Janine Wilson last year arrives at the U.S. and Mexico border, Mile Zero of her 4,265-km hike up the Pacific Crest Trail. Wilson trained for 2.5 years to attempt the hike, a challenge she set for herself after losing 140 pounds and experiencing an intense desire to test her limits and discover her new self. Follow her journey on Facebook: Janine’s Pacific Crest Trail Hike. (Facebook photo)

Wilson returns to Pacific Crest Trail undeterred

Terrace hiker was forced to abandon journey last year due to back injury at 566-mile marker

Pacific Crest Trail hiker, Janine Wilson, is returning to the California desert to resume the epic trek a back injury forced her to abandon last May.

“I’m still disappointed I couldn’t finish last year, especially with all the training and emotional work, the fundraising, I put into it,” Wilson says. “But I’m just happy to be getting out there again. It’s still a dream unfinished. Eventually it will be realized in pieces and I can say I through-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail.”

The PCT is a rugged, volunteer-maintained path stretching 4,265 kilometres from Campo, California on the Mexico border to the edge of B.C.’s Manning Park on the 49th parallel. Crossing through 25 national forests and seven national parks, the trail is carefully aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.

VIDEO: Future Hiker: Journey toward the Pacific Crest Trail

Only 15 per cent of the thousands who attempt the trail each year succeed.

In her final days of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail last year, Janine Wilson pauses in California’s fading daylight for a selfie with fellow hikers met along the way.

Wilson has set a tentative return date of May 5 to Tehachapi, CA, the 566-mile marker she reached last May 22. The scheduled 220-km leg planned for this year will take her to the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where she will resume the hike again next year.

“Doing the hike in sections actually gives me a huge advantage,” Wilson says. “I can limit what I need for gear based on the terrain and season. Going in early May I’m also looking at lower temperatures and more water availability between sections, so that cuts down on the pack weight and lets me get more mileage.”

Wilson originally began training for the PCT about three-and-a-half years ago while in the process of losing 140 pounds of weight. She decided to hike the trail to test her new mental and physical capabilities.

“What the trail made me think about is the ability to find yourself, to learn what you’re capable of and to depend less and less on technology and other people. To let that survival instinct kick in,” she said one month before starting the hike.

READ MORE: Injury forces end to hikers PCT attempt

About seven weeks into the journey, in a tearful live address to Facebook followers, Wilson explained pressure on her L7 disc had resulted in severe leg pain called sciatica. To continue with the hike she needed to drop about eight pounds from her pack, but facing a 4,000-foot climb into the Sierra Nevadas, with longer stretches between resupplies, she would also need to add at least that much weight in food.

After 910 km Wilson realized she had to quit.

On doctors’ advice, Wilson will wait until February before she begins training again for May’s trip. She still suffers some sciatica in her left leg, for which she has been doing low-impact and core exercises over the winter.

“It’s in the back of my mind that [the injury] will come back, but I’ll just continue to do what I did last time I was on the trail. I’ll listen to my body. That’s the best I can do.”

Follow Wilson’s journey on her Facebook page, Janine’s Pacific Crest Trail Hike.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(File image)
Vehicle collides with propane line causing explosion in Thornhill

Driver sustained severe burns, was taken to Lower Mainland in air ambulance

The plan to build a staircase to the Bench includes a channel to more easily transport bicycles up and down. (Photo courtesy City of Terrace)
Staircase to Bench subject of City grant application

Would connect lower Eby St. to upper Eby St.

The car was trapped, with its driver inside, in a ditch off Hirsch Creek Main near Onion Lake overnight Monday (Oct. 19). Oct. 20, 2020. Kitimat RCMP photo.
Man found after spending overnight stuck in car in a ditch near Onion Lake

Kitimat RCMP said the man was stuck there overnight for about 10 hours

Stikine provincial election candidates (clockwise from top left): Nathan Cullen, NDP; Darcy Repen, Rural BC Party; Rod Taylor, Christian Heritage; and Gordon Sebastian, BC Liberals. (Black Press Composite Photo)
FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More calls come in for Cullen’s removal as NDP candidate

Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs demand Cullen’s removal. Ellis says, There’s no place in B.C. for racism

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

The Anonymous YVR is an Instagram page that reviews restaurants and other establishments around B.C. based on how well they adhere to COVID-19 rules. (Instagram)
Anonymous Instagram page reviews COVID-19 safety measures at B.C. businesses

There are a number of public health orders various types of establishments must follow to slow virus’s spread

Most Read