Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail are all feats on their own. Hike all three in your life and you become a Triple Crowner. This year, two youngsters set out to do it all in a calendar year.
Sammy “Buzz” Potter from Maine, 21, and Jackson “Woody” Parell from Florida, 21, just completed the final puzzle piece to their historical Triple Crown victory. They finished all three trails in a calendar year on Oct. 22, 2021, at the Etna Summit at the Northern Terminus of the PCT.
The 21-year-old duo hiked the trails starting with the AT, then the CDT, then the PCT. They started on Jan. 1 and finished last week, hiking a total of over 7,000 miles with over 1 million feet of elevation in 295 days.
As of 2018, only nine people had completed the calendar year Triple Crown feat (the first was in 2001). And at the end of 2018, Heather Anderson became the first woman to complete it. Potter and Parell mark the 11th and 12th documented finishers — and the youngest ever.
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Even better, the two hikers weren’t just doing the calendar year Triple Crown for themselves — they’ve got a fundraiser going for Protect Our Winters too.
“Our thru-hike this year has confronted us with the devastating effects of climate change,” they wrote. “Wildfires, heat waves, cold snaps — threatening our most cherished hiking trails. Donate to POW to protect these outdoor gems.”