Wherever I May Roam

I first bumped into the Pacific Crest Trail in 2020. Not being able to travel because of Covid-19, I travelled via social media by looking at climbing, surfing, and trekking content. I ended up watching footage from the Pacific Crest Trail, I had never heard about the trail before, nor had I come across the term thru-hiking.

Before we jump into the PCT, let me tell you about my background within the concept of adventures. Since I was a kid, I have loved the outdoors. My first memory of having an adventure is from when I was 11- years old. We travelled to Scotland with my family and did several day hikes around the Highlands of Fort William. There is one particular day that has imprinted into my memory, and my dad’s as he always brings up this story when talking about my childhood.

One of the day hikes we did was up Ben Nevis , the highest peak in Great Britain. My parents hiked it once that day, I went up three times. I was so eager and excited to go up it that day, so when we started, I just started running, leaving my parents behind. Once I got up, I ran back down to where my parents were. Not pleased about their pace, well, I ran back up again and then back to my parents. On my third ascent they had finally caught up to me and we summited Ben Nevis together. As we ate lunch inside the clouds, I thought that it had been the best and most exciting day of my life so far.

Yours truly at the very cloudy summit of Ben Nevis, Scotland

During that trip we also did several hiking days in the Lake District. From peak to peak. Once my parents got up one, they would see me already summiting the next one. I couldn’t stop running towards the unknown. That summer trip to the United Kingdom is one of my best childhood memories.

Years went by and I spent my teens fishing and wandering the nearby forests of my hometown with my older brother. I had a few adventures in Australia, where I did my university degree in my mid-twenties. But what really opened me into the world of adventure lifestyle was rock climbing.

Twenty-five years old, fresh out of university, and just moved into a city where I didn’t know anyone. Clueless of what I wanted to do with my life, I found myself holding onto colourful plastic holds and struggling to reach the next one. But that was it and since day one of climbing, it took over my life. In less than a month I was working in a climbing shop, followed by a bouldering gym, then continuing to build a few, and managing them for a few years. At some point I relocated to a new country but continued working within the industry by becoming a route setter and a climbing coach.

If I planned a holiday, it was climbing related. From dirt bagging in the Swizz alps for a summer, living in a tiny van in Germany, exploring northern Italy, spending summers in South Africa and running amok around Scandinavia.

Reaching for the top on Noormakkonen, somewhere in Finland

I’ve had the pleasure of closely working with brands that push people into seeking adventures, like Arc’teryx, Five Ten, Organic Climbing, La Sportiva and many others. Going to tradeshows to meet up with the teams of companies just pushed my passion forward. The biggest influence were the people. Individuals who were like-minded and lived for the next adventure. Not just climbing adventures: skiing, mountaineering, and trekking.

Through climbing I found people who took me free-skiing, and it didn’t take long until I found myself on snow covered peaks in the French Alps, Norway, and Sweden. I met people who inspired me to capture images and write stories. Hanging out with people, who had hiked in the Himalayas and chased waves around the world.

In 2009 I found myself on my first solo mission. Walking up a steep beautiful footpath towards Annapurna Basecamp. That trip gave me the first glimpse of the highest peaks in the world and in 2014 I returned and hauled a pack full of camera gear to the basecamp of Mt. Everest. Definitely wasn’t ultralight back then, as the weight of the pack was around 23kg /50 pounds. The trips to Nepal started a fire within me, to seek more adventures in the mountains, and for that I will always be eager to return to the Kingdom of Nepal.

Where I fell in love with big mountains, Poon Hill, Nepal

The last years I have ventured to small islands off the coast of mainland Sumatra in Indonesia to pursue waves and stories. I’ve been on assignments by the Finnish national broadcasting company, chasing erupting volcanoes and sneaking through the safety barriers to get better shots of those chaotic events.

Looking back, I think that 11-year-old kid who ran up Ben Nevis would have been proud. But reflecting on my own life now as a 41-year-old. Well, I have been inspired by people who have crossed deserts, mountain ranges and oceans, all while capturing and sharing their stories, and now I am eager to doing that myself.

In March of 2024, it is my turn to cross my first desert, walk over a mountain range and wander through 4265 km / 2650 miles of stunning wilderness what is known as the Pacific Crest Trail. I look forward of capturing images, sharing my story and meeting a whole bunch on inspiring people who will push me to seek more and more adventures.

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Comments 4

  • Michael Turner : Dec 14th

    Greetings Sakari! I hail from just outside of Burney CA and I am also starting the PCT in March 2024.

    • Sakari McGregor : Dec 14th

      Nice, hope to see you on the trail. Will be interesting to see what kind of snow conditions we will have.

      • Michael Turner : Dec 15th

        So far not very much, only a couple storms and most of it was Oregon and Washington so us Nobo’s haven’t been impacted. I have a Mar 8th start date so I’ve been paying keen attention. Living in NorCal makes it easy.


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