Heather Anderson Completed a Calendar-Year Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is often considered the pinnacle of the thru-hiking world. To complete the feat, a person must hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian, 2,650-mile Pacific Crest, and 3,100-mile Continental Divide trails—a task that typically takes at least three years, with five or six months dedicated to each effort.

But for a select few, there is an even more impressive Triple Crown to be had: Hiking all three trails in a single year, a challenge that’s dubbed the Calendar-Year Triple Crown. At nearly 8,000 miles, you could hike across the U.S. from coast to coast twice with still a quarter of the trip left. On November 8, seasoned hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson became the sixth person, and the first woman, to claim this elite crown.

Anderson is a recognizable name among long-distance hikers. Before this trip, she’d already Triple Crowned twice, setting the overall self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Pacific Crest Trail and the self-supported FKT for the Appalachian Trail. (A new FKT for the Appalachian Trail was set by Karel Sabbe in August, but Anderson still holds the women’s record.) After this season, Anderson is now the fastest woman to ever Triple Crown and the first woman to triple Triple Crown.

“These trails have been really important in my life and in my hiking career,” Anderson says. To walk the three longest national scenic trails, one after the other, seemed like a good way to honor them on the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System Act, she says.

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