Duo Completes First PCT Winter Thru-Hike

Justin "Trauma" Lichter and Shawn "Pepper" Forry completed the winter trek in just 132 days.
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Justin "Trauma" Lichter and Shawn "Pepper" Forry completed the winter trek in just 132 days.

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Shawn Forry (left) and Justin Lichter jump for joy at the southern terminus of the PCT (photo/Pea Hicks)

Shawn Forry (left) and Justin Lichter jump for joy at the southern terminus of the PCT (photo/Pea Hicks)

Plenty of hikers have completed the Pacific Crest Trail, the 2,650-mile route stretching from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. None, however, had dared attempted it in winter, when sub-freezing temperatures and deep snowdrifts complicate an already-difficult endeavor.

Until now, that is.

On Sunday, Justin "Trauma" Lichter and Shawn "Pepper" Forry, completed the first ever winter thru-hike of the PCT. The duo began their trek on October 21st at the northern terminus of the trail in Washington and completed it on March 1st, a total time of 132 days. That's a pretty fast time even by summer hiking standards, making it remarkably fast for a winter journey.

"People have always thought winter thru-hiking was too dangerous. Justin and Shawn are strong backcountry skiers though, so if anybody could have done it, it would have been them," said Jack Haskel of the Pacific Crest Trail Association. "They are also great advocates for the PCT, so we are happy that they were able to do this."

Lichter, originally from New York, is a ski patroller who has hiked some 35,000 miles since 2002, equal to almost one and a half times around the Earth.

Lichter signs the register, marking the end of the hike (photo/Pea Hicks)

Lichter signs the register, marking the end of the hike (photo/Pea Hicks)

Forry works as an Outward Bound Lead Instructor and Wilderness Adventure Musher. He is originally from Pennsylvania, but currently resides is California. Since 2003, Forry has hiked about 20,000 miles through 26 states and 7 countries.

Forry signs the register (photo/Pea Hicks)

Forry signs the register (photo/Pea Hicks)

Read more: PCTA