Andrew Skurka is an outdoor athlete, guide, and writer. He has been named “Adventurer of the Year” by both Outside and National Geographic, as well as “Person of the Year” by Backpacker. National Geographic described him as “a superman among trekkers” and “one of the best traveled and fastest hikers on the planet.”
The 37-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, most notably the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop, and the 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. In the process of covering mega distances over rugged terrain in relatively short periods of time, and also trying to somehow enjoy that experience, Skurka helped to define light-and-fast backcountry travel. His typical 3-season pack cumulatively weighed between 8 and 10 pounds, sans food and water; and he regularly logged 30+ miles per day.
More recently, Skurka has pioneered four new off-trail backpacking routes — the Yosemite High Route, Pfiffner Traverse, Kings Canyon High Basin Route, and Wind River High Route. And he has been running competitively again. His marathon personal-best is 2:28:24, and he has placed Top 3 at the Leadville 100, Run Rabbit Run 100, Bighorn 100, and Vulcano Ultra Trail 100K.
Skurka manages about twenty guided backpacking trips per year, which he leads with the help of a dozen other guides. He authored The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail and has written four guidebooks.
Skurka was born and raised in Seekonk, Mass., and now resides in Boulder, Colo., with his wife Amanda and feline fur child Oden.
Media Highlights & Accolades
National Geographic, March 2011. Circling Alaska in 176 Days.
Outside, April 2011. Adventurers of the Year.
National Geographic Adventure, December 2007. Adventurer of the Year.
Backpacker, August 2005. Person of the Year.
Men’s Journal, December 2005. Adventurer Hall of Fame.