On Saturday, December 23rd, when most of America had clocked out for Christmas, a new record was quietly set in the world of thru-hiking. Billy Meredith of Georgia logged a new Fastest Known Time in the The Calendar Year Triple Crown, completing hiking's most punishing feat in just 234 days.
The Triple Crown of Hiking entails completing the Appalachian Trail, which runs some 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches for 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada and the Continental Divide Trail which follows the spine of the Rocky Mountains for approximately 3,000 miles. Many hikers take years to complete this epic journey, but Meredith joins a small group of less than 20 hikers to have accomplished it within a single calendar year.
In an Instagram post, which you can view below, the hiker shared details of his astonishing achievement, which saw him facing off against some of the most adverse weather conditions possible, and very little in the way of rest days.
"I walked through just about every weather condition imaginable including a tropical storm in the Sierra, the Mojave desert heat in August, snow storms in Washington, flooding rains in Maine, taking a total of four “zero days” where I didn’t hike at all."
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Meredith shares that not only is he now the fastest person achieve the CYTC, he did so without a support crew, taking responsibility for carrying his own tent and camping gear, setting up camp and breaking it down, and restocking for supplies.
"I was self supported, carrying my 30 pound pack on my back the entire way as I traversed America three times by foot."
His remarkable record meant that he averaged 32 miles and 5,556ft of climbing a day to shave two days off Cam Honan’s 2012 world record and two weeks off of the listed FKT.
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Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.