Former Calgary city councillor and mayoral contender Jeromy Farkas has some unfinished business.
No, not on the election trail. On the Pacific Crest Trail.
Farkas, who raised roughly $250,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Calgary (BBBS) with his summer-long trek in 2022, and then nearly $50,000 in his 25 peaks in 25 days adventure for the Alex Community Health Centre, still has a portion of the trail to complete.
While Farkas completed the vast majority of the 4,200-kilometre trail, there was a 253-kilometre portion that was closed off due to the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area wildfire.
Now, Farkas is headed back for nine days to make good on completing the entire trail. That section of the trail has now re-opened to hikers.
Plus, he’s hoping to raise another $5,000 to help BBBS.
“Tackling this final portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is more than just a personal challenge, it’s an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of youth through Big Brothers and Big Sisters,” Farkas told LiveWire Calgary.
“It was always a matter of when not if. Returning this year allows me to accomplish a personal goal while also raising additional funds and awareness for the great work that BBBS does in the community.”
Farkas said that when he got off the plane in Portland, Oregon a flood of emotion returned as he was reunited with hikers he’d left a year ago. Still having this portion remain continued to nag at Farkas for his return.
“As a hiker, completing the entire trail has been a long-held dream, and reaching this portion feels like closing a chapter,” he said.
Nine days – maybe?
Farkas said he’s not in the shape he was in when he did the hike in 2022. While nine days is the planned time to complete the rest of the trail, he’s in no rush, he said.
“The journey is as much about the experience as the destination, and I’m eager to savour every moment along the way,” he said.
Farkas will be going in with a few friends he made last year. There’s an expectation the trail will be rough given that it’s been closed off for the past couple of years.
“I’m expecting plenty of trail obstructions, fallen trees, and loose rocks, making navigation and progress more difficult,” he said.
“Additionally, weather conditions can change rapidly in the mountains, so I’ll need to be prepared for potential rain, flooding, or lightning. Not to mention bears and other wildlife.”
In a letter sent to donors, BBBS said they were happy to partner with Farkas to complete this portion and to see if they could lift the fundraising over the quarter-million dollar mark.
“We’re excited to partner again with Jeromy for a follow-up campaign as he wraps up this 9-day, 253-km section in the remote Oregon wilderness,” the note read.
For more information on the fundraising add-on, you can visit the BBBS website.