As It Happens: Pacific Crest Trail (Documentary)


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
There has been a documentary up on YouTube for a little under a year and I have had it on my YouTube watch list since about the time it was posted. It is called As It Happens: Pacific Crest Trail. I believe it may have been screened at Banff not long ago as well. It follows two guys named Ian and Andy as they trek up the PCT in 2011 when the Sierras and much of the Mountain West got swamped in well above average snow levels. On their way, as typical with thru-hiking, they do have some others that join them for certain stretches.

It is a bit long for what you would usually watch on YouTube, about 1.5 hours in duration, but then again, that is probably pretty good for a documentary of a full thru-hike up the PCT. In perspective, I managed to make an hour long amateur video of my wimpy little 4 day 65 mile hike last year.

Well, I finally took the time to watch it over the weekend along with my wife. I was rather impressed with it. The quality of the sound, video and images made it seem like they had a dedicated film crew with them the whole time when in reality, it was largely just the two of them (Ian & Andy) using a Canon Rebel t2i with its stock lens, a Rode VideoMic Pro, and two original Go Pro Heros.

One reaction my wife had to a spot where Andy says, "I can think of no better way to spend my time...", and in context of them both apparently having girlfriends awaiting them at the end of their journey, was something like, "That's not a good thing to say. If I were his girlfriend, I'd be done with him." To which I responded, "Yeah, he probably could have said something better. I probably would have been thinking something like, 'The only thing that would make this time better would be to have my wife and family with me.' " I don't know that their "True Thru Hiker Fashion" of celebrating a summit of Mt. Whitney is typical of most thru-hikers out there either.

Still, after watching it, more than ever now, I'd love to hike the PCT. Of course, at this stage in life, I probably won't ever get the time to do it as a full thru-hike, but when I get a little older and kids are grown up, I'd love to start section hiking it each year until all the sections are done. Though...I may be willing to cheat and skip most of everything from the Mexican border on up to about Highway 58 or so.

If you watch it, I highly recommend watching it via a Roku or simliar device hooked up to your TV, if you don't you have a YouTube app built right into your TV. Also, I must warn there is some language. There is a moment where things get quite troublesome and emotional for the guys and a couple F-bombs are dropped.

Last edited:


Jan 9, 2013
I saw this on my Roku one night at I thought it was riveting. It had surprisingly good production values, as usually these things are somewhat difficult to watch.

I also recommend the Adventure Archives channel on Youtube. Those guys do shorter videos in the midwest (so the settings aren't as grand) but their videos are pretty slick.
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