Granite Gear athlete and accomplished thru-hiker, Justin “Trauma” Lichter just finished the Pacific Crest Trail, making him the first to complete the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail during winter months. So naturally we had a few questions about his accomplishment.
What was your first thought most days while waking up? Falling asleep?
It was really dependent on the conditions. Some days my first thought waking up was "sweet, it is going to be so pretty today" and other days it was "do I really have to put these shoes back on and get out of my sleeping bag right now". At night I don't think I thought of anything. I would fall asleep exhausted as soon as my head hit the pillow (any extra clothes in a stuff sack).
We know an expedition like this has a lot to do with endurance but how did you stay mentally strong?
I think the mental challenge can be just as hard as the physical challenge. It's important to learn from previous days and experiences but to also be able to put them behind you.
How did you train for this, and would you do anything different now?
We didn't train specifically for this trip physically. The planning for this trip was a culmination of skills gained on previous trips and tune-up trips to get our gear dialed. We worked on this for a few years. We also pieced together logistics and a resupply strategy as it got closer since many of the standard resupply options in the summer are closed in the winter.
If you could bring one luxury item with you (weight does not matter), what would it be?
Weight does matter so I am not sure how to answer this question. If weight didn't matter then I might pack a house with TV and a heater. But realistically my luxury item is carrying a small book to read at night.
Did you sing any songs in your head or out loud while hiking and why was it Katy Perry’s “Firework”? (we joke)
I can't say I have ever even heard that song! I always get different songs stuck in my head but I have to say that The Proclaimers are probably the most common song going through my head.