Trip, race & hunt reports

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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…

8 adventurous running & hiking loops in Rocky Mountain and Indian Peaks

By Andrew Skurka / October 23, 2019 /

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…

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…

Hunt report: Almost a successful timber sneak

By Andrew Skurka / November 23, 2018 /

Morapos Creek delivered last year, our first hunt in Colorado’s GMU 12. Steve and I saw elk or fresh elk tracks several times per day, encountered few other hunters, and shot a 4-point bull on Sunday afternoon. Hoping for a similar experience and results, we returned this year. For extra manpower, we added Noel, with whom I…

Yosemite High Route: A route overview || Its general track, challenges, and highlights

By Andrew Skurka / November 20, 2018 /

The core of the Yosemite High Route spans 95 miles between Grace Meadow in Falls Creek near park’s northern boundary, and Quartzite Peak at the tip of the Clark Range. Per mile, the best route to Grace Meadow starts at Sonora Pass, and follows the Pacific Crest Trail south. The approach from Hetch Hetchy also looks…

Run Rabbit Run 100: Accurate course map, mileages, GPX, and pace chart

By Andrew Skurka / October 15, 2018 /

The Run Rabbit Run 100 course was changed significantly in 2018. To assist future participants with race planning, at least until information from race organizers is more complete and accurate, I am sharing several resources: Interactive course map Course GPX Mileage chart Pace/split chart Interactive course map A topographic map of the course is available. However,…