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

By Andrew Skurka / October 14, 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…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Reflections, conditions, comparisons

By Spiderwoman / December 29, 2018 /

Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage 2016 1. Tarn below Mt Silliman. 5m 2. Lonely Lake. 12.5m 3. Just shy of Colby Lake, just past “PR-15”. 10m 4. Avalanche Pass area Where We Camped, Approximate Daily Mileage 2017 1. Creek just before Gardiner Pass. 11m 2. Between “PR-31” and “PR-32”. 5m 3. Lake below King…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 6: Monarch Divide

By Spiderwoman / December 26, 2018 /

Simpson Meadow Trail I ate a nice big breakfast. Our food bags were full again, so I was back to my normal, stick-to-the-ribs pot full of energy. By the time we got to the “small trailside campsite at Horseshoe Creek” (which I thought was kinda big), I was feeling sick to my stomach. The problem…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 5: Ionian Basin

By Spiderwoman / December 26, 2018 /

We skipped Ionian Basin due to Skurka’s cautionary advice. Our less-than-perfect encounters with King Col, Should-Go Canyon, Woods Creek, Dumbbell Pass, and Amphitheater Pass were still fresh in our minds. Connecting our steps via the Middle Fork Trail still gave us that special brand of satisfaction that a thru-hike brings. We also got to see…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 4: Cartridge Basins

By Spiderwoman / December 20, 2018 /

Cautionary Advice Boy did we read Skurka’s cautionary advice at a sensitive time. We were in the middle of rationing our way to running out of food, an impassable cornice had blocked King Col, we had a physically challenging time descending Should-Go Canyon…and had high anxiety not knowing if it would even go near the…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 3: South Fork Basins

By Spiderwoman / December 18, 2018 /

Charlotte Lake Kelby, The Brawn, and I started our KCHBR thru-hike loop at Onion Valley TH and walked to Charlotte Lake from Kearsarge Pass. Kelby planned to hike with us to “PR-51” at LeConte Ranger Station and we would all hike over Bishop Pass together. Kelby would leave in his rental car to catch a…

Spiderwoman’s KCHBR Tips || Section 2: Great Western Divide

By Spiderwoman / December 17, 2018 /

Colby Lake “After it crosses the outlet stream of Colby Lake”, head up two switchbacks, and then “Leave the Colby Pass Trail”. Talus Creek The combination of Skurka’s descriptions from Part II: As you go, and Critical Interim Updates – v 2.5, provides an excellent description for navigating between Colby Pass Trail and Talus Creek.…