A blind hiker who set off last month to go end-to-end on the Appalachian National Scenic Trail has had to reorganize his trek due to heavy snows and ice in the Smokies of North Carolina. Meanwhile, another visually impaired hiker is set on conquering the Pacific Crest Trail.
In a recent post to his blog, Mike Hanson said he would "bypass the Smokies because of unusually deep snow and ice conditions, particularly at higher elevations. We will hike them after we finish up in Maine."
Mr. Hanson, using only GPS technology and a white cane, planned to take six- to eight months to go from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin in Maine. "This hike is intended to make a dramatic statement about the independence of the visually impaired, to change myths about our competence and abilities, and to demonstrate the power of GPS and other adaptive technologies to support our independence," he said at the outset of his walk.
On the other side of the country, Trevor Thomas, who already has hiked the 2,178-mile AT unassisted, is biting off a bigger challenge with his hike down the 2,650-mile-long Pacific Crest Trail.
Beginning in mid-April near San Diego and planning to make it all the way to British Columbia, Mr. Thomas and his team will pass through the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, parts of Yosemite National Park and the Ring of Fire Range in the Cascades.