• Sara Tucker

Mary Badass Tackles Yellowstone

Our guest blogger Mary Anderson reported yesterday that she has reached the northwest boundary of Yellowstone National Park on her 1,500-mile section hike of the Continental Divide Trail through Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Her next challenge will be Yellowstone's spectacular Sky Rim Trail. From Hiking Project, an online resource:

“This is one of the toughest, most strenuous hikes in Yellowstone. There's no reliable water anywhere on this 10-mile trail. The only possibility comes from patches of snow, but they often melt by late July. Lightening is a serious concern. The entire trail is highly exposed, with few opportunities to safely hike down from the ridge. Exposure to wind, rain and/or cold temperatures also can result in hypothermia. Bring warm clothing, stay dry, and protect yourself from strong winds.” —HikingProject.com

Mary began this year's hike in Wyoming’s Great Basin, then got a ride to northern Montana and is now hiking back to her starting point.* Despite wildfires, blowdowns, extreme heat, and multiple injuries, she has hiked around 1,200 miles since the end of May.

Backcountry camping in Yellowstone requires a permit, which Mary managed to snag after spending over four hours on the phone a couple of days ago. The message that accompanied her photo (above) reads: “Made it ti park. On sky line trail thAt says no water...big steep scary climb ahead.”

To send Mary an attagirl, click on the link. This takes you to a map that shows her location. To the left of the map is a field with an icon labeled "Message." Click on the Message icon, then fill in your email address, and type a 160-character message that she will receive by satellite: share.garmin.com/cdtmarybadass


* From South Pass, Wyoming, Mary hiked south to Encampment, then got a ride north to the Montana/Canada border and began hiking south again, a strategy that allows for crossing the Wyoming desert as early as possible (to avoid the summer heat) and glacier country as late as possible (to allow the snow time to melt). She expects to reach South Pass in mid September, after crossing the Wind River Range. By then she will have hiked the entire 3,100-mile CDT in two sections (she hiked through New Mexico and Colorado in 2020). Now 64, Mary was in her twenties when she did her first thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. She thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail before most people knew what it was. She is now within sight of her goal of completing America's Triple Crown of hiking, fulfilling a long-held dream.

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