Hi y’all! I’m Aubri (‘Data’ on the PCT, and ‘Timex’ on the AT). I started backpacking and hiking with a vengeance on Labor Day weekend 2013, when I backpacked for the first time ever, solo, across the state of Massachusetts on the Appalachian Trail. In 4 days. In snug running shoes with a small toe box, and a Lifestraw for my water. It took 6 months for me to fully feel my feet again, but strangely enough, I couldn’t wait to hike again. After that adventure, I began to explore backpacking on the AT, making mistakes and learning lessons along the way.
Last day, on top of Race Mtn
Adventures of Days Gone By
New England Trail, 2012-2016
I started hiking in 2012, with the desire to hike all of the Blue-Blazed Trails in Connecticut. Part of that included section hiking the Mattabesett and Metacomet Trails, both of which are part of the New England Trail. Over the summer of 2016, I section hiked and backpacked the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, which runs from the CT/MA border to Mt. Monadnock, and the Menunkatuck Trail, which runs from North Guilford to Long Island Sound.
At the summit of Mt. Monadnock
Appalachian Trail, August 2013-August 2017
Over the course of four years, I took 18 trips, and spent 121 days and 93 nights on the Appalachian Trail, averaging 19.7 miles per full day on the trail. I did three 30+ mile days, two in New Jersey and one in Maine’s 100 Mile Wilderness. I hiked solo for the entire trail except in Southern Maine, which I hiked in 2015 with Stretch, Towanda, and Backtrack.
Summit of Katahdin, August 17, 2017
New Hampshire 48 4,000 Footers, 2014-2017
With my Appalachian Trail hikes through the Whites (and a few detours along the way), I had, unbeknownst to me, peak bagged 23 of the New Hampshire 48 4,000 Footers by the end of summer 2016. In March 2017, I began looking for more local hikes on which to train for my final AT trips and discovered the NH 48 list. I completed my first winter-conditions hike in the Whites at the end of March 2017, with 3 feet of snow at the stake, ascending Mt. Tom, Field, and Willey. With something to focus my efforts, I threw myself into weekend hiking the NH 48. On December 30, 2017, I completed my final ascent on Mt. Cabot.
Yes, it was cold (-18 F/-28 C). Yes, that’s ice on my eyelashes.
Tour du Mont Blanc, 2018
In July 2018, I traveled to Switzerland, Italy, and France to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, a circumnavigation of Mont Blanc massif in the Alps. If you want to see what goes into planning a TMB hike (or want to try it yourself), check out my original post (and follow-up post) on The Trek.
Our last day on the TMB, with Mont Blanc in the background
Long Trail, 2018
In August/September 2018, I returned to Vermont to complete the ~60% of the Long Trail that remained for me to hike, with Towanda joining me for a 3-year reunion hike. The AT and the LT are the same trail from the MA/VT border up to Maine Junction, near Killington. Then the AT takes a hard right to go towards New Hampshire and the LT continues up through Vermont to the VT/Canada border.
Record breaking heat and a drought=great hiking! I was so tired by this point. My shoes were also squelchy, all from my own sweat
New England 67 4000 Footers, 2014-2018
With the NH 48 completed, I began working on the New England Hundred Highest (and the 67 along the way). On October 7th, 2018, I completed the New England 67 4,000 Footers at the summit of Hamlin peak in Baxter State Park.
I summited Hamlin peak by 9:30am which, in case you’re wondering, meant I got up really, really early
New England Hundred Highest, 2014-2018
With the NH 48 completed, I began working on the New England Hundred Highest (and the 67 along the way). On October 21st, 2018, after an epic endurance weekend bagging the other 5 Rangeley six-pack summits, I summited Boundary Peak and completed the New England Hundred Highest.
-3 degrees at the summit and finding out how bad moose carcasses smell? Yes, please!
Tully Trail, 2019, 2021
The Tully Trail is a nice local Massachusetts backpacking loop hike, with about 24 miles and 3000′ elevation gain, that shares the Royalston Falls shelter with the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. The shelter is conveniently located ~8 miles from the Trustees’ Tully Lake Campground, offering a great opportunity to split the hike into two leisurely days. I did this hike in April as my first overnight of the season; the trail was flooded around Tully Lake but otherwise, was in good shape!
We can’t go over it, we can’t go under it. We’ll have to go through it!
Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway, 2019
The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway runs through southern New Hampshire for ~48 miles, connecting Mt Monadnock with Mt Sunapee with a combination of trails, old woods roads, and road walking. There are 6 overnight sites, with 5 shelters and one tent platform, allowing thru-hikers to break up the miles as they see fit. I SOBO (south bound) thru-hiked the Greenway in July, as part of my JMT training.
Looking back from Mt. Lovewell, I could see Mt Sunapee in the distance
John Muir Trail (Nüümü Poyo), 2019
The JMT is a 210 mile end-to-end trail (plus another ~10 miles to exit, for a total of 220) in California’s Sierra Nevada with ~60,000′ elevation gain and loss that crosses 14 mountain passes and travels through 3 national parks and 2 wilderness federal wildernesses. The trail’s baseline is around 9,000′, with the lowest point being 4,000′ (northern trail terminus – Yosemite Valley, Happy Isles trailhead) the highest pass being 13,153′ (Forester), and the highest point being 14,505′ (southern trail terminus – Mt Whitney). The permitting process was a bear (though at least it was online rather than by fax as of 2019!); I applied 168 days in advance, giving myself an 8-week window. I was really lucky and received my permit for Happy Isles trailhead through their lottery system, with a start date of August 9th. The altitude kicked my ass, but I toughed it out and made it through, summiting Whitney on day 11!
Tahoe Rim Trail, 2019
The TRT is a 170 mile loop hike around Lake Tahoe in California and Nevada with ~34,000′ of elevation gain and loss. The trail’s high point is Relay Peak (10,330′), cruises around 8,000′, and passes through the Desolation Wilderness and overlaps with the PCT for 49.9 miles of the hike. It’s a multi-use trail, so I encountered both equestrians and mountain-bikers, with the mountain-bikers being both far more prolific and dangerous. After hiking the JMT, I took the bus from Lone Pine and headed to South Lake Tahoe (by way of Gardnerville) and knocked out the TRT hike in 8 days.
On Relay Peak
Northeast 111, 2014-2019, & Adirondack 46, 2018-2019
After the New England Hundred Highest, the next step is of course, the Northeast 111. This is the New England 67 4000+ footers, plus two 4000 footers in the Catskills, and the Adirondack 46 4000+ footers. On October 6, 2019, I finished both the Adirondack 46ers and the 115 peaks of the Northeast 111 on top of Dix.
Of course it was completely socked in, with 50+ MPH winds! Couldn’t finish any other way.
Winter New Hampshire 48 4,000 Footers, 2017-2020
After having some less-than-optimal experiences in the Adirondacks during winter 2019, I decided that I preferred to freeze my ass off in New Hampshire, where at least I knew where I was as I floundered up trails through 3-5 feet of snow. Other than my final NH48 summit done on December 30, 2017 (Cabot), and Tecumseh (which I did in March 2018), I wrapped up my Winter 48 during the 2019 and 2020 winter seasons. I finished my Winter 48 on the summit of Jackson on March 14, 2020, right before the pandemic lock-down happened.
There were 40+ MPH winds that day, but at least it was sunny!!
Northeast Ultra 8, 2018-2020
The Northeast Ultra 8 are a collection of 8 different hikes, each intensely challenging; to count towards this list, each hike must be completed in less than 24 hours. The hikes include: Pemi Loop; Devil’s Path; Great Range Traverse; Presidential Traverse; Mahoosuc Traverse; Cranberry 50; Saranac 6; and the Taconic Crest Trail. I completed my Ultra 8 with a Mahoosuc Traverse on June 20, 2020.
Winter New England 67 4,000 Footers, 2017-2021
With my winter New Hampshire 48 finished in March 2020, I dedicated myself to hiking the remaining 19 summits in the 2020-2021 winter season. I kicked off the winter season with a trip to Baxter State Park, staying in a tiny cabin at Daicey Pond, and summiting Katahdin Baxter and Hamlin, and North and South Brother, Fort, and Coe in two days. While navigating COVID restrictions, snowstorms, and sub-zero temperatures, I completed my Winter 67 on the summit of Bigelow West peak on March 7, 2021.
Pacific Crest Trail, 2019-present
I started hiking the PCT with a thru-hike of the JMT and TRT in 2019; those trails overlap with the PCT for ~220 miles. In August 2020, I did a LASH (long-ass section hike) from Harts Pass north to the US-Canadian border and then south from the border down to the Bridge of the Gods/Columbia River at the WA/OR border. My hope is to be back on the PCT in early April for a section in Southern California and then hike a section in Northern California in August.
The Grid, 2014-present
Southern California, PCT section, April 2021
JMT, July 2021
Northern California, PCT section, August 2021
Chamonix -> Zermatt, Walkers’ Haute Route, The Alps; July 2022
Future Hopes and Dreams
When I’m not hiking…
When I’m not hiking through the mountains, I keep very busy! I rock climb; run; swing and flip on the flying trapeze; dance (mainly East Coast Swing); read YA, fantasy, and sci-fi; crochet amigurumi; train my ginger tabby cat (or does he train me?); watch TV shows (I’ll be a Browncoat to the very end); play board games (think Settlers of Catan/Eurogames); spend time with my partner Toby; and research medical issues for friends and friends-of-friends. I’m also a passionate advocate for LGBTQ+ people and other social justice issues.
And to pay the bills (and improve the world I live in), I’m a public health researcher. I’ve spent time working in the realm of social-behavioral research (focused on teen pregnancy prevention, interventions for unhoused individuals, diabetes prevention, and increasing accessibility to libraries for transgender individuals), and now I provide research support to physician-investigators doing bio-medical NIH-funded research studies.