Ask Jack Sharfstein (CS6) and Olivier Poulin (CS8) what they will be doing for the next five months and their answer might be "Currently walking. Tomorrow, walking. Next week, walking some more." That is the simple version. What the pair of CS alums and lifelong friends are really doing is attempting the hike of a lifetime.
One of the world's premiere hiking trails, the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail stretches from Campo, Mexico to the U.S.-Canada border in Washington's Pasayten Wilderness. The most varied of the long trails, the PCT leads hikers through five national monuments, six national parks, and 25 national forest units crossing over 57 mountain passes, dipping into 19 major canyons along the way, and doing it in the wildest way possible. The PCT has more trail sections in designated wilderness than any other of the nation's long trails: 54% of its route.
The two have been training, planning, poring over maps, testing gear, and dreaming of the trip for months. Expecting to resupply essentials along the way, they have planned every bit of weight they have to carry right down to the ounce. "We each have 12.5 pounds base weight," Jack says, "meaning not counting food, water, or fuel." The hike itself will take up to five months and along the way each hiker will wear through at least three pairs of hiking boots. To help them "put their best foot forward," Conserve School donated the first pair of hiking boots for each hiker to get them started on the right foot.
On April 8th, Jack and Olivier took their first steps on this remarkable journey. As of their last report, they have put nearly 400 miles of the fabled trail behind them. Ahead, over two thousands more miles of challenge, adventure, and memories await. Good luck Jack and Olivier. To follow their progress, watch for their posts on Instagram and Facebook.
Photos submitted by Jack Sharfstein