An automated translation for those who want to follow me in English on the PCT

January 12, 2022

All starting places for this year are assigned. Just over 500 hikers are nobo (north bound), still 10 are hiking in the opposite direction (south bound, sobo). Beginning in early March until my start date, about 110 hikers will leave before me. Most of them start after me, only a few start at the end of May or at the beginning of June, because then the period until the onset of winter at the Canadian border is very short. My starting group on 5.4. consists of five men and two women (Texas 2x, England 2x, Canada, Wiesbaden - between 33 and 60 years). Before us 11 fellow hikers start the day before and 8 after us on the 1000 km through the desert of California.

06 January 2022

The New Year has begun and with it the excitement increases even more. After the two-week long-distance hike on the GR 249 in southern Spain, I walked as often as I could to my workplace (there and back a bit under 20 km). Currently, this means even more than usual a hike in the dark - it's just winter and the headlamp has passed its test perfectly so far.

The frequent rain and the resulting softened paths have made me a little doubt whether the currently favored shoe is really the most suitable. SPerhaps I will have to do a few test rounds more.

To determine whether my onion tactics applied to the clothing also works with the sleeping bag, I spent the past night outdoors. The combination of two ultralight sleeping bags (Radical ULX and ULZ) allows a flexible adaptation to the changing conditions on the PCT. There were cold feet, however, despite the comfortably warm down filling. But that's more likely due to the fact that the jump from sleeping in the always warm house out into a frosty night is just very stark.

In addition to the equipment in terms of clothing, tent and sleeping bag, I also try to find an optimum in the equipment that today must somehow also be considered necessary: Camera, tripod, power bank, cell phone, possibly a satellite emergency call device. Everything wants to be supplied with electricity - which can be challenging away from a socket in the nearest wall. In the next weeks I want to try out an ultra-light solar panel combination - as already used on the Te Araroa long-distance hiking trail in New Zealand.

My whole equipment should weigh only 4.5-5kg, because I want and need to have another 4-5kg space for food and water. And more than 10 kg with distances of up to 35-40 km in one day I do not want to trust and expect me. So it depends on every gram - you become a gram fox ;-)

November 19, 2021

The permit to hike on the PCT is now confirmed. From the side nothing stands in the way of the adventure!

December 15, 2021

The long-term residence permit by the embassy is also available :-)

09. November 2021

The Permit, the permission to hike the PCT, is won and the date is fixed:

>> Start is on 05 April 2022 <<

The flights were booked the same evening. What is still pending is the interview at the Permanent Mission of the USA in Frankfurt - they don't let everybody in ;-)

August 2021

The time has come, the decision has been made. The next long-distance hiking project has been found.

An idea is born

The Corona Pandemic has determined my life for one and a half years. I was always on standby, did a lot of work and worked a lot of overtime. A few weeks ago, I thought hard about it, felt inside myself, tried to get an overview of my health. In the process, I discovered that I had fallen behind a great deal. I mean, my condition showed enormous deficits and also mentally a limit had been reached: the events of the past months had taken a lot out of me.

But now a dream moved into the focus of my thoughts.

Since long-distance hiking has taken a firm place in my leisure time activities, I dream of traveling to America once in my life and walking one of these three very big trails.

A crazy idea, a dream even.....but some dreams can come true! Even at the age of 60!

Now this nasty pandemic has fatefully brought this dream within reach. I can hardly believe it myself but it is so. My application for a 6-month sabbatical was approved. So I am allowed to use vacation and overtime in a combination of reduced working hours to realize my dream. So it's off to America for 6 months in April 2022. More precisely, because this decision has also been made: It will be the 4265 kilometer Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT for short. Officially Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

It crosses the states of California, Oregon and Washington along its length on the west coast of the USA. So from the Mexican border up to Canada. The PCT is considered the most dangerous of the three major long-distance trails in the U.S. and accordingly there are only about 3500 people per year who dare to try to walk it completely - only a few hundred arrive.

(The three king trails are also called "Triple Crown" trails: the Appalachian Trail with 3.500 km length, the Continental Divide Trail with 5000 km length and the Pacific Crest Trail with 4265 km)

I am very excited and now, as for all the best things in my life, once again I have 9 months to prepare :-).

Anticipation is an important part of any trip. I hope many of you will accompany me on this.

My equipment - lightness is the trump card

When you have to carry everything you need on your back every day, a top goal is to reduce the weight as much as possible. There are a few things that are impossible to do without. And a few things that are simply part of the package, even if they are not absolutely necessary.

Since the hike goes from the desert over the mountains into the (rain)forest, streams and rivers have to be crossed without bridges, the ground will be from sandy to rocky to boggy and the temperatures can range from + 45°C to -10°C, flexibility is the order of the day. This includes my onion principle, which I have been practicing for years - not one thick jacket, but several layers adaptable to the prevailing situation.

I also realize the onion principle with my sleeping bag, which consists of two parts. The high-quality down filling provides sufficient protection even at temperatures below freezing, but does not keep too warm when the nights are lukewarm.