Trip, race & hunt reports

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Notes for next elk hunt: Tips on strategy, location, shooting & dressing

By Andrew Skurka / November 14, 2017 /

I hunt just a few days each year, and don’t invest significant time or thought during the long period in between. Among a few smaller things, here are some takeaways and learned lessons that I want to incorporate into our 2018 plans: Hunting The best advice we received on hunting strategy was from a Craig…

Elk Hunt Report: Filling my freezer & ending the era of cluelessness

By Andrew Skurka / November 11, 2017 /

This was my fifth year of elk hunting, and finally I may be getting the hang of it. While I’m pleased that my chest freezer is full again (thanks to a four-point bull that mistakenly skylined himself at 2:30 in the afternoon, more details below), I’m perhaps happier with other things that went right. Specifically,…

UTMB data: Results, split times, course GPX, & pace charts

By Andrew Skurka / September 13, 2017 /

If you plan to race UTMB — or use the course as a training camp — and if you’re a data dork like me, the resources on this page will be useful in your preparations: Official results At the UTMB website, official results are available for each year, back to 2003. The more recent years include…

Mixed bag: UTMB performance assessment || Perils of racing conservatively

By Andrew Skurka / September 12, 2017 /

Just twelve hours after finishing UTMB in Chamonix, Amanda and I split for the second half of our vacation, in Provence, hence the delay in post-UTMB coverage. For my sake, I hope to post it all this week before my guided trips start on Sunday and my recollection fades. I placed 34th at UTMB, with…

Track me live as I race around Mont-Blanc on Friday & Saturday

By Andrew Skurka / August 31, 2017 /

UTMB takes live tracking to the next level. Their coverage is easily accessible, remarkably accurate, and incredibly extensive. The race starts at 6 pm on Friday. Chamonix is +1 hour relative to GMT/UTC; for those in the US, the race starts at: ET: 12 pm CT: 11 am MT: 10 am PT: 9 am I…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 3: River fords

By Samuel Chaneles / August 5, 2017 /

Q | What techniques and equipment did you use in safely getting across? Our general protocol for creek crossings was: a) Look for a log or a rock to hop across to avoid getting our feet wet. Often times this method worked for smaller creek crossings, yet for the bigger fords it almost always failed.…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 2: Passes, axes & crampons

By Samuel Chaneles / August 3, 2017 /

Q | Did you carry an axe or crampons? Did you use them? Would you recommend them? We both had Hillsound Trail PRO Crampons and a Black Diamond Raven Pro Ice Axe, and we did use them in the mornings when conditions were suitable. Most mornings we were on the trail by 5:30 a.m.to take advantage of…

John Muir Trail early-season 2017: What was it like? || Part 1: Snow coverage, navigation & snowshoes

By Samuel Chaneles / August 3, 2017 /

Q | Describe your your prior backpacking experience — generally, in the High Sierra, and in early-season conditions. A | Since I was young, family vacations have revolved around outdoor activities (hiking, skiing, fishing, etc.). My true “backpacking” experience began in the summer of 2016 when I went on an 11-day expedition to Alaska as…

Route beta || Pfiffner Traverse: Thunderbolt Creek & Paiute Pass

By Andrew Skurka / August 1, 2017 /

To connect Buchanan Creek with Cascade Creek in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness, the Pfiffner Traverse ascends a knife-edge pass at the head of trail-less Thunderbolt Creek that offers sweeping views of the Pawnee Lake basin and the Continental Divide. The alternative to this route is an ordinary and relatively view-less all-trail route around the west…

Route beta || Pfiffner Traverse: Northeast Gully, Lone Eagle Cirque & Lost Tribe Lakes

By Andrew Skurka / July 29, 2017 /

The Northeast Gully is the most difficult feature on the Pfiffner Traverse: it’s filled with snow through mid-summer, covered with talus and loose scree in late-summer, and always steep. Unfortunately, it’s also a critical connector between Lone Eagle Cirque, Lost Tribe Lakes, and upper Arapaho Creek, all in Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. An easy all-trail…