Philip J. Carcia is a hiker, runner, and media creator who has logged over 15,000 miles on some of the most iconic trail networks in North America. Growing up in Massachusetts and cutting his teeth in New Hampshire, Carcia fostered a deep love affair with the mountains of the Northeast at an early age. Almost two-decades later, that love continues to widen, and has become an anchor in Carcia's personal and professional narrative. Most recently, between August 23rd 2018 and July 7th 2019, Carcia climbed all 48 4,000 footers in the White Mountains of New Hampshire in every month, for 12 consecutive months, establishing the Fastest Known Time for one of the most grueling and obscure peak-bagging projects in the United States - the Single Year Grid.
Why we chose Philip
We first met Philip while he was preparing for his now-famous Single Year Grid. For the uninitiated, the Single Year Grid is actually a pretty simple idea: all 48 of New Hampshire's 4000-footers, every month, for 12 consecutive months. Believe it or not, the idea wasn't totally new. In 2016, the Grid was completed in a calendar year over the course of 11 months and 26 days. The completion of the Calendar Year Grid by Vermont-based endurance athlete Sue Johnston effectively reframed what was thought possible with the iconic “list” of mountains.
Philip's idea was to take this behemoth of a challenge and not only make it tougher, but make it his own. In order to lower the fastest time on record for the Grid, he would have to condense the first month and the last month into speed hikes of all 48 peaks. Philip chose to complete these two months by following an illusive and seldom completed route known as the Direttissima. All said, Philip summited 576 White Mountain 4000-footers in exactly 319 elapsed days and now holds the fastest time on record for the Grid.
No grit, no grid. What we love about Philip is the raw determination he displayed during the Single Year Grid. This didn’t happen on accident. Philip researched, trained and committed to “giving fully” everyday in order to see the project through to completion. Philip's name is forever etched in the annals of White Mountains lore and Burgeon is proud to count him among our top-tier brand ambassadors.
Why Philip chose Burgeon
While Philip was hiking, Burgeon was designing an innovative line of products for people like him. Philip received access to advanced prototypes and provided valuable feedback that continues to help mold our development. When Philip geared up for his final push, July 2019's Direttissima, he brought a prototype of the product now known as the Flume Base Layer. He offered the following feedback:
"Anyway, as you both know, I carried the prototype on the Direttissima Route July 1st to 7th. I gave the thing quite a workout, and I'm excited to share some takeaways. I will try to keep them reasonably brief.Fit: When fully zippered, the [Flume Base Layer Prototype] was comfortably snug around my neck, shoulders, chest, and upper torso. Arm length was appropriate, and my thumbs fit well into the thumb-holes. (Love this feature.) Below my chest, the fit was much looser. I didn't mind the extra room though, as the temperatures were frequently on the warmer side, and it was helpful not to have the layer stuck to my skin.Comfort: I believe I mentioned to Justin the day after receiving the [Flume Base Layer Prototype] that I hadn't taken it off yet. Worked in it, slept it in, and continued the following day in it. This is not an exaggeration. The layer was ridiculously comfortable."
Burgeon continues to lean on Philip and our other ambassadors for field testing and product feedback.
In the news
In the days leading up to and following Philip's completion of the single year grid, he was featured in a number of magazines and news articles. Among them are:
And our personal favorite from WOKQ, proclaiming "The GOAT is not Tom Brady, but Rather it's Phil Carcia of NH"
How to follow Philip
Philip is known across the social media universe as @findingphilip. As a public speaker, he talks about his experiences in the mountains regularly throughout New England and hosts his own series of talks at The Notch Hostel in North Woodstock, NH. For more information on Philip, you can visit his website at www.findingphilip.com.