I went on a thru-hike of the WCT in Aug 3-8 2012 with my hiking friend Kurt. It was one of his big “bucket list” items he wanted to do, and invited me along for the “ride” I am glad and forever indebted to him for taking me along.
I would have liked to do a voice synopsis of the trip but the video is a little less then 15 mins any way, and felt that it would not be a good mix if I did two parts. So I am going to just write some generals about the trip and let you all hopefully enjoy the show.
We went in the “best” time to go, as it was dry and we had no rain for the whole trip, and the mud wasn’t as bad as it is in the earlier parts of the year. The tides were at the extreme end of things as well. Meaning extreme high and extreme low. Fog was a always a factor but it was that cool eery kind of fog, and it would roll in and then roll out, and then roll in and then roll out. So that was neat.
We slept in our hammocks every night, it took us 4 nights and 5 days to do the hike. But there was nothing cooler then setting our hammocks up in-between drift wood on the the beach, or in the tree line looking out over the ocean. It was a spectacle to behold, and words cant describe it.
We met a ton of people from all over the world, and made friends with many. It was really cool because you had people coming in from the south end and the north end and at the end of the day we would all share stories around the fire, of that days trek. And get and give information to help plan the next days trek. Plus it just really cool to meet other people from other parts of the world and talk about life in general with them.
Hammocks of course were a big hit, and would always take about an hour of the evenings activities. And I would play “teacher/preacher” for the time and let those that wanted to experience it, lay in them for a while. Also we were the only U.L./LW hikers out there, so gear was another hour or so of the conversation.
The most memorable experience was when were in a camp for the night, and were the first ones to get there. A korean family (I didn’t know they were Korean at the time) comes marching (Yes I mean marching) in and set up camp along the beach/tree line. We were set in the tree line, as the drift wood was not cooperating with us that day.
One of the family members goes into the woods and then comes back out all excited. I had no clue what she was saying, but it was obvious by her hand mannerisms that she was talking about the hammocks. Next thing you know all 6 members get up and go running into the woods. I ran in quickly after them, and let Kurt know what was happening (we were enjoying our dinners.)
One of the family members spoke “ok” English (hence how I found out they were Korean) and then the show began. So through many hand gestures, and me just moving arms and limbs into position they all got to try out a hammock (they had never seen one before.) The next thing you know they all march out to where they were camped, tore down there tents and then pitched them literally 3 feet away from the hammocks, so they could sleep “with us” or at least that is what I interpreted it to be (you’ll see it in the slide show...its the family with the Asolo tents.)
To give you an idea of how hard this trip was, it took us 5 hours to do 2.5 miles on the first day. I lost 8 pounds in 4 days. It is ladder city. Sometimes your up 100 feet or more on these ladders and then crossing a log bridge that is up 50 feet from the water. Then there are the cable cars, which are fun for the first half because they glide half way across the rivers by themselves, but then you have to hand-over hand them up to the other side. And by ladders I mean there are 36 (I think) structures. Each structure has any where from 1 to 7 ladders on it.
The trails are muddy, rooted, slippery foot paths that you have to navigate. And the beach walking was not a walk in the park either. You’re wither walking on boulders, through crags, over drift wood, or on slick seaweed covered surfaces. Its’s like the ranger who gave us our orientation before the trip said “on the WCT your either looking, or walking, but not both at the same time.” boy was that ever true.
We started from the Port Renfew side, which is the harder side, but we felt it was best to get the hard stuff done first and while we were fresh. Some would argue that starting on the Bamfield side, is better because when you hit the major ladder systems your pack will be lighter. I don’t care how light your pack is. After hiking 3 to 4 days and then having to hit those ladders your still are gonna get smoked. Hell we were tired on the “easy” side after 4 days of hiking. Hence do it when you have better energy supplies.
To get back to my truck we had the choice of riding in a school bus for 5 hours on a logging road, or to take a 3 hour boat ride back up the ocean following the trail from hence we just walked, for an extra 40 bucks more than what the bus ride would be. We chose the latter, and it was well worth it.
The boat is owned and operated by a marine biologist who monitors the whale and seal lion activity. So we got to get right smack dab in the middle of the whale pods and see them up close and personal. I mean they were coming right up the side of the boat. After a while of trying to get that perfect whale shot, I just gave up , and put the camera away and enjoyed the moment, to forever have it placed in my mind and not through the “eye of a lens.”
I could on and on about the trip but have ben wanting to get this TR out for a long time. I will “fill in the blanks” as things come to me and questions are asked.
I hope you all enjoy the video, I concentrated on editing and music fade in and out this time. I tried to pick the best pictures that conveyed the overall synopsis of the trip. Not quite sure if the music fits the TR but I was trying to give my overall feeling or mood as the trip went on. Plus I just really wanted to focus on music fading, that and my iTunes library is not that big yet.
Germany, I have no idea why this video is banned. Sorry
Direct Link, for those that can't view it here.