Mandy “Veggie” Redpath was raised on the East Coast, but the West stole her heart. She had a pivotal moment in college at Syracuse University that started the westward trend. At a club fair, she went to sign up for club lacrosse. However, the team looked miserable and bored. A few tables over, the Syracuse University Outing Club (SUOC) was carrying someone around in a backpack and having way more fun.
SUOC taught her how to backpack and backpacking became the activity that her life revolved around. She completed two Caminos and the AT while in college. Upon leaving, she leveraged those connections to get a job in Vail, Colorado where they expect you to arrive in the fall and quit in the spring. Perfect for thru-hiking!
Veggie completed the PCT the next year and found herself wanting to understand the landscapes that she hiked through. So, she went to Teton Science School and Prescott College to end up with a master’s degree in Environmental Studies.
Part way through, however, she couldn’t resist the CDT. Newly equipped to interpret changing flora and fauna, the trail resonated more than others. The CDT would also become one of her favorite trails because she met her hiking partner, Karma, there going the opposite direction.
The two would go on a hiking spree from 2016-2019 while working two jobs in the winters. She became more rooted in the Western landscapes as she learned more about them. Then, when the pandemic hit, they converted a campervan to live in together. But, the hiking itch has returned and back to the trail they go!