On March 1st 2015, Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter accomplished a feat that has not only never been done, but has only been attempted once before. They hiked the entire 2,560 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail, from Canada to Mexico, in winter! Trail Designs was proud to support their amazing achievement withour Sidewinder Stove system, and we join the following voices in congratulating them on this "first" in long distance hiking!



You Think Your Winter Was Rough?

"Perhaps it feels a little self-indulgent to celebrate two guys who took a long walk. But what a walk! Like the 4-minute mile or the free climb of the Dawn Wall at Yosemite, this is something that seemed beyond human capacity — and then humans did it."

— Nicholas Kristof

First-Ever Winter Thru-Hike of the PCT

“What Shawn and Justin have done is really remarkable,” said Jack Haskel, trail information specialist for the PCTA. It’s not just their willpower that is impressive. The outdoor skill and planning involved in such a feat push Forry and Lichter into the upper echelon of long-distance hikers.

— Shelby Carpenter

Hikers complete winter thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail

Justin “Trauma” Lichter and Shawn “Pepper” Forry completed a winter thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail today…. They started their hike on October 21, 2014 and finished March 1, 2015 for a total of 132 days. That's a remarkably fast hike considering the conditions and the fact that they took time off around Christmas.

— Jack "Found" Haskel

Duo Completes First PCT Winter Thru-Hike

"Plenty of hikers have completed the Pacific Crest Trail, the 2,650-mile route stretching from the California-Mexico border to the Washington-Canada border. None, however, had dared attempted it in winter, when sub-freezing temperatures and deep snowdrifts complicate an already-difficult endeavor."

— Nick Elges

The Season's Best Gear—  Winter Guide: Camp Kitchen

" Most people don't think you can use alcohol stoves in the winter, but with the Trail Designs Sidewinder Ti-Tri Stove System, Justin "Trauma" Lichter and his partner Shawn "Pepper" Forry were able to sustain their 131-day [winter PCT traverse] trek on denatured alcohol, even in temps well below 0° F"

Winter of Their Snowbound Tent

"Masochism comes in many colors, and for Justin Lichter and Shawn Forry that color is white — the color of snow.  As if trekking the entire Pacific Crest Trail wasn’t daunting enough, these two California-based ordealists just complete the first-ever winter thru hike of the PCT."

— Chris Emery

Across A Continent In Winter: Gear For The PCT

"We thoroughly tested and researched all of our gear before the trip,” Lichter said. “As a result we greatly minimized our gear failures. We went into the trip with a good feeling that our equipment would succeed. We had two failures and they were both because of our oversight."

Record Book: The First Winter Crossing of the Pacific Crest Trail

"It's definitely a personal journey," says Forry. "Just being able to dream up ideas like this and go out and live it."  — Shawn Forry

Greatest Record-Breaking Feats of 2015

It takes heaps of fortitude to tackle the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail in its entirety. But to hike the length of the continental U.S. from border to border in the dead of winter… takes something else entirely.

Doubt and Triumph on the Pacific Crest Trail in Winter

"I was filled with a cocktail of wonder and worry that would loom over me for the next 2,660 miles. Had we considered every variable? Had we calculated every risk? Had we honestly assessed our own level of skill and delusion? Only time would tell. "

— Shawn Forry

Gear that survived 2,650 snowy, muddy, rugged miles

"After spending the day hiking a demanding route in cold weather the ability to make a warm meal is critical for physical and mental well-being. Lichter and Forry used the [Sidewinder Ti-Tri] by Trail Designs. "

— Benjamin Spillman

The Wild Men

"Plenty of people have hiked the 2,650 miles Pacific Crest Trail, from British Columbia to the Mexican border, but no one’s ever done it in winter. Until now. "

— Vanda Gyuris

A Pacific Crest Trail first: Duo’s winter hike-thru

"Shawn Forry and Justin Lichter, experienced hikers and outdoorsmen, accomplished something that nobody has ever done before, what some people said amounted to a death sentence. They completed a hike-thru of the Pacific Crest Trail in the dead of winter."

— David Strege

The joyous, muddy end of an epic Pacific Crest journey

"Before their start date October 21 Forry told friends he calculated their odds of succeeding at 17 percent.  But those odds took a sharp jump for the better a few weeks ago when the duo descended from the High Sierra tired, hungry but otherwise unscathed. For people in the hiking community who track accomplishments on the Pacific Crest Trail the successful culmination of a wintertime hike is considered a monumental accomplishment."

— Benjamin Spillman

Winter Pacific Crest Trail Interview—  Justin Lichter (Trauma)

"When I saw that Trauma and Pepper had completed the hike, I knew I wanted to get their insights and thoughts right away. I had been thinking about doing adventure-related interviews on my blog. So without much thought, I fired off a few questions to Trauma and this is the result."

— Eric Larsen

Hikers Complete First Winter Traverse of the Pacific Crest Trail

"Think completing a spring/summer/fall thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail is amazing? (It is!) Then check this out: Justin "Trauma" Lichter and Shawn "Pepper" Forry completed the first known winter traverse of this 2,650-mile trail, where lingering deep snow conditions can sometimes shut down determined, experienced hikers even in the summer."

— Lisa Maloney

Duo completes first winter thru-hike of Pacific Crest Trail

"Never mind that they took time off the trail at Christmas and were blessed with an extremely low snowpack in the Cascades and Sierras this season: Shawn Forry, 33, of Midpines, Calif., and Justin Lichter, 34, of Truckee, Calif., still had to slog through snow and slush, skirt cornices and avalanche danger and endure bitter cold and frostbite in their carefully chosen ultra-light clothing and gear totaling about 18 pounds apiece.."

— Rich Landers

Hikers first to thru-hike PCT in winter

"It’s tough to do an adventure that no one else has done. Plenty have climbed Mt. Everest or Mt. Whitney, biked or walked across the U.S., hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, run through Death Valley, yo-yo’d the Pacific Crest Trail. But Justin "Trauma" Lichter and Shawn "Pepper" Forry recently did something no one else had ever done, and they found it right here on the West Coast."

— Ed Zieralski


NPR NW News Network's Tom Banse did an article at the completion of the trip that was picked up by a few NPR outlets.   Below are links to that article

On the completion of Pepper and Trauma's record setting winter traverse of the PCT, the Associated Press distributed an RGJ Benjamin Spillman article that was picked up by a number of news outlets.   Click on the links below to see the individual stories from around the world.


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