Bethany Hughes to Trek From Argentina to Alaska

Plans to make 20,000-mile trip in five years
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Plans to make 20,000-mile trip in five years
[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D40 Focal Length: 165mm Optimize Image: Custom Color Mode: Mode IIIa (sRGB) Long Exposure NR: Off High ISO NR: Off 2008/10/17 11:05:28.1 Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority White Balance: Auto Tone Comp.: Auto Compressed RAW (12-bit) Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern AF Mode: AF-S Hue Adjustment: 0° 1/500 sec - F/11 Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached Saturation: Auto Color Exposure Comp.: -0.3 EV Sharpening: Medium high Lens: 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 G Sensitivity: ISO 200 Image Comment: (c) gerardprins.com (562) 7587209 [#End of Shooting Data Section]

Cabo de Hornos National Park, the starting point for Bethany Hughes. // Wikicommons, user; Gerard Prins

Starting on November 4, American hiker Bethany Hughes will attempt to trek from the southern tip of Argentina to Alaska, a 20,000-mile non-motorized trip that she estimates will take five years to complete.

If Hughes, a 29-year-old PCT vet and the daughter of missionaries, succeeds, she would be the first known woman to complete the trek. Along the way, she plans to use the publicity surrounding her hike to promote local non-profits along the route that offer educational and financial resources to women.

Hughes plan is to follow the mountains through Argentina, Chile and Peru, then move north into Ecuador and Colombia. Hughes will then use a bicycle through Central America and Mexico. Depending on weather, Hughes plans to hike, cycle, canoe, or possibly even dogsled into Alaska.

Hughes—trail name "Fidgit— has been planning this journey for years, saving more than $12,000 from her work, fundraising and sponsors like Hyperlite Mountain Gear. She has taken wilderness survival courses learning to forage for food and build shelters, and has studied a bit of taekwondo for safety.

Lauren Reed, a friend of Hughes from her trip along the PCT, will accompany her through South America. Follow Hughes' journey at Her Odyssey.