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Photo of Iceberg and Barker Lakes WRHR

Trip Report: Wind River High Route, Loop 6 || An extraordinary trip for an ordinary hiker

By Erik Van Os / November 25, 2020 /

I’m not an elite endurance athlete, a long-distance thru-hiker, or a climber.  I respect those things tremendously, but that’s just not me. That probably puts me with most others who visit this website: I love backpacking and keep in reasonably good shape, and I enjoy chasing spectacular scenery and the challenge that it provides. Let’s just…

Glacial Melt Stream

Trip Report: Wind River High Route || Just wow!

By Patrick Mason / November 13, 2020 /

The Wind River High Route is measured at 97 miles, with 65 miles of off-trail travel and over 30,000 vertical feet of climbing. Like other high routes, the general idea is to maintain the highest line of travel through a given area without involving technical climbing. For an overview of the route, make sure to…

FKT attempt: Pfiffner Traverse

By Andrew Skurka / August 3, 2020 /

Starting at 4 AM tomorrow morning I will attempt an unsupported fastest known time (FKT) on the Pfiffner Traverse, a 76-mile high route through Rocky Mountain National Park and the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness Areas. This project has been on my radar for years, and the pieces have finally aligned to make a…

8 very adventurous loop runs & hikes in the Colorado Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / May 19, 2020 /

For the first time since 2013, this year I didn’t race and I won’t log at least 3,000 miles. Nagging injuries, lack of race entry luck, and a growing guiding program all played a role, as did an absence of desire — whatever I’d been running towards in my mid-30’s, I felt like I’d reached…

Slideshow: Great Western Loop || 6,875 miles around the American West

By Andrew Skurka / January 9, 2020 /

In April 2007 I began my second mega long-distance hike, the Great Western Loop. Unlike the first one, during which I walked east to west across North America, this was predominately a wilderness experience: I linked five existing long-distance trails and a DIY route across the desert Southwest to create a 6,875-mile circumnavigation of the…

Slideshow || Coming of age: Hiking 7,775 miles across North America

By Andrew Skurka / December 19, 2019 /

Fifteen years ago now, in August 2004, I embarked on the first of my three mega long-distance hikes. From Cape Gaspe, Quebec, I followed a network of existing long-distance hiking trails — including the International Appalachian Trail, Appalachian Trail, Long Trail, North Country Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Pacific Northwest Trail — for eleven months…

Hunt report: Successful but not elegant

By Andrew Skurka / October 28, 2019 /

For two seasons Noel, Steve, and I had hunted GMU 12, a productive — and popular — unit in northwestern Colorado. We had some success, tagging a young bull in 2017 and having an almost successful timber sneak last year, but had made several realizations about the location: To reliably find elk, we had to…

Standout gear for cold-and-wet conditions in the Appalachians

By Andrew Skurka / May 19, 2019 /

Last week my guiding season kicked off in the beautiful — but soggy and unseasonably cold — mountains of West Virginia, with four 3-day/2-night learning-intensive Backpacking Fundamentals courses, split between two guide teams. Based on the conditions assessment that we performed during the Planning Curriculum, we expected rain and cool temperatures. But I was hoping for…

In my pack: Six items for rain & ticks in West Virginia

By Andrew Skurka / April 28, 2019 /

Next month I am guiding two 3-day overnight backpacking trips in West Virginia, which has all the beauty of the Appalachian Mountains but a fraction of the backcountry traffic versus the range’s more eastern destinations like Shenandoah National Park. I’m being joined by Alan Dixon, Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”), Ron Bell, and Matt Bright. This week…

Video: Adventure trip with Clelland & Magnanti in the Colorado Rockies

By Andrew Skurka / January 14, 2019 /

Last year Chris G. and his brother Phil joined one of our Adventure trips in Rocky Mountain National Park. The 5-day session was guided by Mike Clelland and Paul Magnanti, and included parts of the Pfiffner Traverse and the Continental Divide Trail Loop. For those interested in one of our 2019 trips, it will give you some…