Eric Manbeck

AKA - "Sundown"

  • From State College, Pennsylvania
  • Job: HDD environmental drilling
  • Experience: AT, PCT, JMT, TRT, FT, TA, and CDT.


Age: 46
Previous Thru-hikes: AT, PCT, JMT, TRT, FT, TA, and CDT.

What are some of my hobbies?
Hiking, bouldering, fitness, jogging, skiing, and travel.

So why are you doing the great western loop?
I loved the PCT and CDT,would do either again, I have wanted to do the PNT, and love challenges that not too many people have done.

What do you think will get you to the end?
The fact that I have never quit a thru-hike. 

What do you want to be remembered for?
Being a committed hiker that respected the land, the mountains, other hikers, and myself.

How would your parents describe you?
A strong willed person, who followed his own path.

What’s your luxury item?
Might have a few. But a hacky sack.

Who is the person you look up to the most and why?
I have always looked up to John Prine as a singer/songwriter. And it really boils down to the fact that he writes such genuine and truthful words.

Three words to describe yourself?
Stubborn, honest, and young at heart.

Describe your perfect day on trail?
Warm enough to get up in comfort, I can rub the back of my hand across the roof of my tarp tent and feel no condensation and know I will pack up a dry tent to hike with all day. Have a nice casual grade with some ups and downs with a little cloud cover but mostly sun, a nice spot with a view somewhere between 12:00 & 3:00 to stop for a 45 minute lunch break. Either a nice log to sit on or a nice flat spot to spread my z-rest and lay back to have a ramen and a coffee. Then push some more miles in the afternoon, find a nice spot to camp with some company and a view. 

What would be the reason for you NOT to finish?
Hasn’t happened, but it would have to be a serious injury, or a close and serious family situation.