Monday, June 9, 2014

2014 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge

2014 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge
art & design by Ras Scott Mosher of Ites Design
Each participant who completed the 2013 UPWC
received this custom designed patch. For the
2014 UPWC there will be a unique finisher's patch
for each route, and a special award for those
rare souls adventurous and badass enough to
complete all three routes, aka the Triple Crown.
    The second annual UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge is a multi-faceted multi-media adventure blogging contest open to Trailrunners, Fastpackers, and Backpackers. This year we are offering three unique routes. Entrants may attempt any or all of these. There are no aid stations, no course markings, no start/finish, no lemming lines, no cut offs, no set date, in fact, it's all up to you. 

     Route #1, chosen by Heather 'Anish' Anderson, is the Olympic Coast Route. This route runs 52 miles point to point between the Shi Shi Beach Trailhead in the north, and the Oil City Trailhead in the south. The Olympic Coast Route will test your logistical skills, as it involves timing tides, difficult creek and river fords, and nine miles of road to access the bridge across the unfordable Quillayute River. The Olympic Coast Route may be completed North to South, South to North, or as an out-and-back for the Epic Double.

     Route #2, chosen by Kathy Vaughan, is a 45 mile figure eight route connecting the Mother Mountain Loop and the Northern Loop in Mount Rainier National Park. This is a brutally tough and jaw-droppingly beautiful sampling of the trails in the park, with only a few miles overlapping the Wonderland Trail. Kathy will be largely out of touch until early May. The Mother Mountain/Northern Loop Route may be begun at any point on the route and traveled in either direction, so long as it is done as a figure eight ending at the same point at which it began.

     Route #3, chosen by Eric Sach, is the Alpine Lakes Route, which includes a variety of distance/difficulty options. The specifics of this route are still being finalized. As soon as they are, official information will be posted in the UPWC Facebook Group. Those souls brave enough to sign up for this route before the specifics are posted, will be e-mailed that information as soon as it is available.

     All participants must at all times comport themselves in accordance with Federal, State, and Local laws, as well as Leave No Trace backcountry ethics.

     Registration via must be completed before a route is attempted. Entrants may participate solo or as part of a team. Teams can be independent, self-supported athletes than just travel together, or team members can mule for one another. But teams will not be allowed to receive any outside support from non-running personnel. Every member of a team must be a registered entrant in the 2014 UPWC (registration for minors is free). 

          All participants must submit proof of having completed the route via Spot Transponder, GPS/Garmin/Suunto/DeLorne/Other data, photographic evidence, and/or a convincingly detailed trip report/blog. If you are submitting your entry for speed based awards you MUST provide SPOT/GPS/GARMIN/SUUNTO/DELORNE/OTHER data as proof. 

     Each entrant or team must submit a detailed blog, photo blog, video, and/or podcast segment detailing their trip. The more details the better, everything from technical nuts & bolts (gear list, food/fuel list, pacing, strategy), to wildlife spottings & encounters, to personal/phycological/spiritual experiences, and beyond. There are no limits to what you may include in your trip report. How you experience the trail and how you present that experience are up to you. The goal of this event is for all the participants to share and compare one another's unique experiences and perspectives.

     Everyone who completes a route for the 2014 Ultrapedestrian Wilderness Challenge will be awarded a unique finishers' patch (only available through UPWC participation) for every route they complete. Each route will have a unique patch design, and there will a distinct award for participants who complete all three, the 2014 UPWC Triple Crown. In addition, there will be other prizes and awards based on a variety of criteria, including speed, good style, best photograph, best blog, gnarliest SNAFU, most diverse team, and numerous other aspects of backcountry wilderness adventure. Additional categories may be added based on submissions. 

     Sign up will close Monday, December 1st, 2014. All trips must be begun no earlier than April 8th, 2014, and completed no later than Sunday, November 30th, 2014. Results will be announced on on Saturday, November 15, 2014. Prizes and awards will be mailed out (unless we will be seeing you in person soon).

     The entry fee for the 2014 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge is $20.00 per person per route. All proceeds beyond the cost of prizes and awards will go to support and the UltraPedestrian Podcast.

How to participate in the 2014 UPWC:

1. Sign up on before Monday, November 1, 2014

2. Between the dates of Tuesday, April 8, 2014 and Sunday, November 30, 2014 complete any or all of the routes: the Olympic Coast Route, The Mother Mountain/Northern Loop Route, and/or the Alpine Lakes Route.

3. Email your proof and documentation to with the subject line, "2014 UPWC PROOF DOCUMENTATION" no later than Friday, December 5, 2014.

4. Visit and on Sunday, January 25, 2015 for complete results & awards.

5. Watch your mailbox for your UPWC swag envelope.
     Complete results will be posted on on Sunday, January 25, 2015. Prizes and swag will be mailed out soon thereafter.

     We strongly encourage all entrants to join the UPWC Facebook Group to ask questions about the routes, gather and share trail beta, connect with other UPWC participants, scope out the competition, and keep up to date on the most recent news, information, and general goings on. Otherwise, please post any questions below in the 'comments' section.

     Don't forget to check out our other utterly unique event the Highland Halloween Hundred Trail Unrun, aka H3, offering distances of 42, 84, and 126 miles:

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