One of the BEST parts of every TSX backpacking experience is the people we spend time with on the journey. For us, it’s incredibly rewarding to help people overcome challenges, and accomplish goals they might not otherwise reach on their own.
This year, we were inspired by two individuals, Jan, age 76, and Claire, age 11 our oldest and youngest participants of 2019.
Jan has become something of a local legend at TSX. He lives by his motto “Cedo Nulli” which he translates to “Never Give Up.” In 2019 he completed his 7th trek with TSX by reaching the summit of Mt. Goddard in early September, just two days before his 77th birthday.
On our final night of camp before exiting the trail, Jan announced that he would be retiring from backpacking. This trip, he told us, would be his last trip ever. It was a tearful moment. But short lived. Jan is signed up to hike the Grand Canyon Challenge New Hance-Grand View loop with us on March 31st (there’s still space available, you can join him).
At the other end of the spectrum, Claire completed her first TSX experience just three weeks after her 11th birthday. Weighing in at just a touch over 70lbs, she carried her minimalist 25lb backpack, clothing and bear can, more than 65 miles across the Sierra to the summit of Mt. Whitney (14,505′) with the same Cedo Nulli determination.
Claire will admit there were moments that were pretty hard. Chocolate Ridge, Colby Pass in crampons, crossing the Kern River. But sleeping under the stars at 13,500 feet while camping on the backside of Mt. Whitney with four other friends age 11 and 12 (and some pretty proud Dads), will be an experience she’ll never forget. Claire and friends will be hiking Hell For Sure with TSX in 2020.
You can peek into Jan’s and Claire’s summer journeys and share in their travels. We’ve put together a small photo album below with highlights (and low-lights) of their 2019 adventures with TSX.
Wherever your outdoor adventures (or life!) takes you in the new year, we hope you can help us carry on the Cedo Nulli spirit into 2020!