Meet the 9-Year-Old Hiker Who Just Finished the Triple Crown

Christian "Buddy Backpacker" Thomas finished his hike of the CDT this month—making him the youngest person to finish America's three most famous long trails.
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Only about 350 people have hiked the Triple Crown. As of last month, Buddy Backpacker is one of them.

Christian Thomas, 9, completed his section hike of the Continental Divide Trail on September 18 after trekking more than 1,000 miles southbound to Old Faithful in Yellowstone, his family said on their website. He's the youngest person known to have ever accomplished the feat.

Christian completed his first long path at age 5 in 2012, when he and stepfather Dion Pagonis hiked the Appalachian Trail. (Christian's mother, Andrea Rego, supported them, following along in the family's car). Two years later, the trio hiked the Pacific Crest Trail together.

Contributor Bill Donahue profiled Buddy Backpacker in 2015.