On May 24, 2019 my friend and I decided to hike to the top of Throop Peak and Mt Baden Powell. This hike follows a segment of the Pacific Crest Trail for a majority of the hike. The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles of trail that stretches from the Mexican to the Canadian border. Hikers that journey the entire distance are called “thru hikers.” Here are some statistics on the entire PCT:
- 2,650 – Approximate length in miles
- 3 – Number of states the PCT traverses through (California, Oregon, and Washington)
- 6 – Number of National Parks the PCT passes through
- 35 – Number of National Forests the PCT passes through
- 48 – Number of Wilderness areas the PCT passes through
- 60- Number of major mountain passes the PCT climbs and descends
- 150 – Average number of days it takes to complete a PCT thru-hike (4.5-5.5 months)
- 489,418 – Approximate elevation gain and loss in feet of the PCT
- 16 – Amount of times a PCT hiker would have climbed Mt. Everest after finishing a thru-hike
- $4000-8000+ – Average on-trail expenses, plan to spend $2 – $3 per mile
- 4-5 – Average pairs of shoes a PCT hiker will go through
- 60% – Percentage of people who complete a thru-hike on the PCT out of those that attempt it
May 2019 was unusually cold and snow still covered the PCT. Here is a photo that captured the weather:
After reaching the summit of Baden Powell, an individual in a white bathrobe introduced himself to me as “Sloth.” Sloth explained thru-hikers are given names and that was his. He proceeded to produce a box of drumstick ice cream and offered me one. I happily took one and thanked him. I was slightly amazed that Sloth produced the box of drumsticks not unlike a magic trick – the box materialized seemingly from nowhere. The ice cream was still frozen and was delicious.
I don’t remember much of the conversation with Sloth, but I do remember he materialized a weed pipe and took several hits before boxing everything up. As my friend and I started the return route, Sloth, wearing sandals, traveled past at such a high rate of speed that his bathrobe flew behind him like the cape of a superhero.
Approximately one year after this event, I thought about Sloth and conducted an internet search for him. I used Google and pieced together a query of “PCT” and “Sloth.” Sure enough an old Reddit forum discussed Mr. Sloth and had a photo.
Met this cat Sloth in the Cali Sierras while attending Wavespell in August. Wavespell is a 4 day music festival featuring my favorite band STS9 and held in Beldentown on the banks of the feather river. I’ve always loved Beldentown as a venue and in no small way because it is along the PCT so we always meet a bunch of awesome hikers. I had a ton of fun meeting this years crop a trail warriors and it felt good to be the beer fairy passing out cold ones to every hiker that was thirsty. You all are amazing! Sloth is hard to miss being that he hikes in a white robe and has mega Lebowski Dude vibes. Hope he crushes out the rest of trail. It’s def gonna start getting chilly. Something tells me this Sloth keeps a rather furious pace…RipCityGringo
Thanks RipCityGringo, that is exactly the Sloth that I was looking for. Thankfully another Reddit user “adamffgghh” posted a photo of Sloth, which was actually quite majestic. I am also thankful the photo captured Sloth in the bathrobe and wearing his unusual footwear.