I may not have been able to attend this year’s Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off event in Lake Morena, CA, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of the PCT Class of 2014 video put together by my Colorado-based friend, Wesley “Crusher” Trimble.
This week, I met up with Crusher—who was unable to attend PCT Kick Off to watch the premiere of his film last night—and he shared about his experience putting together the PCT Class video. “It was another chance to hone my skills,” but he admitted, “putting this thing together has been eating up all my free time for the past few weeks.”
Crusher is known for his viral short on hiking the PCT with Cerebral Palsy and is an amazing inspiration to all hikers.
As expected, watching the Class of 2014 Film gave me a deep yearning in my legs to hit the trail again. There’s a power to the PCT that a past hiker can be given a photo taken somewhere on the trail without any context and will know exactly where it is. The quality of the stills in the film is “coffee-table book” class. Despite having hiked the PCT 1.5 times myself, I had never seen the trail as beautiful as it was depicted by some of the hikers who submitted photos. My favorite scenes were upclose wildflower shots, night time star timelapses, and videos of rare wildlife including pine martens.
One of the challenges of making the PCT Class film vs. his short, “PCT and CP” is that the class film “can only be as good as the material people submit.” Of the more than 1,000 people that attempted the PCT last year, 80 hikers submitted photos or video clips. Crusher noted that in 2012 and 2013, hikers submitted more video to the class film editors. This year, Crusher was working with many stills, which gives his video a different—but strangely more reverent—feel than the last few years.
Two aspects that make this PCT film unlike the other PCT Class films are the digital maps and mile/elevation gain counter for each region of the trail as well as the great soundtrack, available on Spotify (“PCT Class 2014 Video Soundtrack”–it’s actually so good that I signed up for Spotify just to get his playlist). Another great innovation is how Crusher worked with phone-quality film shorts—often vertical instead of landscape—to still create a fun and engaging story.
The most striking part of the Class of 2014 film is that it documents the sheer elation that people get from hiking. People in this film are at their absolute happiest. These people aren’t wearing make up. They aren’t acting. They glow in the joy that hiking and the hiking life can bring. For those who never may hike the PCT, or those who hope one day to hike it, Crusher’s film brings us as close as we can to hiking the trail without leaving the couch.
The PCT Class video goes live this Sunday at: https://vimeo.com/125031618