Short is the new long


Planning a high route? Three critical mental adjustments.

By Andrew Skurka / July 31, 2015 / 23 Comments

Within the backpacking community I have sensed increasing interest in “high routes,” such as the the Sierra High Route, Wind River Range High Route, and Kings Canyon High Basin Route. I think this concept will continue to expand, with most of the emphasis on “route” rather than “high,” since there are thematically similar opportunities in…

Notes for next time: Gear, supplies, food & logistics

By Andrew Skurka / July 28, 2015 / 34 Comments

An assortment of takeaways from my Kings Canyon High Basin Route thru-hike earlier this month. They are mostly a reminder for me, but maybe they’ll have some value for you, too. If any prompt a question, leave a comment. Gear Pack weight. Take a handheld digital scale to the trailhead for a final weigh-in of all gear, supplies, and food. This…

Eye candy: Thru-hike of the Kings Canyon High Basin Route

By Andrew Skurka / July 27, 2015 / 17 Comments

Earlier this month I completed the Kings Canyon High Basin Route in its entirety, plus several more of its alternates and section-hike segments. All told, my 204-mile route featured 70,000 vertical feet of gain and 102 miles of off-trail travel, and I completed it in about 9.5 days. For much of the route, it was my second…

Finest route in the High Sierra? Introducing the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

By Andrew Skurka / April 12, 2015 / 17 Comments

Seven years ago I thru-hiked with Buzz Burrell the Sierra High Route, which parallels the crest of the High Sierra between Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park and Yosemite National Park. Its 200 miles represents less than 1 percent of the total miles that I have hiked, yet the experience proved to be one of the most…

Short is the new long: My next “big” adventure

By Andrew Skurka / February 4, 2015 / 25 Comments

Since the end of the Alaska-Yukon Expedition over four years ago, hundreds of times I’ve been asked, “So what’s your next big adventure?” Relative to what I had just done, and relative to some of my other big efforts like the Sea-to-Sea Route, Great Western Loop, or even Leadville 100, my answers always felt lame.…

Three mistakes on the Wind River Range High Route, Attempt #1

By Andrew Skurka / August 8, 2014 / 52 Comments

Last week I was in Wyoming’s Wind River Range with Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin, trying to complete a route that we’ve been eyeing for years and plotting for months. In short, we failed, due to an oversight in our gear selection and route planning. Perhaps inspired by the increasingly popular Sierra High Route, there…