Vasque’s Thru-Hike Syndicate Adds the CDT in 2016

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Brand Partner-fueled Thru-Hike Syndicate Continues to be a Collaborative Success 

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Red Wing, MN – November 2, 2015 – As final 2015 Thru-Hike Syndicate members finish their adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Appalachian Trail (AT), Vasque and Thru-Hike Syndicate brand partners Osprey Packs, NEMO Equipment, Leki Trekking Poles and Darn Tough Vermont, are excited to announce the addition of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) for 2016. Since 2014, the Thru-Hike Syndicate has supported a select group of thru-hikers each year who are attempting to complete either the AT or the PCT, and they are excited to open that up to thru-hikers attempting the 3,100 mile CDT.

With the popularity of the movie Wild, in 2014, the PCT saw an influx of thru-hikers attempting the trail. As a result of this ‘Wild Effect’, the other trails in the Triple Crown are seeing an increase in thru-hikers.

“Once people have thru-hiked the PCT, they often attempt the AT and then continue on to complete the Triple Crown, by thru-hiking the CDT.” Says Peter Sustr of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition.

Due to the influx, both the AT and PCT are encouraging thru-hikers to register their start date in order to spread out start times, so as to not put undue stress on the natural environments of the trail. Additionally, the CDT is running a shuttle service to help hikers get to the start of the trail at the New Mexico border during high peak times.

“Vasque is looking forward to the expansion of the 2016 Thru-Hike Syndicate to the CDT, working with our new ambassadors on Leave No Trace principles and encouraging them to register their start dates to help these trails manage the influx of hikers,” states Julie Quinn, Vasque Footwear Marketing Manager. “Our 2015 team of 20 thru-hike ambassadors were talented storytellers on Instagram, and many of Vasque’s fans enjoyed watching their journeys via the Thru Hike Syndicate’s Instagram page. These hikers put our shoes to the ultimate test, day after day, which allowed us to gather invaluable feedback on our products for future performance hiking designs.”

In 2015, 80% of the PCT thru-hikers and 50% of the AT thru-hikers in the Syndicate completed their respective trails for a total cumulative distance of 32,105 miles. Each hiker used lightweight, thru-hiker approved gear from brand partners and supplied social media content throughout their hike.

“Osprey is very pleased with the success of the Thru-Hike Syndicate and it is fun to be involved in these fantastic partnership efforts, both with the long distance Ambassadors and exemplary outdoor brands,” Sam Mix, Conduit of Corporate Outreach for Osprey shares. “The Thru-Hike Syndicate has been of great value to us as it provides a unique storytelling aspect via the Ambassadors’ many adventures and thorough product testing opportunities on our packs. We look forward to the addition of our backyard National Scenic Trail, the CDT, to the Syndicate in 2016.”

“The Thru-Hike Syndicate initiative is like nothing else we are seeing in the industry,” says Courtney Laggner, Marketing Manager of Darn Tough Vermont. “Sharing the excitement, thrills and views from the ambassadors’ journeys with our fans is something we value here at Darn Tough Vermont, and hope it inspires others to get outdoors and push their limits.”

The application process to become a member of the 2016 Thru-Hike Syndicate for thru-hiking the AT, PCT or CDT is open now through November 13, 2015. Final candidates will be announced on January 11, 2016. Those interested in being a 2016 Thru-Hike Syndicate member should apply here: http://bit.ly/THS2016.

To learn more about this successful brand collaboration and see the photo journeys of various thru-hike ambassadors, visit the Thru-Hike Syndicate’s site or contact Angie Houck at angie@darbycommunications.com for more information.

About Vasque

Since 1964, Vasque has been making performance hiking footwear that is trusted on the trail. Bringing the latest in technology and design to outdoor enthusiasts, Vasque’s collection of backpacking, performance hiking, insulated and trail running shoes are designed for all day comfort regardless of conditions.

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