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Last call: Register now for Session 3 of our online planning course

By Andrew Skurka / July 2, 2020 /

Session 3 of our online planning course starts on Monday, July 13, and registration will close on Tuesday, July 7. To save yourself time and money, and to make the most out of your 2020 and future backpacking trips, register now. Sessions 1 and 2 both sold out, and Session 3 is about 60 percent…

Watch & listen: Five podcasts & interviews

By Andrew Skurka / June 23, 2020 /

Several podcasts and interviews have aired recently: Out & Back with Gaia GPS Listen now My favorite interviews are those that dive deep on a specific subject matter, because I can share more information and experience than I reasonably could in a blog post. In this episode, we mostly focused on navigation skills and equipment,…

Exclusive: Inside story on Stringbean’s new Long Trail FKT

By Andrew Skurka / June 18, 2020 /

Earlier this week Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”) set a new unsupported FKT on 270-mile Long Trail, finishing it just under five days. Last night I sat down with Joe for a live interview on Zoom about his experience. We were joined by his wife Katie for additional perspective and by standout alumnus Hunter Hall for fielding…

New Long Trail FKT: Story time with Stringbean

By Andrew Skurka / June 16, 2020 /

Yesterday Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”) set a new unsupported FKT for Vermont’s Long Trail in 4 days, 23 hours and 54 minutes, which equates to about 54 miles per day across constant roots, rocks, and muck. Join us tomorrow (Wednesday, June 17) at 8 PM EDT for “Story time with Stringbean,” during which we’ll rehash the…

Learn from & adventure with us in Yosemite in July

By Andrew Skurka / June 5, 2020 /

Yosemite National Park began its phased reopening today. For the time being, only holders of wilderness and Half Dome permits are being allowed entry; visitation by the broader public sounds like it may start later next week. This official news green-lights our guided trips in the park scheduled for July and September. Honestly, it’s a…

Encouraging sign: Rocky Mountain to reopen May 27

By Andrew Skurka / May 13, 2020 /

Rocky Mountain National Park announced yesterday that they will begin a phased reopening starting on May 27. The press release is here. Most relevant to this readership, backcountry camping will be permitted right away, and will continue through the fall as normal. Even though Rocky is a National Park, the release points out that under…

Virtual clinic: How to plan a backpacking trip

By Andrew Skurka / April 30, 2020 /

Next month I’m hosting a free virtual clinic in partnership with the Colorado Mountain Club. Originally we’d scheduled an in-person gear and skills clinic in Golden, which I do most years for them, but, well, you know what happened. Key event details: Topic: Seven steps to plan a backpacking trip Online tutorial via Zoom Thursday,…

When will our National Parks re-open?

By Andrew Skurka / April 28, 2020 /

This morning I received a coronavirus update for Rocky Mountain National Park from the concessions manager. The italics are mine: In accordance with guidance from the White House, CDC, state and local public health authorities, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service are working to gradually resume operations and access to national…

Discuss: When & how will backpacking be safe & feasible again?

By Andrew Skurka / April 14, 2020 /

The COVID-19 pandemic has me heartbroken by the death toll, saddened by the widespread fear, longing for social engagement, deflated by its economic impact, fascinated by the science, and — most of all right now — simply anxious to return to a “normal” that more closely resembles the old one than the current one. I’m…

Help wanted: Guided trip manager

By Andrew Skurka / February 2, 2020 /

To help me run my guided trip program last year, I hired David, who proved to be exceptional. Unfortunately, he’ll soon be stepping away after being offered a can’t-turn-it-down promotion at Flagstaff House that has much greater career potential than I could give him. So I’m looking to replace David, and to perhaps delegate other…