2009 Gathering at Camp Arrah Wanna, Oregon
Another Fine Time at the Gathering!
This year's Gathering was almost like a Who's Who of the long distance hiking community. Attendees and presenters included Andy Skurka, extra-long distance hiker; Doug Scott, wilderness advocate extraordinaire; Jon Knechtal, the force behind the Pacific Northwest Trail; Nona and Zigzagger, our two newest Triple Crowners, as well as the other 11 Triple Crowners at the Gathering; and the other 80+ folks passionate about long distance hiking.
Andy Skurka wowed many of us with his 2 presentatons. The Ultra-light Clinic was another look at what is necessary and efficient in ultra-light hiking, even taking it to the level of weight efficient nutrition. It seems that no matter how much we cut from our base pack weight there is still something else you can do to trim the "fat". His Saturday evening presentation "The New Frontier of Long-Distance Hiking: Long-Distance Adventuring" took us beyond the constucted trails to the adventure of creating your own, and finding your new definition of adventure.
A new feature at the Gathering was the Backpacker's Olympics. With various events scattered throughout the weekend competitors vied for the recognition of being able to stuff sleeping bags, set up tents boil water, stuff bear canisters with food and various other important hiking skills. The event provided a change from the presentations, a chance to stretch and move about, and more than a little humor.
Of course the highlight of the weekend was the presentation and receipt of and Triple Crown Award. ALDHAWest is the only organization that recognizes the tri-fecta of the three long trails (PCT, AT, CDT). In the past 15 years some 106 individuals have committed themselves to the completion of these three trails, almost 7500 miles and over 300 days on the trail!
Of the thirteen people receiving the Triple Crown plaque only two were present at the Gathering this year, Nona from Nowhere, and Zigzagger. After receiving their award they were met on stage by 11 other previous Triple Crown recipients.
If one was to consider the uniqueness of earning the Triple Crown, consider this; only 106 people have claimed this "crowning achievement" in the past 15 years, while 303 people are known to have summitted Mt.Everest this year alone! ALDHAWest takes pride in prividing this recognition to the long distance hiking community!
Here is the link to see the 2009 Triple Crown Video that was shown at the ALDHA-West gathering this last year. For the video, each Triple Crown recipient submitted a photo from their childhood, and a photo from the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails. The video was shown before the Triple Crown awards were handed out. Yogi was the producer of the video, while Ryan Christensen was the editor. Check it out at http://vimeo.com/8506588
The faciilities at Camp Arrah Wannah, where this year's Gathering was held, are among the best we have been able to procure for the ALDHAWest Gathering. The food is good, the layout of the campus facilitates ample opportunity to walk, and the Pavillion, media center, is fully equipped with all the AV necessities. Besides all this their staff is excetional to work with.
Here's what Dicetra, one of our newest Board members, has to say in her blog:
This past weekend I had the privelege of attending the annual ALDHA-West Gathering at Camp Arrah Wanna in Welches OR. It was a bit of a drive from Seattle, but more than worth the travel time. I love these events because More...