Sanne, (pronounced ‘Seh-neh’), was born in Denmark, and lived both there and Canada before moving to the UnitedStates. Sanne’s father loved the outdoors and under his influence, she spent her childhood and youth hiking, skiing and sailing.
Later in college, Sanne got her first taste in backpacking and started trekking through Pennsylvania and Europe. Even while living in New York City, Sanne found a way to hike, backpack and do trail maintenance. She found the trail time to be more of an act of self-preservation than of merely enjoying the woods. “I didn’t want to hike”, she says, “I needed to hike”.
She hiked alone for many years before meeting her husband-to-be, Chris, aka Spur, on the Appalachian Trail. It was the day before she turned 44 and as he spun stories of his A.T. thru hike, Sanne found herself nearing the realities of her own long distance hike. She had dreamed of thru-hiking the AT from as far back as '81, and had even drawn up several "plans" for what such a hike would look like. She had been cobbling together a section hike all through the 80's and 90's, but it wasn't until she and Chris met in 2000 that her Trail thru-hiking dreams became reality.
After honeymooning on the A.T. in 2001, they went on to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2002, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2006. In between their "Triple Crown" hikes she also found time to complete much of the CO Trail, Bruce Trail, and Bartram Trail. In subsequent years, business responsibilities, injuries and caring for elderly parents kept her near home. The love of long treks never faded and as time would permit, Sanne found herself doing the Long Trail in Vermont and the Chilkoot Trail in Alaska. Along with countless smaller trails, Sanne has kept her love for the trail and for adventure strong and alive.
Sanne celebrated her 50th birthday with a rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon, and recently traveled to India for hiking, Ayruvedic studies, yoga and volunteering at a village school. Her plans for this year include some major miles on a yet-to-be determined trail. “Maybe the John Muir Trail, part of the Great Divide Trail or some canyoneering in Utah”, she says with a smile.
Sanne is a member of quite a number of trail associations and conservancy groups, the ATC being the most formidable. She and Chris are founding members of the AT Museum, and for ten years Sanne did trail work during the summers with the ADK Volunteer Trail work program. She has also been the Trail Monitor for the AT's Nuclear Lake section, a member of the NYNJ chapter of the ATC, and did many volunteer stints with the ATC and/or ALDHA.
Sanne is also extremely active in ALDHA- the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association. She has served as the newsletter editor and later, the Assistant Coordinator. As the current President of the Earl Shaffer Foundation, she assists in making Earl's dream of publishing his poems a reality and providing donations to organizations near and dear to Earl's heart. An avid photographer and journalist, she, along with Chris, maintains a website that features some of their journals and photos.
The Summit is so lucky to have Sanne as our guest this summer! For more information on her and her photography, writing and adventures, visit www.artofthetrail.com.