Spring begins early on Sunday, March 20, 2016. So does the unofficial start to the new season for thru-hikers. As we have since 2012, we’ll post links to the tales of Appalachian Trail hikers in 2016. Each Appalachian Trail hiker story is a victory unto itself.
As 2016 began, early attempts at thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail were met with weather that could not be predicted. Ice, snow, sleet and frigid winds will change with the seasons and the miles to oppressive heat, driving rain, bugs, thunderstorms and blisters.
No one knows in January who will summit Katahdin to the north or Springer to the south in five or seven months.
Feeble looking hikers will pass the strong, and merrily make it all the way. Perseverance transcends preparation. Adaptation eclipses adherence to a schedule that looked perfectly planned back in your living room.
To thru-hike, you must manage your strength, your money, your psyche, your pace, your diet and your health. Or you won’t make it all the way.
Here are the tales of those who will try to thru-hike, stories of ups and downs along the Trail. Lessons of life and the Trail from those seeking to earn the title of “Appalachian Trail thru-hiker!”