Must be doing something right

By Andrew Skurka / January 27, 2020 /

When I offered guided trips for the first time under my own company in 2011, it was a trial balloon of sorts — Will anyone even sign up? Thankfully, a few did — eighteen, to be exact. But that made me curious — What could this become? So for the next three seasons, I tried…

Open Application closes Sunday January 12, and it’s kind of your last chance

By Andrew Skurka / January 10, 2020 /

Open Application for 2020 guided trips started on December 15. It closed December 30 for the West Virginia and Utah locations, and it will be losing this Sunday, January 12, for Alaska, California, and the Rocky Mountains. If you’re interested in a 2020 trip, apply now for your best chance to get on your First…

PSA’s: Apply by Dec 28 for UT + WV; by Jan 11 for AK + CA

By Andrew Skurka / December 24, 2019 /

Seasons greetings. I hope you are having a great week. Three quick announcements related to my 2020 guided trips: 1. Apply by December 28 for Utah and West Virginia Open Application started December 15 for all locations, and it will close for Utah and West Virginia on December 28 (or, more specifically, when I sit…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Alan Dixon

By Andrew Skurka / December 23, 2019 /

Alan is 59 years-old and lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and adventuring partner, Alison. He has two children and two grandchildren. Four years ago he retired as an environmental engineer, and now focuses mostly on Adventure Alan, one of the oldest and most respected sources for ultralight backpacking. Since joining Andrew’s program in 2012,…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Brian Robinson

By Andrew Skurka / December 21, 2019 /

Brian has been backpacking since the 1970’s and helped to popularize ultralight gear and techniques. In 2001 he became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown, which entails thru-hiking the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails (7,400 miles total), all in the same year. This feat earned him the trail name “Flyin’…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Christy Rosander

By Andrew Skurka / December 20, 2019 /

As an elementary school teacher for 20 years, I took advantage of my breaks to hike extensively with family and friends, or on my own. My most notable trips include: Long-distance trails like the Pacific Crest, Great Divide, John Muir (4x), Theodore Solomons, and Tahoe Rim Trails; Off-trail adventures like the Yosemite High Route, Sierra…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy

By Andrew Skurka / December 18, 2019 /

Joe set Fastest Known Times on the 2,600-mile Pacific Crest Trail (52 days, supported in 2014) and the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail (45 days, self-supported in 2017). He lives in Boston with his wife, Katie, and is an elite ultra runner.

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Matt Bright

By Andrew Skurka / December 17, 2019 /

Matt is our resident interpretive ranger, and in 2020 will be guiding with us in West Virginia. He has a PhD in environmental science and works in Washington DC on federal climate change policy. His backpacking adventures include thru-hikes of the Long Trail, Sierra High Route, West Highland Way, and Cotswold Way; loops on the…

7 critical skills you could learn with us in 2020

By Andrew Skurka / December 16, 2019 /

On Sunday I began accepting applications for my 2020 trips. This will be our ninth year in operation, and the program has evolved since I started guiding under my own company in 2011. By the end of that first season, I’d made three realizations: The clients generally lacked the requisite backcountry skills for interesting routes,…

Guide team 2020 || Profile: Jessica Winters

By Andrew Skurka / December 13, 2019 /

Jessica is a backpacking Triple Crowner, a full-time yoga teacher, and former K-12 teacher. She’s been with the program since 2018, and clients adore her. “Jessica was the highlight of our trip. Her energy, kindness, and knowledge were incredible.”