Trevor Laher, PCT hiker, at the Southern Terminus March 2020 (photo Doug Laher)
Trevor Laher at the Southern Terminus March 2020; (photo/Doug Laher)

Hiking Tragedy Spurs Discount on Traction Devices for PCT Hikers

The Trevor Spikes Program and retailer Nomad Ventures team up to help get crucial gear to hikers before they need it.

In March 2020, Trevor Laher was hiking a steep and icy section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) near Apache Peak when he lost his footing and fell to his untimely death. The tragedy shook those close to Trevor as well as the thru-hiking community.

So in 2021, the Laher family started the Trevor Spikes Program, a hiking safety initiative that works with various groups and companies to improve hiker preparedness. This year, Kahtoola, the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation, and Nomad Ventures join the program to offer PCT hikers a 20% discount on Kahtoola MICROspikes.

Here’s what you need to know.

PCT Hikers Microspikes Program

hiking on the PCT
(Photo/GJ Staff)

Accidents like Trevor’s aren’t uncommon, and there are highly technical stretches of the PCT that call for safety equipment beyond the norm. But to effectively mitigate more deaths and injuries along the 2,650-mile trail, someone would have to address two contributing factors.

First is the issue of hiker awareness. Accessibility is a big part of thru-hiking’s appeal, yet that accessibility often means that less experienced, underinformed hikers can end up in situations they’re not ready to handle.

The other issue — at least in some cases — is the availability and timely arrival of adequate technical gear like microspikes. In Trevor’s case, microspikes and an ice axe were shipped ahead to Idyllwild, Calif., where many hikers swap out gear needed for the next leg of the PCT.

Unfortunately, these critical pieces of gear were not with him when conditions warranted.

So, the Trevor Spikes Program will help deliver each pair of microspikes to the Paradise Valley Cafe, a popular spot located in Mountain Center, just before the Apache Peak section.

“This portion of the PCT is the earliest section where hikers might need safety equipment such as traction due to snow and ice,” Kahtoola explained in the PCT safety press release.

For additional hiking safety tips and information, the Laher family and its partners recommend the Pacific Crest Trail Association website.

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Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.