Andrew Skurka article
A quick update: I recently posted an article that I highly recommend featuring long-distance hiker Andrew Skurka . A while back I came across a video of his Alaska-Yukon expedition—which is embedded at the bottom of the article on Switchback—and it took some time to process Andrew’s accomplishments. At 30 he has already completed three of the longest and most difficult hikes ever recorded. These epics are unfathomable even to the most serious outdoorspeople, navigating thousands of the toughest miles on earth solo, off-trail, and with only about 6-8 pounds of gear (not including food and water).
Last week my wife Samantha and I attended Andrew’s presentation in Seattle and spoke with him afterward. To me, more impressive than the miles covered or records broken is his outlook toward the journey. If it wasn’t for sustaining an active lifestyle and gearing up for future adventures, I’m not sure that Andrew has any interest at all in self-promotion. Upon finishing his six-month Alaska-Yukon expedition by returning to tiny Kotzebue, Alaska late on a September night, there was no welcoming party or ribbon cutting. The National Geographic crew wasn’t there to film the finish. In fact, it was just a few locals who had no idea who he was or what he had just done.
It’s fascinating to read about these adventures, especially knowing that we ourselves will never do anything close. But we should also learn and enrich our ethos with some important principles. Humility and respect for the land. A desire to explore and be challenged. And the absolute necessity to protect our wild places.