Janssen hits snow on Appalachian Trail
Eagle Valley teacher and coach is 71 days into first leg of calendar year Triple Crown
An Eagle Valley teacher and coach attempting to become the 13th person to complete the calendar year Triple Crown — hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT), Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in one year — won’t be able to add the distinction of being just the third person ever to do all as through-hikes.
On April 17, Charlie Janssen announced to his followers on social media that 71 days into his first leg on the AT, waist-deep snow on trail has forced him to press pause and head for the PCT.
“Man, this is a hard video to make,” he said in a video on his post. Janssen logged 1,803.6 of the 2,194.2 miles making up the AT, an average of 25.4 miles per day.
“But I’ve gotten to the point where the snow is quite literally impassable,” he continued.
He left Kinsman Notch in New Hampshire on his 72nd day, traveling back to Kansas City to switch gear and rest on day 73. He left for the Mexican border the next day and started the PCT near Campo, California that evening.
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“I really wanted to seige trail all the way through and I think that the two trails that I haven’t done yet, I can do that,” Janssen said in the video.
While Janssen predicted he would face some snow to start the PCT as well, the progress he was making on the AT was untenable. He claimed that before shooting his video, he had managed just a single mile in two hours of hiking.
“I knew that this might happen,” he said of the agenda shift.
“It really sucks — making it so far and going through so much to get to this point. But, it’s alright.”
The cross-country and track coach has been solo — for the most part— in crossing 10 of the AT’s 12 states. His rare meetups have been meaningful. John Papadopoulos and Ryan Boeke, two former Eagle Valley athletes currently studying at the University of Delaware and Castleton College, respectively, brought pizza and drinks and allowed Janssen to “live the illustrious college dorm life again, if even for a night.”
“Trail magic is huge and being able to see a familiar face and socially interact when you may not see another person for days on end is even bigger,” he wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
Of course, the social studies teacher also gave a shout-out to his wife, Allee, whose “incredible logistics in smooth trail transition (rental car, flights, help with local permits, etc.),” proved invaluable in keeping the mission on course. Janssen is 82.2% complete with the AT and 23.76% complete with the cumulative Triple Crown mileage. His original goal was to pass through Colorado on his final leg sometime around Halloween, ending at the Mexico border some six weeks later.
“It was a good 71-day run. Let’s get ready for sunshiny California,” Janssen said in signing off on his update.
“I guess I have to do some legwork on the local permits, though, because that’s going to be a pain in the ass as well.”
To join Charlie Janssen on his triple crown assault, visit LinktTree/kansasexpress.