The Class Video for the PCT Class of 2012 is now available to watch online after it was shown at the ADZPCTKO on the last weekend of April. This past week I celebrated the one year “trail-versary” of the day my three friends and I left the Mexican border together and began hiking to Canada!
This video was a collaboration by many fellow thru-hikers and section-hikers from 2012. It was all put together by VirGo, who is an excellent videographer and film editor. Thank you VirGo! I had a smile on my face the entire time I was watching this, reminiscing about the trail and recognizing so many friends! Also, special thanks to Jeremiah Johnson, our group photographer, who did a great job documenting along the way and who contributed many photos to this project!
It is over an hour in length, but it is totally worth it for anyone who has hiked, plans to hike or wants a taste of the Pacific Crest Trail experience. Enjoy!
PCT 2012 Class Video from Alasdair Fowler on Vimeo.
Check out this awesome video, in which thru-hikers and section-hikers from the Pacific Crest Trail in 2012 take the camera and walk or talk for a few moments. It was really exciting to watch this and see again the faces of many friends I met along my 2,660 mile journey last summer, although I never ran into “Buster,” the creator of this excellent video.
It’s a little hard to believe that Beardoh, Jeremiah Johnson, Qball, and I stuck together for the entire PCT, but I’m glad I got to experience the trail with a group like that. It made for some great memories!
Thank you to everyone who helped me and my friends along the way. You trail angels are excellent people! Thanks to those who followed along and offered words of encouragement or sent care packages. Those were much appreciated!
And congratulations to all my fellow thru-hikers, bearded or otherwise. You guys make the experience of a long-distance hike even more interesting, exciting, and fun! Thanks for that!
Yes, Pedro Carlos Torres made it all the way from Mexico to Canada, too! As you can see, he’s about to do some celebrating.
You can’t see the U.S.-Canadian border swath from the PCT until you come to the end of a switchback in a meadow, less than a quarter of a mile from the end. It definitely intensifies the emotions from that moment forward.
On the last full day of my PCT thru-hike, I was treated to this majestic vista, and many more like it.
Stehekin was a fun last stop on the PCT. It sits on the shores of Lake Chelan, the third deepest lake in the United States; which, interestingly, all three of those deepest lakes are along the Pacific Crest Trail! Can you name the other two that I passed along the way?
Marmots are crazy rodents. They whistle at PCT hikers and worship the sun. It made for a cool photo, though. Plus, they are cute, but not as cute as the pikas.
The Glacier Peak Wilderness is in my top five favorite sections of the PCT, along with the High Sierra, Mount Adams, Crater Lake, and Goat Rocks.
North of Snoqualmie Pass I started seeing and hearing pikas on every boulder field and scree slope. They sound just like a dog’s squeaky toy when they squeal at passing hikers. And, have I mentioned that they are really cute?!
We made it to the U.S.-Canadian border at 9:00 am on September 9th. It’s a lot to process, having hiked over 2,600 miles in the last four and a half months. So for today, all I’m going to post is this one photo from the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail! Time to celebrate!
The PCT crosses a saddle just below Cathedral Rock. The next morning we could look back and see the peak standing alone from the rest of the ridge, with a golden halo encircling it.
The Alpine Lakes Wilderness between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass is another very scenic section of the PCT. It is also very popular with locals as a weeklong or weekend hiking destination.
Here is just one example of the amazing views from this section. The clouds burning off from that morning added some more variety to the scene.
The day leaving Snoqualmie Pass was the wettest day of hiking yet. I’m glad I got a true Pacific Northwest weather experience on the PCT, especially since it cleared up later in the day. It didn’t rain so much as drizzle all morning, but it was still cold and uncomfortable.
The mountainsides were socked in, clouding what I’m sure was an outstanding view.
Whoever has been making the mile markers along the PCT got a little creative with the mile 2400 sign. They used Roman numerals to mark mile MMCD!
I took my time as I walked through the fields of berry bushes, collecting a handful of blueberries to snack on. There’s just one huckleberry in this photo. Can you spot it?
The section of the PCT after Mount Rainier was less scenic than what I’d become accustomed to in Washington. When the trail left the protected Wilderness areas it entered a series of clear cuts and burned areas. It wasn’t too bad, as the trail worked its way in and out of the patchwork cut areas and back into forest that hadn’t been logged for many decades.
I found it interesting to see how areas logged twenty or more years ago were progressing through the stages of reforestation, and all the open space meant lots of berries to be picked!
Mount Rainier is a gigantic mountain, and it seemed to grow larger each time I saw it, even as the PCT took me farther away from it!
After the grand view of the clouds and Rainier, the hiker PCT and the stock route go their separate ways. The hiker route climbed up to a pass below Snowy Peak in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, while the stock route stayed lower, winding around the side of the mountain. From the top of that windy pass the hiker trail descends down a steep, narrow, rocky slope known as the Knife’s Edge. The views from up there were once again amazing!
It is a good thing that horses are not allowed on this route because it is so steep that I had to slow my pace way down to make sure I had solid footing as I descended.
The stock route rejoined the hiker route after the steepest parts, but there were still some very sketchy sections of trail after that as well.
As I climbed above treeline in the Goat Rocks, I came around a corner, crossed a large snowfield, and happened upon a heavenly view of Mount Rainier. It felt as if I was looking down at Earth from another world with the clouds sitting so low below me. Like I said before, the Pacific Crest Trail keeps getting better and better.