This June, ultrarunner and Adidas Terrex athlete Timothy Olson will endeavor to established a speediest recognized time (FKT) on the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, beginning at the California-Mexico border and finishing at Washington-Canada border. His intention? Crack the present FKT of 52 times and change. Stick to his progress right here.
Timothy is a two-time winner and previous report holder of the Western States a hundred-Mile Endurance Operate. But he has a special relationship to the Pacific Crest Trail, sections of which he’d operate from his home in Ashland, Oregon, where by he started his ultrarunning occupation a ten years in the past. Timothy has been training to established a FKT on the PCT for two many years (very last year’s endeavor getting been postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic). A self-professed “lover of daily life and explorer of mother nature,” Timothy’s intention on the endeavor is to “live consciously” as he operates as a result of the mountains. “I’m not hoping to conquer mother nature,” he says. “I’m hoping to go as a result of and recognize it.” Timothy would like his exertion to be a celebration of our write-up-pandemic return to daily life. “I see this as a time for us all to reemerge from our cocoons,” he says. “I want to established a marker for what is possible.” Here is what he’s up against—and how we programs to tackle it section by section.
Location one: Southern California
Campo to Walker Pass: Miles -652
The southern terminus of the PCT is around the aptly named California town of Campo. A shoulder-large monument a several yards from the wall marking the Mexican border is the official beginning position. From there, the trail forges north as a result of the Sonoran Desert, as a result of the Laguna Mountains and into the Mojave. Daytime temps right here can spike to the hundreds in June, so Timothy programs on predawn starts off. And because there can be up to 30 miles of trail amongst drinking water sources, he will depend on midday drinking water resupplies from his workforce at street crossings and trailheads.
Location 2: Central California
Walker Pass to Donner Pass: Miles 652-one,157
From Walker Pass, around the town of Kernville, the trail dips to the South Fork of the Kern River, the geographic get started of the Sierra Nevada. Arguably the PCT’s most challenging section, the trail as a result of the Significant Sierra spends considerable time higher than ten,000 toes, consists of eight passes in excess of 11,000 toes, and peaks at thirteen,153-foot Forester Pass, the PCT’s large position. Timothy calibrated his early-June get started time to arrive at the Significant Sierra when most of the snow should really be melted, so he will not have to lug heavy gear like crampons and ice axes. The crux of his exertion will be the distant section from Sequoia National Park as a result of Yosemite National Park, where by the PCT merges with the famously majestic John Muir Trail for 160 miles. Timothy most likely will not see his resupply workforce for quite a few times in this section.
Location 3: Northern California
Donner Pass to Oregon Border: Miles one,157-one,689
This Northern California section begins where by Interstate eighty crosses Donner Pass and carries on as a result of the Significant Sierra, but then presents way to the drier volcanic peaks and plains of the southern Cascades. From there to the Oregon border, the skyline is dominated by the Mount Shasta stratovolcano. 3 to 4 months into the 6-week exertion, Timothy will want to listen to his system to stave off overuse accidents he may possibly have to slumber an further hour or two or shorten his times to allow his toes, knees, or shins heal. But with his encounter and capabilities, says coach Koop, “he can be a few times off the report in this section and make it up in a one working day.”
Location 4: Oregon
California Border to Washington Border: Miles one,689-2,one hundred forty four
The least complicated section of the trail, the PCT as a result of Oregon incorporates fewer sizeable elevation improvements, even though the route is no significantly less beautiful, winding as a result of previous-development forests, skirting alpine lakes, and connecting snowcapped volcanoes—including Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, and the iconic Mount Hood—that dominate the skyline. But although the operate should really be a lot easier bodily, Timothy will most likely be obtaining trail weary by this position. Which is where by conference up with his spouse and children at trailheads and street crossings will be a improve. “A hug from [my son] Kai and I’ll be energized to operate all working day,” he says.
Location five: Washington
Washington Border to Canadian Border: Miles 2,one hundred forty four-2,650
Beginning at the trail’s least expensive elevation, the Bridge of the Gods (180 toes) in excess of the Columbia River, the Washington section rises earlier the talismanic peaks of mounts Adams and Rainier and then northward into the rugged and distant north Cascades, possibly the PCT’s 2nd most challenging section. In addition to presenting serious elevation gains and losses and rigorous, risky river crossings, the north Cascades can be the PCT’s wettest section, with recurrent summer season storms that should really examination Timothy’s resolve and gear. “I’ll go quite a few consecutive 60- and 50-mile times with no looking at my crew—and may possibly arrive at the border by yourself if the entry from Canada is continue to closed.”
Where’s Timothy Now?
We’ll be with Timothy every action of the way. You can check his progress right here:
Observe TIMOTHY Listed here