August 10, 2020

Barney Scout Mann

Harvard Book Store's virtual event series welcomes author and long-distance hiker BARNEY SCOUT MANN for a discussion of his book Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail. He will be joined in conversation by professional hiker LIZ THOMAS, author of Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-hike and Editor-in-Chief of Treeline Review.


In Journeys North, legendary trail angel, thru hiker, and former PCTA board member Barney Scout Mann spins a compelling tale of six hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 as they walk from Mexico to Canada. This ensemble story unfolds as these half-dozen hikers—including Barney and his wife, Sandy—trod north, slowly forming relationships and revealing their deepest secrets and aspirations. They face a once-in-a-generation drought and early severe winter storms that test their will in this bare-knuckled adventure. In fact, only a third of all the hikers who set out on the trail that year would finish.

As the group approaches Canada, a storm rages. How will these very different hikers, ranging in age, gender, and background, respond to the hardship and suffering ahead of them? Can they all make the final 60-mile push through freezing temperatures, sleet, and snow, or will some reach their breaking point?

Journeys North is a story of grit, compassion, and the relationships people forge when they strive toward a common goal.

About Author(s)

Barney Scout Mann has hiked the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails. He has been board chair of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and is president of the Partnership for the National Trails System. Mann has been recognized with a Lowell Thomas Journalism Award and is the coauthor of The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail and author of The Continental Divide Trail: Exploring America’s Ridgeline Trail. He and his wife, Sandy, live in San Diego and have hosted more than 7,000 PCT hikers.

Liz Thomas is a professional hiker, speaker, and writer who held the women’s self-supported speed record on the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail from 2011-2015. Called a "thru-hiking legend" by Outside Magazine for her innovative urban hikes, Liz has also hiked 20+ long distance trails including the Triple Crown of Hiking (AT, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail) and first known traverses of the Wasatch Range and Chinook Trail. Liz is a former outdoor staff writer for the New York Times/Wirecutter and current Editor-in-Chief for the outdoor webmagazine Treeline Review. She's the author of Long Trails: Mastering the Art of the Thru-hike, which received the 2017 National Outdoor Book Award for Best Instructional book with judges calling it destined to become the “Bible of the Sport.”