This winter I’ve hired two more guides, cementing the roster as the most accomplished and knowledgeable team of backpacking guides on the planet. Yes, I’m boasting. No, I don’t think I’m exaggerating.
Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”) will be helping Alan Dixon (“Adventure Alan”) and me guide in West Virginia in early-May. And Heather Anderson (“Anish”) will be joining us in the Colorado Rockies in September.
Among long-distance backpackers, Joe and Heather might be considered legends. Joe set fastest-known times (FKT) on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016 and the Appalachian Trail in 2017, smashing older records set by famed ultra runners like Scott Jurek, Karl Metzler, and David Horton. He lives in Boston with his new fiancee, and last year “run commuted” over 2,000 miles to his full-time job.
In 2018 Heather became the sixth person (and the first woman!) to finish the Calendar Triple Crown, by thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail in a single calendar year. Near the finish, she was met by Flyin’ Brian Robinson, who has been guiding with me since 2011 and who in 2001 became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown. This undertaking was not Heather’s first rodeo — she’s a hiking machine, and you should check out her full resume.
Joe and Heather are exactly the type of hires that I like: they both have exceptional outdoor experiences, and are both very personable. Essentially, they are raw talents — backpacking is one skill, but guiding is another. With days in the field, good mentorship, and a few medical certificates, they’ll become huge assets to the program.