A New Yo-Yo

Correction: I formerly reported that 68 people have yo yo-ed the PCT. I have updated the story.

It was a long time coming, but in 1993 the Pacific Crest Trail opened officially. Any number of people hiked the path before the opening, knitting together sections on their own, but the corridor wasn’t designated until that time.

Since then some 3,413 people have hiked the PCT once. This means that they have completed the whole of the 2,663 miles on foot in segments or in full, as a thru hike. In the intervening 22 years only 68 people have ever successfully repeated the whole distance and of those only three have ever yo yo-ed. For those of you who don’t know, this means that they walked all the way up, and then back all the way. That’s 5,326 miles and nearly a million vertical feet in elevation gain.

Recently, the first woman, Olive “Raindance” McGloin, Yo-yoed the PCT. Congratulations to anyone brave enough to start something like this. I’ve hiked segments and even these are no small feat.

Now, let’s get this back fixed so that I can join her on that list.

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2 thoughts on “A New Yo-Yo

  1. I think your data is incorrect, only 2 men have ever yo-yoed the Pacific crest trail prior to Olive McGloin( making her the third person)

    • You may be correct, the PCTa makes the claim that only 68 people have ever walked the trail more than once. They don’t keep specific track of yo-yo attempts, which is walking all of one direction followed by walking back when you’re done. What is more, there seems to be no real indication if these are second and third thru hikes of the same people or 68 instances of unique people doing it more than once. The data seems to be poorly curated. When I search broadly for yo-yo attempts pretty much the first 10 pages are going to be nothing but references to Scott Williamson. I found this Irish Times article about Chimp and Raindance’s yo yo via a google alert about wind power, go figure.

      The American Long Distance Hikers Association doesn’t seem to have much in the way of documented attempts or completions any more. Wikipedia has some information specific to Scott Williamson, but not much more than that. And Peter Bakwin doesn’t seem to be tracking yo-yo attempts either beyond Williamson’s 2004 and 2006 circuits. I guess give him time, he has a day job.

      I take it you’re the second male to complete the yo yo? You guys need to get this up on PKT at least, it’s an impressive accomplishment. One that should be celebrated. Otherwise, I stand corrected and I’m looking forward to hearing more about your hike.

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