In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek brought to you by Goodr, we are joined by Caet Cash. Caet first discovered backpacking back in 2014 and has been on an absolute tear ever since. We chat about why she prefers to hike SOBO, including some SOBO specific elements of both the AT and PCT, her insane list of peakbagging feats in the Adirondacks and southern Appalachians, redlining (aka mapping) the Smokies, and much more. Caet also details how her backcountry goals have shifted since being diagnosed with Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, how she manages EDS, and why she thinks it’s important to be vocal about this chronic condition.
We wrap the show with an overview of our AT road trip thus far including Chaunce’s absurd sun burn, a triple crown of emotional high points on trail, a listener voicemail, and a listener educates us on the Philmont Poop Rating.
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Interview with Caet Cash
Time stamps & Questions
00:04:32 – QOTD: What’s been the best part of the road trip thus far?
00:14:53 – Introducing Caet
00:15:10 – Discussion about Caet’s trail name.
00:16:03 – What’s the origin of your trail name?
00:18:37 – How mad are you going to be about Zach’s pronunciation of Appalachian?
00:19:02 – Do you remember where you first met Zach?
00:21:07 – Tell us your backpacking resume.
00:22:45 – Tell us about the Northville Placid Trail.
00:24:26 – What’s the best season to do the Northville Placid Trail?
00:25:45 – Do most people start in Northville?
00:26:00 – What type of wildlife do you see?
00:27:05 – Have you done any of the Finger Lakes Trail?
00:27:52 – What put the Appalachian Trail on your radar and why did you choose southbound?
00:29:19 – Was your marathon pain related to your future diagnosis?
00:30:10 – Anything else you want to share from the AT?
00:32:25 – Chaunce’s story.
00:34:52 – At one point did you feel like you got into the hiking rhythm?
00:38:20 – Does any part of the trail feel hard after you’ve completed the Whites?
00:39:30 – Anything else you want to share from the CT?
00:40:36 – Tell us about connecting your footsteps on the PCT.
00:43:54 – How did you decide to go southbound on the PCT?
00:44:30 – How did you handle sleeping alone?
00:46:35 – How many times have you seen bears at night?
00:47:30 – Discussion of purism differences between the AT and PCT.
00:48:35 – When did you finish the PCT and what was the Sierra like?
00:50:15 – Tell us about what you thought of the PCT views and scenery.
00:52:02 – Do you prefer the scenery of the AT?
00:53:20 – Do you think list-making is more of a personality trait of people in the Northeast?
00:54:11 – Tell us about the South Beyond 6,000 grid.
00:55:36 – Can you give us more detail on the SB6K guidelines?
00:57:14 – What’s your strategy in accomplishing the SB6K?
00:58:14 – How do you hike all of them in a month?
00:59:25 – What are your top 3 favorite peaks from the SB6K?
01:00:49 – Tell us about the Adirondack 46.
01:02:03 – How many of the SB6K peaks are accessible from or on the AT?
01:03:03 – Have you done Mt. Rogers?
01:03:47 – If there’s no view, is the appeal strictly accomplishing the list?
01:04:20 – Has anyone else done the SB6K grid?
01:07:02 – Tell us about redlining the Smokies.
01:09:12 – How much do you have to plan for a redlining project versus winging it?
01:09:41 – Are there any resources for helping someone plan a redline?
01:10:45 – How long did it take you to redline the Smokies?
01:11:44 – Tell us about your hip injury.
01:16:01 – Tell us about Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
01:18:19 – Have you ever dislocated your shoulder?
01:19:01 – What differentiates this disease from someone with other flexibility or hypermobility?
01:19:41 – How do you cope with or reduce chronic pain?
01:22:22 – How has EDS modified your future plans or goals?
01:24:29 – How common is EDS?
01:25:51 – What else in your lifestyle has changed to pursue your health goals?
01:27:18 – Has it been tough to recalibrate your goals?
01:28:28 – Did you ever wonder if your pain was similar to other hikers’?
01:29:58 – Would cycling be a possible activity for you?
01:31:52 – Tell us about your sister and hiking with her.
01:32:55 – What’s your big 3 these days?
01:34:14 – Hype up van life for us.
01:36:18 – What do you want to share about guiding?
01:37:12 – How did you like working with Jennifer Pharr Davis?
01:38:00 – Anything else you want to share?
01:39:08 – Thank you!
Triple Crown of emotional high points on trail
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