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.