Hiking 2,650 miles on Pacific Crest Trail too easy? Try it in winter

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail is closer to the forefront of popular culture. But tackling the 2,650-mile trail during winter is an unheard-of feat — for now. That’s something backcountry adventurers Justin Lichter and Shawn Forry want to change.

The two men are embarking on an attempt to traverse the entire route during a season when conditions are at their most treacherous and unforgiving. The attempt takes all the challenges of grueling, multi-month backcountry journeys and adds freezing weather, deep snow, avalanches and even more isolation to the mix.

“We’ve been thinking about this trip for five years,” said Lichter, 34, of Truckee, during a recent interview. “If it is a weak winter it increases our odds,” added Forry, 33, of Midpines, Calif. “But it also takes a little away from it.”

While the PCT has been part of the National Scenic Trails System since 1968, there’s no official record of anyone having made a recent credible attempt to through-hike it during the winter months, said Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the Pacific Crest Trail Association.

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