At 21, They Gambled Against the Odds

Impossible? Not for Jackson Parell and Sammy Potter.

Jackson Parell and Sammy Potter at the Appalachian Trail terminus.

In 2021, the twenty-one-year-olds became the youngest to complete thru-hiking’s triple crown during a calendar year. They are the eleventh and twelfth hikers to have conquered the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Pacific Crest Trail in the same year.

They went through 12 pair of shoes each as they climbed and descended more than a million feet in elevation over 295 days.

Thanks to Backpacker, you can hear them describe the highs and lows of their nearly 8,000-mile journey on the podcast series Impossible Odds. Click on the link to get to know the pair of Stanford students, who are back at school—as roommates.

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