Upcoming Calendar Year Triple Crown

Who Even Are You?

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you I have a tenacity for doing things differently.  Whether it be that I prefer to run at 5:30 a.m., enjoying the physical and mental torture of bagging peaks solo, down to the simplest things in my being like how I think all spiders are friendly.  On top of this, when challenges are brought to the board there is an instinctive, “Heck yeah, let’s go for it,” plucky attitude that resounds in my brain like a gong, each and every time.  

This has to lead me to some very interesting places.  From climbing rooftop cranes at age 16 (you can’t prove anything), hiking across my home state on possibly the sandiest trail to ever exist, driving the entire West Coast with a friend, stopping wherever we please, down to things like climbing a Class IV 14er after coming from sea level less than 12 hours prior.  Sometimes this attitude leaves me drowning in a sea of unexpected events. However, never have I come out the other side a worse person. Each experience we undergo molds us, shapes us, and forms us into someone we are meant to be. Like clay, we come into the world formless and our own decisions and experiences give us texture, turning us into something uniquely beautiful. 

I’ve got to confess something to you.  I’m still a young whippersnapper. In fact, when I post this I still will not have graduated from college.  The aforementioned views are undeniably naïve, but I hope I never lose anything that they have taught me.  In fact, they’ve guided me to where I’ll be going for all of 2020.

You’ve Gotten Your Degree, Now What?

The pressure of needing to take the next step in life can ironically stop us dead in our tracks.  From the very moment I’ve stepped foot onto this college campus I’ve been hounded by what I believe the future holds for me.  Rightfully so, as the future is undeniably exciting! Last year, with graduation looming, I needed to find something that would leave me satisfied.  The idea of jumping straight into a career was no doubt the responsible decision, but an unsatisfactory one. Looking around, I saw everyone following different versions of the same trail through life, and I always want to be different.

So when it came time to make a decision, there had been a storm forming in my brain that was growing more and more powerful by the day.  I had become infatuated with stories of hiker heroes who had accomplished insurmountable feats. Legends of FKTs, hiking to make the world a better place, and those who have logged enormous miles throughout the year.  This was something I could do.

Steps Toward Preparation

The first and biggest step was admitting this idea to my girlfriend, who at the time had never envisioned that we would be apart for the better part of a year.  The idea fumbled around a bit between us, but we eventually came to an agreement where we could make something work. Literally could not ask for someone to support me more than the way she does.  The second step was gathering as much information as possible about this task, which was surprisingly harder than it seemed. The third step was explaining to all your friends what it is exactly you’ll be doing (and then having to explain it over and over again).  The fourth step was telling my family of this dream, who showed more support than I could ever imagine. The fifth step is where you, the readers, come in. That is sharing with you that I’m going to hike the Triple Crown (AT, PCT, and CDT) all within the upcoming calendar year of 2020.  That’s just shy of 8,000 miles.

Now it’s time for that plucky attitude to come along and let you know or remind you that I’ll be fine.  In fact, it will be better than fine. I miss being outside every single day and the simplicity of trail life.  The excitement is roaring in my heart like an uncontrollable fire that I’ll probably encounter on the PCT. I’m preparing for the first steps of my hike in a fashion similar to my character, by focusing on other things and doing small things each and every day; preparing my body as well as my mind for the highs and the lows of the upcoming year.  Stay tuned for updates and I’m glad I get to share this journey with you!

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Comments 5

  • Rocket : Oct 19th

    I believe you can do it. Because anyone can do anything with enough hard work. I simply ask have you long distance hiked before? There is a lot to learn. Most people do not attempt more than one long trail in a year, even more so if they haven’t done it before. Best of luck on your journey! I hope you’re preparation gets you those 8000miles!

    • Zach Terpstra : Oct 19th

      Hey Rocket! I appreciate the belief you have in me, and to answer your question yes I have experience. That being said, I haven’t nearly as much as I’d like, but there comes a time when one just has to take the next step forward. Attempting a CYTC is a large challenge that’s for certain, but large challenges just take extraordinary preparation. I can almost guarantee that I’m preparing for this challenge as best as anyone can financially, physically, and mentally! More on that later 🙂

  • Jaffar : Nov 21st

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  • Brandon : Dec 3rd


    Best of luck on this adventure. I would love to follow along are you going to be posting videos on youtube or anything like that?


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