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Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva

Ryan "Dirtmonger" Sylva

Ryan “Dirtmonger” Sylva

As a wanderer, the urge to explore is too great. I aspire to always go farther, beyond. A few years back I decided on a thru-hiking lifestyle in which I sought ground rather than a bed, preferred walking rather than driving, and sought simplicity most of all. So, I patterned my backpacking style after my ultrarunning background: light, fast, and efficient. I, then, applied the ultra-light hiking style on the PCT and the CDT, mashing mile upon mile over rugged terrain, all the while being healthy and strong.

After my first 2 long-distance hikes, in 2013 I pioneered a 3000m route around the Four Corners Region connecting the AZT, Hayduke Trail, and GET. I dubbed the route the Vagabond Loop. The freedom of the open Southwest territory has been one of the most exhilarating experiences thus far in my life, one I still daydream about.

A few months later I became part of a mentoring program where aspiring thru-hikers received tutelage from experienced thru-hikers. In this program I met April, a fellow Gossamer Gear ambassador, who asked me to hike the PCT with her last summer of 2014. I eagerly accepted her invitation and ventured into a trail romance. I proposed on the summit of Mt. Baden Powell and we tied the knot on the slopes of Mt. Hood in front of Timberline Lodge right on the PCT. After our vows, we hiked onward to Canada, then spent our honeymoon traversing the famed isle of Corsica and the GR20.

The trail still beckons. And in the summer of 2015, I will be creating a route focusing on the hinterlands of the rugged, barren and dry open spaces of some of the least traveled places in the West. Details to come!


Home:Glenwood Springs, CO

Age: 37


Outdoor Organization Involvement: Volunteer, Pacific Crest Trail Association | Mentor, MyYamaAdventure Program | Member, American Long Distance Hikers West Association

Favorite Training Ground: Moab, Utah. I find the rugged terrain and gritty rock great to train for the rigors of a thru-hike. Plus, the beauty is mind boggling.

My Favorite Pack: The Gossamer Gear Kumo

I Never Hit The Trail Without: My Kumo.