Update Monday, May 9
Denise has passed the 652-mile on her journey. She is now on her way to the challenging Mount Whitney summit located on the Sierra Crest and the Great Basin Divide in California.
Caymanian resident Denise Powers is about to take on an immense challenge starting 6th March 2022, to hike the full length of the 2,650-mile majestic Pacific Crest Trail – which runs from Mexico to Canada – to raise $1 million to build the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre a new home. She has named the adventure: Project Further.
It will be an incredible journey that will see Denise and her hiking partner and friend Monica Reinoso trek through the US states of California, Oregon and Washington, while negotiating all sorts of difficult terrain, including the desert, the Sierra Nevadas, and the forests and volcanic peaks of the Cascades.
The venture has taken considerable planning, as a result.
“One of the biggest challenges so far has been the fact that I am so far away from the places where I’m heading and where I would normally try out the gear,” she advised. “Although online shopping has been helpful!”
Accessing the PCT is trial in itself, as Denise advises: “It is structured a bit like a lottery in that the Pacific Crest Trail Association limits the number of people who can access the start of the trail in any one day to just 50 to reduce the impact on the environment.”
As a result, last October Denise joined an online queue and then was given a choice of dates on when she could begin her journey.
“Our start date is 6th March, a little earlier than I had wanted, so we will be experiencing some very cold conditions in the desert at night. My hiking companion is from Seattle, Washington and so she was worried about the heat, whereas living here, I am worried about the cold!”
Striding for a purpose
Denise said that on a personal level, the PCT had always been a draw for her, a tremendous challenge of both physical and mental endurance for those who participate. She has for many years also been closely associated with the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, having been a former Chair of its Board.
“The Crisis Centre is so close to having its own purpose-built facility. They have the land; they just need the funds to build it.”
The idea to hike the PCT while raising funds for a purpose so close to her heart made perfect sense.
“I always try and find ways to serve a purpose and to be of use, so it is so great that my personal goal can be tied to something much bigger,” she confirmed.
The hike through the PCT will take approximately six months when covering between 15 – 20 miles every day. Denise and Monica’s goal is to reach Canada by mid-September, before the snow flies.
People can follow Denise’s progress almost step-by-step by clicking on the Track Me section of her website
You can donate directly online via her GoFundMe page on the website, or, more easily and cheaply for local residents, via a bank transfer to the project’s account at Cayman National Bank: