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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Long-distance hiking queen seeks to empower women

Heather “Anish” Anderson pauses at in the Sequoia National Park, California, at Forester Pass, elev. 13,200 feet, the high point of her summer of 2013 speed-record hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. (COURTESY PHOTO / Courtesy of Heather Anderson)
Heather “Anish” Anderson pauses at in the Sequoia National Park, California, at Forester Pass, elev. 13,200 feet, the high point of her summer of 2013 speed-record hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. (COURTESY PHOTO / Courtesy of Heather Anderson)

OUTINSPIRE – One of the most accomplished, most durable and most mentally and physically tough backpackers of our time just happens to be a woman, and she’s coming to Spokane.

Record-setting hiker Heather “Anish” Anderson will be speaking at an evening event geared to women on May 6 at Riverside State Park’s Bowl and Pitcher picnic shelter. She’ll be launching REI’s Force of Nature initiative, which aims to make the outdoors a level playing field for women and men.

Anderson, 36, holds the fastest known times for unsupported thru hikes on the Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Arizona Trails. The Western Washington climber and ultra-runner is also a creative writer and inspiring speaker featured by groups and TED Talks.

In 2013, she set the unsupported backpacking speed record for the 2,663-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes.

In 2015, she averaged 42 miles a day for nearly two months to log another unsupported backpacking speed record for hiking the 2,189-mile Appalachian Trail. She marched through 14 states from Maine to Georgia in 54 days, 7 hours and 48 minutes.

Last year, she set the overall self-supported fastest-known-time on the 800-mile Arizona Trail in 19 days, 17 hours, 9 minutes, breaking the previous men’s record by approximately two days.

This is the type of person the word “amazing” was intended to describe.

Her program in Spokane is free, geared to women and limited to 100 guests. Register at REI.com/Learn.

Read Outdoors editor Rich Landers’ 2014 on-the-trail interview with Anish at bit.ly/2pkpDAP

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