Thru-Max

People like to play with Google Maps to find “the world’s longest walk.”

But how can you find the world’s longest hike?

It’s simple. Look up “list of mountain ranges by length” – and then see which ones you can string together.

…oh, you’d like me to do the work for you? Well it just so happens-

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN SOUTH AMERICA

The Andes

PITCH ONE: The Greater Patagonia Trail, from Ushuaia to Santiago de Chile (1900mi)

PITCH TWO: Santiago to La Paz (1,200mi as the crow flies)

PITCH THREE: PERU (2,000mi as the crow flies)

PITCH FOUR: ECUADOR, COLOMBIA, VENEZUELA, ending in Caracas (1,400 miles as the crow flies)

…aka GPT-Max

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKES IN NORTH AMERICA

The Greater Rockies

PITCH ONE: CENTRAL AMERICA – The Darien Gap to Salina Cruz, Mexico

PITCH TWO: MEXICO – Salina Cruz to Ciudad Juarez

PITCH THREE: THE CDT (3000mi)

PITCH FOUR: THE CANADIAN ROCKIES (1700mi as the crow flies)

Ending at either Utqiagvik, Alaska or Point Hope, Alaska, depending on if you’re going “most north” or “longest”

…aka CDT-Max

-OR-

The Greater Sierras

PITCH ONE: BAJA CALIFORNIA (Cabo to Campo: 7,60 miles)

PITCH TWO: THE PCT (2,650 miles)

PITCH THREE: MORE CANADIAN MOUNTAINS (like 1,400mi to Whitehorse)

PITCH FOUR: ALASKA – to Ikatan Bay, Alaska (or canoeing out to… Russia?)

…aka PCT-Max

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN AFRICA

The Great Escarpment Horseshoe (Luanda, Angola to Cape Agulhas, South Africa, then up to Port Said, Egypt)

…going monodirectional, it’d be Agulhas to Port Said – about 6,500mi road walk, or 4,500mi flies-the-crow.

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKES IN ASIA

The Northern Route: Cape Dezhnev, Russia, down through the Altai, the Tian Shan, the Hindu Kush, and the Caucasus Mountains, to Sebastopol.

…as a direct line, this is 4,500 mi, which distance measure could not possibly be more meaningless.

The Southern Route: Shanghai, across the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, the Elburz, and the Taurus, to Istanbul.

… 5,000mi, by Airbus

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN THE MIDDLE EAST

The Hijaz Trail: The west coast of Saudi Arabia, up the Levant, ending in Tripoli or Homs

LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN EUROPE

Start in Istanbul, follow the Balkans, the Alps, and the Pyrenees, ending in Santiago (the Camino)

OTHER MAJOR RANGES

The Appalachian Trail (at its most extended, Pensacola to Cap Gaspe)

Florida Trail (at its most comical, Key West to Pensacola)

The Atlas Mountains – Morocco (east-west)

The Dolomites – Italy (north-south)

The Carpathians – Eastern Europe (they’re doin’ their own thing)

All Of Norway Lol (north-south)

The Urals (north-south)

The Entire Ass East Coast Of Australia

Te Araroa (NZ, 1900mi)

A Shit Ton Of Islands In The Pacific Have Mountain Ranges That Are Even Longer Than Te Araroa

Madagascar (north-south or loop)

Iceland (cross or loop)

Ain’t Even Touching The Subcontinent, Here

And, Again, There Are Just A LOT Of Himalayas

THRU-MAXING

What, then, are the longest thruhikes that you can make by combining these hikes/ranges?

There are, broadly, four.

THE GREAT AMERICA THRU

The Andes + one of the two North American route 

 = Antarctic to Arctic thru

THE GREAT RIFT THRU

Eastern Africa + The Levant + The Taurus Range + The Carpathians + Norway

 = Antarctic to Arctic thru

THE LOOP OF HERCULES

The Atlas Mountains + West Africa + South Africa + East Africa + The Levant + Turkey + The Balkans + The Alps + The Pyrenees + The Sierra da Estrelas + Beginning and Ending at Gibraltar

THE LONGEST WAY

Cape Dezhnev to Santiago de Compostela

(Shanghai to Santiago… “The Chinese Way”?)

THE LOL, LMAO

Singapore to Novaya Zemlya, I don’t even

I shall write about the GAT in the future. For now: to bed.

-silver

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