Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2013 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge: Complete Results Of Our Inaugural Adventure Blogging Contest

art & design by Ras Scott Mosher of Ites Design

2013 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge

Complete Results Of Our Inaugural Adventure Blogging Contest

     The goal of the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge is many fold: to form an adventure paradigm where runners, hikers, and all forms of pedestrians can participate on an even footing (figuratively); to promote the ethics of efficiency and good style over pure speed; to expose people to routes they would not encounter in the formalized racing scene; and finally to juxtapose the many different results and experiences participants achieved via their various means for all to see and draw from.

     This experiment in building new paradigms would not have been possible without the generous support of our sponsors:

     Out of twenty-nine people who signed up for the 2013 UPWC only 16 completed the route within the allowed time frame. It was fascinating to see the different techniques and methodologies yield their varied results. It's our goal to continue to find innovative ways for pedestrians of different disciplines and traditions to test themselves again the trails and one another.

     Huge Thanks and Respect to everyone who entered the 2013 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge. Thank you for having faith in us at UltraPedestrian.com and in yourself.

Matt Hayes & Roger Michel - 9:28
1st/2nd  Overall
1st Team

1st/2nd Men's 

Roger's Trip Report

Roger responds:
Why the Wilderness Challenge: To run a loop i have heard of but never had the chance of doing... completely unsupported 

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: Runner 

Favorite part of the UPWC: The idea of being able to do it in a large time window, with a friend 

Goals for 2014: UPWC! and hopefully some other ultras 


Heather Anderson - 10:46
Best Blog Writing Award
3rd Overall
1st Solo
1st Women's

Heather's Trip Report

Why the Wilderness Challenge: I have always wanted to run it (the Devil's Dome Loop).

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: Mountain Lover and Limit Pusher

Favorite part of the UPWC: Running such a beautiful trail

Goals for 2014: Set an FKT (or two!) Run at least one 100 mile race in addition to HURT.



James Varner & Danny Gnojek (not pictured) - 12:04
4th/5th Overall
2nd Team

3rd/4th Men's

James' Trip Report

James responds:
Why the Wilderness Challenge: Running "competitively" in wilderness. And running such a scenic/challenging loop.

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: Runner

Favorite part of the UPWC: Running up high and the view up there.

Goals for 2014: Hardrock hopefully. Maybe an FKT somewhere...



Eric Sach - 12:39
6th Overall
2nd Solo

5th Men's

Eric's Trip Report


John Barrickman - 13:41
Best Wildlife Encounter
7th Overall
3nd Solo

6th Men's

John's Trip Report

Why the Wilderness Challenge: It was the package deal that incorporates self-sufficiency, flexibility, and an adventure into an unknown area! I won’t hang a “most interested” label on any one aspect of the UPWC.

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: I am a slow runner, fast hiker who makes frequent stops to take in the sights and sounds.  I don’t mind going solo and love getting inside my head where I can entertain myself with silly thoughts and songs.  I feel comfortable with navigation, route finding, bushwhacking, and night travel…just not all at the same time.  

Favorite part of the UPWC: Just being out there and seeing/watching the bears, hearing the little birds chirping in the trees, views from atop the ridges, and all the rodent wildlife with the feeling of being alone in a remote area woven in. 

Goals for 2014: I will keep chipping away at my two boys, 9 and 15, with the goal of getting them into trail running.  They are already fantastic backcountry backpackers and it would be a dream come true to one day run a Devil Dome Loop with them.  As for myself, this year I will go big. I don’t like to divulge “The Grand Plan” so far in advance because things happen in life which may derail my attempts and I don’t like the perceived added pressure. The three things I can comment on are Badger 100, 4th consecutive WR, and UPWC ’14…Whoo Hooo!!


Arya Farahani - 14:05
Best Video
8th Overall
4th Solo

7th Men's

Arya's Trip Report & Video

Why the Wilderness Challenge: I would have to say the most interesting aspect of it initially was the variety with which one could approach the challenge. Beyond the predetermined course and the generous time frame to complete it, it was up to you to do what you want. The various methods we saw used by the different people who completed the challenge is a testament to that.

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: Hmmm. That's a tough question to answer. I would have to say I am some sort of amalgamation of the three plus a few more types of wilderness person. I don't like definitions as they place unseen boundaries on what I aspire to do outdoors. I guess my favorite thing to do is head in to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and combine different trails as well as going off trail to attain (or enchain) multiple summits in one outing. It's almost like training in reverse. For me, these solo link-ups are the ultimate goal. Running ultras and other events are my "long slow distance" runs and a chance to see friends. I think this is another reason why I was drawn to the uniqueness of the UPWC.

Favorite part of the UPWC: Finishing unscathed. In all honesty its hard to really nail down one aspect or part that was the best. It took me out of my comfort zone by placing me in the North Cascades (which I had never been to) and following a course that at times was very remote, not to mention long with a ton of vertical gain. I've done longer "self contained" adventures before but those where all along the I-90 corridor where worst case scenario I descend out of the mountains and look for the nearest 7-11. If things went south during the UPWC it would be a whole other can of worms. It ranks in the top 3 hardest and sketchiest adventures I've had (yet) and looking back now its that aspect that makes me smile with the type of content that will probably get me in to trouble one of these days.

Goals for 2014: Stay uninjured. After that my running goals include attempting my first 100 (possibly Badger Mountain if I feel my body is ready), running many of the same events I did this year and attempt to beat all this years times, and hopefully win a few of the lotteries I have now qualified to. Of course I'll have my fingers crossed for "the big dance" but more than anything I want to run the CCC (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix), little sister to the UTMB. Tor des Géants is kind of my fantasy event I dream about one day but for the time being the CCC is plenty. I also spent much of this summer gathering beta for one FKR attempt as well as one OKT attempt this coming year. Those however will remain a secret for now. Not because I'm worried someone else will break/set it before me (please do) but I have yet to even admit to myself I might attempt them. I avoid deciding on things until the last minute as the enormity of certain undertaking often weights heavy on my mind. Either way it should be a great 2014!


Jeff Forister - 15:00
Best Photographs
9th Overall
5th Solo

8th Men's

Jeff's Trip Report & Photos

Why the Wilderness Challenge: What interested me most about this Challenge was the combined elements of location/ route, open period of time (2 months) to run the course when I have the free time to do so, and the interesting use of technology as a way to verify that I actually completed the route.

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: I would described myself as a backcountry enthusiast who has gained various intimate experiences (physical, mental, spiritual) with the mountains over the years using a variety of skill sets in backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing,  thru hiking and long distance mountain running as a means to do so.

Favorite part of the UPWC: The freedom to run the route, as a "race" when I want to within a two month time period.  Turns out I really enjoyed reading about the other entrants experiences, which I wasn't even expecting when I had signed up.  

Goals for 2014: Honestly I really haven't given it much thought, other than stay healthy enough to keep on trucking around all these great trails.  I would like to be in good enough shape to finish Plain next year but there are just too many variables between now and then.  Having a family, it is hard to know how much time I really can train for something like that.  I hope to backpack with the family in 2014, that's for sure!  Oh yes and the UPWC for 2014 of course!!


Peteris Ledins - 15:10
10th Overall
6th Solo

9th Men's

Peteris' Photos


Stacey Nievweija & Roger Michel - 16:40

Gnarliest SNAFU
Double Dipper Award (Roger)
11th Overall (Stacey)
1st Mixed Team

2nd Women's (Stacey)

Stacey's Trip Report

Why the Wilderness Challenge: It just sounded like fun!!! It was a loop long lost on my to-do list over a decade ago, as a hiker. Was super excited to do it!

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: For me running/hiking/adventuring is a sport of the heart and soul: testing my limits, facing fears, bonding with all that is around me, and just having a good ol' time. I love to have fun out there, decompress, de-grumpify and process all that this crazy wild world puts in front of us. It a passion as long as my body will allow me to use it.  My job as an RN reminds me every day that tomorrow I may not be able to run, so love life and grab it while ya can!  I am not fast nor talented and do not care about that. I am stubborn so that helps where talent and speed fail. I love the road, trails, short, long, does not matter they are all awesome in their unique ways. Its one of the ways I can set an example to my son to go out and grab life, enjoy it and work hard for it. It is an activity we enjoy together greatly.

Favorite part of the UPWC: Loved the "community vibe" . Loved that it was not one day only event, non-supported, all up to you. That it was an adventure that lasted over a span of time. You go do your part and then as time goes on you can see other people's experiences. A different way to bond over a a specific trail adventure, unique and special, would luv to see more of that!

Goals for 2014:  Hmmmmm not sure yet....another multi-day for sure, similiar to Run For the Border....


Daniel Fox - 17:54
12th Overall
7th Solo

10th Men's

Dan's Trip Photos

John St. Laurent - 25:06
13th Overall
8th Solo

11th Men's

John's Trip Report

Why the Wilderness Challenge: The past several years I’ve participated in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Open (BMWO), and happened upon the site for the UPWC by chance. Well, sort of by chance: the host of the BMWO is friends with Jill Homer and their blogs cross-pollinate a bit. Jill linked some interviews with Ras, and I’m pretty sure that’s how I ended up at the UltraPedestrian website.

I’ve recently seen the value of engaging with the larger outside community more, but by temperament avoid large events with outside media, sponsorships, and the like. Why should I pay an event to travel through wilderness that I own, when I can do that for free? I’m drawn to unsupported or self-supported efforts, so there is no value-add for me in most organized events.

So, it’s very rare for me to encounter an event that meets my criteria. So far it’s been the BMWO, the UPWC, and (if I ever have a chance to go) the Alaska Mountain and Wilderness Classic.

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: I’m definitely not much of a runner (!) but am certainly a hiker, as Andrew Skurka uses the term.

Favorite part of the UPWC: Being able to confirm that I could cover that much distance in one push. I’d never gone quite that long in a single “day” hike before. I didn’t even beaten up afterwards.

Goals for 2014: I’m considering going to the southwest around April to walk the Grand Canyon R-R-R and the Zion Traverse as a combo trip. I’ve never been there before.

In May or early June the Bob Marshall Wilderness Open will have its third year.

I also try to get in a “trek distance” (less than 100 mile) backpack each year. One of: the Timberline Trail, the Tahoe Rim Trail, Three Sisters Loop, Mt Adams RTM, maybe Section J of the PCT (if I can figure out the logistics solo).


Kathy Vaughan & Lisa Eversgerd - 26:24 
Camaraderie Award
14th/15th Overall
1st Women's Team
3rd/4th Women's

Kathy's Trip Report

Why the Wilderness Challenge: I was mostly interested in the Wilderness Challenge because of the Devil's Dome Loop. This loop is what sparked my interest in backpacking 15 years ago and that morphed into trail running and fast packing, 3  years ago. I liked the idea that I could do the loop at any pace I wanted. I had originally wanted to do it twice, once with my friend Lisa Eversgerd as a fast hike and the other time with my friend Deby Kumasaka as a run. I ended up having some health issues and just did the hike, but it was awesome and the highlight of my summer. I still hope to get out there with Deby sometime!

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: I am an ultrarunner who enjoys fastpacking trips as well. I just want to move for hours along scenic trail in the company of other cool, like-minded people. I have a slower pace and mix in a lot of hiking on a loop like the Devil's Dome.

Favorite part of the UPWC: The Wilderness Challenge was a blast and I can't wait to participate again next year. The idea of folks going out to do the same trail and enjoy their own experience of it, then sharing it with each other through writings and photos, is a unique and fun idea. I like how everyone can choose everything about the adventure themselves-which direction they will go, solo or with a teammate, overnight or in one shot, any starting time that works-its the perfect format for independent thinking ultrarunners/hikers.
Goals for 2014: My goals for next year are to complete my 2nd 100 mile trail run, the Lumberjack Endurance Run in April. I then want to run Echo Valley 50 miler in June and in May, I plan on running somewhere in Arizona or Utah, on an unsupported long adventure run with Ras. This winter, I will go on long, ultra distance cross country ski adventures every chance I get. I will also run Deception Pass 50k in December and Ft. Ebey Kettles Trial Marathon in February. 



Why the Wilderness Challenge: Spending time in the Wilderness with my good friend Kathy

Describe yourself as a runner/hiker/adventurer: A casual adventurer who loves to spend time in wild places.

Favorite part of the UPWC: Beautiful Jack Mountain and all the scenery.  Also love the crazy magic time when the day turns to night

Goals for 2014: More fastpacking adventures!!--I fell in love with the tiny backpack and moving light and quick over the landscape


Glenn Rogers - 29:15
Excellence In Blogging Award
16th Overall
9th Solo
12th Men's

Glen's Trip Report Day 1

Glen's Trip Report Day 2


1 comment:

  1. Your "go as you please" Wilderness Challenge looks pretty cool....maybe next year!