decided that “Enough is not enough!”
In 2019, Rob was joined by his son Ken as they started to thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. His son Ken is coming along. Once their experience no longer have the ‘Wow!’ effect on them, they stopped short. However, they did:
- Hike 1070 Trail Miles (which required hiking 1183 miles altogether)
- Walk up 37 vertical miles
- Burn over 250,000 calories each
- Went over 8 major Sierra passes including Forester, Kearsarge, Glen, Pinchot, Mather, Muir, Silver, and Donohue
- Hitchhike 13 times
- Uber 7 times
- Go through 3 pairs of shoes each
- Suffer through 53 zeros (days with no trail miles) due to weather, dental, and family obligations
A few other statistics from their PCT 2019 trip:
- Maximum Mileage in a Day: 27.8 miles including aqueduct
- Average Daily Mileage: 15.8 miles
- Maximum Elevation Gain in a single day: 5974 ft.
- Average Daily Elevation Gain: 2508 ft.
- Maximum Pace for an entire day: 3.3 miles per hour
In 2020, ‘Kedger’ and ‘Top Rock’ were ready to go again — packed and permit in hand. They had been back in the unnatural world long enough to take in sufficient ‘ugly’ and were ready to get back to ‘Wow!’ They had planned to head up to northern Oregon, to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood, to begin a southbound journey back to Tuolumne Meadows. However, concerns of spreading COVID-19 to the small towns along the trail ended their 2020 hiking before it began.
In 2021, the team took off from Tuolumne Meadows where they left off in 2019 and began walking the remaining distance to Canada. The adventure was going well… until they began approaching the California-Oregon border. Smoke from wild fires continued to reduce the visibility until it was eliminating the primary reason Top Rock and Kedger were hiking which is to see beautiful scenery. Soon the days became just watching the backs of the shoes of the person in front of you. After crossing into Oregon, and evaluating conditions ahead of them, the team decided to stop for 2021. Two days later, the PCTA sent an email to all hikers encouraging the same action.
- Trail Miles: 646 miles (>700 miles of all miles)
- Days on trail: 47 (52 days total including 5 zeros and 5 neros)
- Average Daily Mileage: 10.8 miles
- Average Daily Mileage when Hiking: 14.9 (Neros had a significant impact this year)
- Maximum daily mileage: 25.3 miles
- Maximum Elevation Gain in a single day: 8,360 ft.
- Average Daily Elevation Gain: 2,403
- Maximum Elevation Loss in a single day: 4025 ft.
- Total “Trail” time: 391.4 hours
- Total moving time: 298.3 hours
- Average actual moving time per day: 6.3 hours
- Maximum actual moving time per day: 9.8 hours
- Average moving pace: 2.3 mph
- Maximum moving pace: 3.1 mph
- Minimum moving pace: 1.5 mph
- Total calories burned (Kedger): 225,424
- Maximum daily calories burned: 7,386
Hoping that 2022 will have a calmer fire season and bring back quality long distance hiking to the PCT, the pair picked up at Ashland, Oregon where they left off in 2021 and started walking the remaining distance to Canada. Their hopes were dashed. Not only were the fires back with a fury, but the long winter created strange dynamics on the trail. Fires burning behind them motivated hikers to jump forward, first to northern California. Then with new fires starting there and in southern Oregon, hikers jumped to the middle of Oregon. With the lingering winter, southbound hikers (SOBOs) were unable to start. Seeing their hiking window dwindling, many SOBOs were motivated to jump south … also to the middle of Oregon.
Where were Top Rock and Kedger hiking? Well, from the California/Oregon border north. to the middle of Oregon. The first few days they’d see only a handful of hikers. However, a few weeks later, Kedger counted 30 hikers walking by in the time between stopping for lunch and beginning to eat lunch. Ouch! When they stopped by Shelter Cove to pick up their resupply box, the clerk reported having well over 500 resupply boxes. The boxes had filled the store room and were stacking up in the aisle of the store.
With a fire closure in front of them, more fires reported to the north, herds of hikers coming up behind them and walking towards them, having just crossed the 2000 mile marker, and a clean exit to a regional airport to their right, Top Rock and Kedger made the call to get off trail for 2022.
Our two basic rules: 1) It’s got to be fun. 2) We have to be able to see things. With those rules being broken, it was time to stop.
- Trail Miles: 284 miles (346 miles of all miles)
- Days on trail: 24 (51 days total including 1 zero and 27 days for knee injury)
- Average Daily Mileage when Hiking: 14.4 miles
- Maximum daily mileage: 23.3 miles
- Maximum Elevation Gain in a single day: 2480 ft.
- Average Daily Elevation Gain: 1634 ft.
- Total “Trail” time: 148.5 hours
- Total moving time: 207.1 hours
- Average actual moving time per day: 6.2 hours
- Maximum actual moving time per day: 8.5 hours
- Average moving pace: 2.3 mph
- Maximum moving pace: 2.8 mph
- Minimum moving pace: 1.6 mph
- Total calories burned (Kedger): 96,509
- Maximum daily calories burned: 5,599
Now, for 2023, fingers-crossed with endless optimism, again, hoping that we will have a calmer fire season and that snow will melt very quickly to bring back quality long distance hiking to the PCT, the pair will pick up at Santium Pass, Oregon where they left off in 2022 and started walking the remaining distance to Canada.
Stay tuned. Once they get back on trail, you’ll find them here. Also, check out the Blog for the latest updates.
Find Kedger and Top Rock
Kedger (Rob) and Top Rock (Ken) will be carrying Garmin inReach Global Satellite Technology. The technology enables you to send and receive messages, track and share the journey and — if necessary — trigger an SOS to get emergency help from the 24/7 global monitoring center.
To locate us, click one the links below. (You may need to zoom in on the US west coast to find us and possibly click “View All Tracks” on the upper right portion of the map display.)
Garmin inReach Map for Kedger (Rob) (https://share.garmin.com/Kedger)
Garmin inReach Map for Top Rock (Ken) (https://share.garmin.com/TopRock)
The Pacific Crest Trail
There is a LOT of information about the PCT and other long distance trails available via the internet. Here are a few of my favorite sources of information. If you’re looking for something in particular, contact me and I’ll try to help when I can.
Favorites Information Sources:
- Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA.org)
- PCT Water Report
- Craig’s PCT Planner
- Dixie’s YouTube Channel and her website Homemade Wanderlust
- Darwin onthetrail’s YouTube Channel
- Halfway Anywhere
- Postholer‘s Pacific Crest Trail Snow Conditions
- California Department of Water Resources Data Exchange Center Snow Water Content Charts
- Book: Zach Davis’s Pacific Crest Trials (Note, it’s trials, not trails!)
- Book: Yogi’s Pacific Crest Trail Handbook
- US Forest Service
I’ve used, and will continue to use, dozens and dozens of additional sources, but these have been my favorites.
PCT 2021! – An Early Exit
Fire. Lots of it. Blow Downs. Too many to count. Nature Hugs. Maybe a little too much love from Mother Nature. We’ve ended our 2021 attempt to reach Canada. We did complete hiking all of California, which is just short of 1700 miles of the 2650 mile Pacific Crest Trail. We came for fun and …
PCT 2021! May Teaser Video and Future Blog Posts
If you’re subscribed to our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbFj6ET3f8E0HwQu57wOhtg), then you’ve already seen this video. For 2021, in order to reduce computer time and maximize trail time, I am going to only post videos to the YouTube channel until after we get back from hiking. So, if you’d like to follow along as we go, please …
Continue reading “PCT 2021! May Teaser Video and Future Blog Posts”
PCT 2021! Teaser Video
We received authorization for our PCT Long-distance permits last week. Now they’re printed and we’re anxious to get started. Of course, we need to wait until June. Regardless, here’s a teaser video to set the mood. I’ll post a second teaser once we get closer to launch date. Fair winds.