If the Appalachian Trail is the gateway hiking drug, the Pacific Crest Trail is like heroin, the hard-core stuff. Those of us who have completed the A.T. fall into two categories: the PCT is the obvious next trail or no-way, it’s a completely different challenge.
Tell it on the Mountain is a documentary on hiking the PCT. The story follows a half-dozen hikers as they attempt to walk the 2,663 mile trail. And “attempt” is the right word, since it’s not at all certain that all will make it.
The desert section, as you start from Mexico, was fascinating. Unlike the A.T. which has too much water much of the time, the PCT in the desert is dry. Water trail angels bring gallons of bottled of water. Each person picks up two gallons. Remember “A pint’s a pound the world around”. Hikers have just added 16 lbs on their backs. Wow!
Most of the people featured in the documentary appear to be in their thirties. But Billy Goat stands out because he is 66 years old and has hiked the PCT several times. Where are the 66 year old women on this trek? And of course, there are some.
A couple from Germany, Alina and Carsten, had the most poignant tale. They both worked hard and saved to hike the PCT. They started out strong and fit. But Carsten developed physical problems. What to do? And that’s the dilemma with hiking as a couple. What if one person gets hurt? What if one is slower than the other? I kept cheering Alina on. Go on without your partner. Go for it.
What happens? You’re just going to watch it. Whether or not you’re considering hiking the PCT, the movie is engrossing and full of human interest.