Only five men have ever managed to complete the adventurous Triple Crown of hiking—the longest, most treacherous hike of all time—in less than 365 days. For many, traveling across the globe in this short length of time is an impossible feat, but the first woman has just completed the Triple Crown, in a record-breaking 251 days.
The Most Gorgeous, Intense Hike Ever
The Triple Crown is the most intense hike ever invented. In order to complete the journey, one must hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian, 2,650-mile Pacific Crest, and 3,100-mile Continental Divide trails. Each trail normally takes five or six months to complete, allowing the average hiker up to three years to attempt the Triple Crown.
But the most adventurous hikers, they attempt to walk each trail in one year—a challenge known as the Calendar-Year Triple Crown. This would be one of the most gorgeous travels, and on November 8, the first woman, Heather “Anish” Anderson, became the sixth person to complete this feat.
Famous For Her Hikes
Anderson is a recognizable name with hikers. Before her recent trip, she’d already attempted the Trip Crown two times. She broke the record for Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail.
But she wasn’t going to stop there. She was determined to complete the Triple Crown in less than a year to honor the 50th anniversary of the National Trail System Act, an act to establish trails in urban and rural settings for people of all ages, interests, skills, and physical abilities.
Anderson said, “These trails have been really important in my life and in my hiking career.”
A Question Before She Left
Anderson’s hiking trip began on the Appalachian Trail on March 1, 2018. But before she could begin her journey, her boyfriend had an important question for her.
He proposed to her on Springer Mountain right when the couple reached the top. He had to ask her to marry him before the dangerous trip, and she happily said yes.
Beginning The Long Trek
After the proposal, Anderson started walking, first north on the Appalachian Trail until May, exiting at the Connecticut River in New Hampshire. Then, she spent a few weeks on the Continental Divide trails before starting on the Pacific Crest Trail, where she walked with her fiancé as he worked to complete his first Triple Crown.
In August, the couple continued south in Glacier National Park to northern Colorado. Then, in October, they were back to the Appalachian Trail to walk south from Maine to New Hampshire before making her way through the Midwest to Colorado again.
Then, Anderson hiked her last few miles on November 8 to her final destination: Grants, New Mexico.
Overcoming The Challenges
Anderson’s trip wasn’t easy. While you would think the terrains would be dangerous (and they were), the real challenge was the severe weather conditions. Spring and fall months are hazardous seasons in the mountains. Anderson faced icy rain, flooding, thunderstorms, and more.
But no matter what conditions she faced, Anderson successfully completed the Calendar-Year Triple Crown on November 8, in a record-breaking 251 days, 20 hours, and 10 minutes. She was obviously relieved to accomplish her goal.
Now, she can enjoy controlled climates, regular showers, write a book, and start planning her wedding.