Pepper aka Shawn Forry

   I grew up in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish country just north of the  Mason-Dixon line in York, PA. Consequently I enjoy simplicity and purpose, both of which are inherent with long distance hiking. As a kid I grew up car-camping with my family as well as frequenting the Appalachian Mountain corridor with our annual family reunions. With dirty knees and grass stains, the outdoors has always been where I’ve felt most at home.

     I’m currently residing in Truckee, CA (winter) and Midpines, Ca (summer), but I tend to move around the country with employment having worked and lived in such wonderful places as the Greater Yellowstone corridor of Red Lodge, MT, the great North Woods of Ely, MN, the border culture of Redford, TX as well as the western entrance of Yosemite in Midpines, CA. I split my year working as a wilderness field instructor for Outward Bound, taking students and adults out on backpacking and climbing expeditions, and by winter, I harness the power of 10 dog sled-teams by running scenic interpretive tours with Wilderness Adventure in Squaw Valley.

    Since 2003 I’ve hiked over 20,000 miles through 26 states and 7 countries, including Nepal and New Zealand and most of Europe. Some of my best friends are fellow hikers I’ve met along the way and the experiences I’ve shared with them can never be replaced. Long distance backpacking has taught me a lot. Determination, problem solving, helping out your fellow neighbor and protecting what is dear to me (the environment) is something I’ve been able to translate into my every day life. Whether it be where I work, live, or play, the lessons of the trail are my guiding principles and are what carry me through to the next challenge.

    Prior to hiking, life has taken me through various and interesting paths. By age 15 I was turning wrenches and restoring my own VW beetle. For 10+ years I played drums with numerous bands, some fortunate enough to sign to some small labels  and tour the country for weeks at a time. As well, my former profession of managing high end weddings and special events with a local catering company used to consume my days.

    People ask me why my trailname is Pepper. While hiking on the Appalachian Trail, in conversing with other hikers, the topic of where you were from always came up. In my reply of ‘York’, people always mistook me by thinking I was saying ‘New York’. Once I replied by saying “no, the Peppermint Patty” and at  that point my fate was sealed. So truth be told, my actual trail name is Peppermint Patty, which many thought comical calling a large bearded man, ‘Peppermint Patty’. Such is life.



random tidbits


Shawn Forry

Date of birth:


home town:

York, PA


Outward Bound Lead Instructor, Wilderness Adventures Musher



Endlessly adjusting the tension on my sewing machine

Discovering new music

Progressing beyond survival skiing

Gripping rocks in upward progress

Trying to identify new trees

Planning the next adventure


about me