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[pct-l] Martin Papendick
- Subject: [pct-l] Martin Papendick
- From: Bighummel at aol.com (Bighummel@aol.com)
- Date: Wed Oct 13 19:41:06 2004
In 1971 Eric Ryback shocked the backpacking world by publishing his account
of his "first" thru-hike of the PCT. It was controversial as he exagerated
miles, pack weights, elevations, etc. and was widely criticized and chastised.
However, his account, inspired many of us to consider such a trek and the early
hikers owe him much.
As is the case often when someone steps up and says "I was the FIRST!"
information comes slowly leaking out that perhaps this is not so. Such is the case
After being one of the first to hike the Appalachian trail in 1951, Martin
Papendick, a young WWII veteran, looked around for something no one had done
before and considered a thru-hike of the PCT. On July 4th, 1952 he left British
Columbia and hiked an estimated 2,275 miles to reach the Mexico border near
Campo on December 1. His account is recorded in a short article in the
periodical "Appalachia, XXVIII: 374-376" called "Pacific Crest Trails" by Martin
In a side note with the article it says, "Martin D. Papendick's account of
his trip over the Appalachian Trail appeared in our last number, "Impressions of
a Long Hike", Appalachia, XXIX: 236-239. Now he describes his long-planned
trip over the crests of the mountains along the Pacific Coast, where some day
there may be a completed Pacific Crest Trail."
Martin dryly describes his route, which is quite different than what is now
walked, and unfortunately for us puts no words of wisedom or insights into his
state of mind in taking on this incredible task.
He has never been heralded in this hiking community. He never heralded or
sought attention for his accomplishment. A few years ago he slipped into the
deliriums of Alzeimers and never recovered.
I respectfully call for recognition of Martin D. Papendick's hike as THE
first thru-hike and respectfully ask the PCTA to honor his memory in some
permanent way along the trail. A bridge, a marker, a tree, a rock, something that
will memorialize his pioneering spirit.
I will personally donate funds to this end.