Stretching from Mexico to Canada, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail is 2,653 miles from border to border. In elevation it goes from 43m(140ft) to 4,009m(13,153ft). It was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968. It literally goes from the desert to the mountains, a challenging change of climate and a totally immersive view of the beauty of this land. Passing through California, Oregon and Washington States, thru hikers come from around the world to trek the PCT.

Now coming from the great state of New Hampshire is the amazing Kristen Pilarcik! Kristen has been a friend of Musa Masala for over a year and when we heard she is going to hike the PCT we asked if there was anything we can do to help. We donated a Garmon inReach Mini 2 for use on the trail and we are going to help along the way.

Along with Kristen we are going to put together a system so students can follow along and watch her dispatches from the trail. We will also be creating a fundraiser to help the Wongchhu Sherpa Memorial Hospital as she does different segments of the trail as she has to go back and teach between sections! (Which do you think will be more tiring?)

We are so excited for Kristen and we did a quick interview for this blog post before she headed out. We will be sharing updates on our social media and more here as her journey goes along. Jam Jam Kristen!!

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am passionate about many things. It’s hard to choose! One of them is teaching Literacy and learning along with my seventh and eighth grade students. Another lifelong passion of mine is running. I began running decades ago (yes, decades! Scary, right?!) and just never stopped. I started with track and cross country, which morphed into running marathons and competing in triathlons. Since I have also been an avid hiker, skier, and backcountry traveler, these pursuits naturally shifted to trail running. It’s probably an easy guess that I would eventually want to try my hand at long distance thru-hiking. I’m also a proud Mom of two young adult children who are each busy with their own pursuits. I live in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, where I get to choose a different trail every day to explore.

Why have you chosen to do this? (The obvious question!)

That is a great question! I believe the answer for me lies somewhere between wanting a challenge or a way to test myself and thereby learn and grow, as well as being immersed in beautiful natural environments. I also love sharing outdoor experiences with others and hope to make friends along the trail!

Tell us a bit about how you will do this in segments.

I will be attempting to complete the trail in segments or sections, since I have specific time parameters around my career as a teacher. Since I’ve chosen to start my section hike in early July, at that time of year the desert would be too hot. Therefore, I’ll be starting my hike further north, near Mt. Shasta in Northern California. I’ll be making my way through Oregon and hopefully Washington state after that!

What are your goals for this first part?

I would like to reach Snoqualmie in Washington state during this segment. That will be over 600 miles! The next time I hike the trail I’ll choose another section, which will be carefully considered regarding trail conditions and weather, and I’ll thus be linking the portions together.

Do you have social media, website or YouTube info to share?

You can follow my journey on Instagram @_kristengo86 and my new YouTube page.