Presenter Name: Jim Rahtz
Presentation Title: Backpacking’s Triple Crown: The Junior Version
For those that aspire to take an epic thru-hike, but only have weeks rather than months to commit to the experience, there are some great options. In fact, there is a “Triple Crown” of shorter hikes that provide some of the same tremendous scenery and adventure as their longer cousins, but are achievable for those with families, careers, or perhaps a lot of years under their belts.
Come along with Jim Rahtz as he tackles this Jr. version. Walk the Colorado Trail as it shares a path with the Continental Divide Trail through the Rockies. Visit the most iconic sights of the Pacific Crest Trail through hiking the John Muir Trail. While on the Long Trail, climb Stratton Mountain, where the idea for the Appalachian Trail was conceived.
Presentation Title: Walking in Circles: The Tahoe Rim Trail
For those newer to backpacking, the idea of a long thru-hike may seem both alluring and intimidating; a bucket list item that remains out of reach. In that case, consider hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT). At 170 miles, the distance is less daunting than many, but the experience is still amazing. This is a great trip for anyone that wants to immerse themselves in a possibly life changing adventure, without needing to give up the life they have to do it.
Make no mistake, this trail is not an easy hike. It weaves through the Sierra Nevada after all. However, the scenery is amazing, thru-hike logistics are simpler than most, climbs are well graded and navigating the loop is pretty direct. Attend this presentation and discover all the specific challenges and rewards of a thru-hike around the TRT. Be warned, however. Once you’ve learned about this trail, your bucket list may get a little longer.
Jim Rahtz spent a career in park and recreation management in Ohio. Once able to retire, he followed the sage advice of “go take a hike” and became reacquainted with backpacking. While many backpackers dream of taking epic, once in a lifetime thru-hikes that take months and cover thousands of miles, Rahtz is not one of those people. For him, the best thru-hikes are those that are still epic, but take weeks, rather than months to complete.
As a freelance outdoor writer and photographer, his work has won multiple awards; appearing in national publications and websites such as Camping Life, The Boundary Waters Journal, TrailGroove and The Trek.