What’s new with Ultimate Direction in 2018?

Insta_12.6.17_AllieSpotlight (1)We know you’re eager to hear what’s coming in 2018 from Ultimate Direction so we sat down with our icicle-haired designer Ally Juhasz (…don’t worry, it has fully melted) to find out what’s coming in the new year and what inspires UD product. Ally is a super talented designer with experience at sportswear brands Under Armour and Obermeyer. She’s motivated to design the finest products for self-propelled athletes. Let’s meet Ally…

 

how do you define your position at Ultimate Direction?

I am a designer/developer at UD.  I work mainly on our wearable gear category which we are significantly expanding for spring 2019.

What drew you to ud?

A lot of what drew me to Ultimate Direction was that I felt it was a brand that would truly allow me to design exceptional product. We have a small but passionate team with great energy.

We have a never-ending flow of ideas and enough resources to implement them. At the same time we’re small enough to not wind up a “design by committee” when it comes to product decision-making.

What can customers expect from the brand in 2018?

In 2018, we will be expanding our Adventure category and have added a very innovative trekking pole and gaiter.

We will be offering the lightest trekking pole on the market as well as a super-fitted, stretch Cordura gaiter with a replaceable strap.

What challenges do your designs solve?

Two factors that I always keep in mind when working on product for UD are comfort and weight. The biggest challenge we face here is maximizing the comfort-to-weight ratio.

Many of our customers will be wearing UD products over long distances and for extended periods of time so everything we make needs to have a customizable, chafe-free fit, done in as minimal a package as possible.

What is your goal for our product in 2018?

My goal for 2018 is to see the brand become more approachable for people who are involved in other “self propelled” activities outside of, or in addition to ultrarunning. In 2018 we have broadened our range of products to help athletes with a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and have also started to offer more multi-use product.

Ultrarunning will always be at the core of UD product but we want to give our customers even more reasons to interact with the brand.

What is Skimo??

“Skimo” – the word is now part of the ultrarunning lexicon. Killian has always done it, many ultra runners have taken it up, Mike Foote and Rob Krar are on their National Teams, it’s the coolest new thing … so what the heck is skimo anyway?

Here is the best answer possible:  some of the top people in the sport will tell you all about it, in their own words – – –

Mathéo 1

Mathis Dumas photo of Matheo Jacquemond

WHAT IS SKIMO?

Anton Krupicka:  “Skimo” is simply shorthand for “ski mountaineering”, but the shorthand is typically reserved for the competitive races.  “Ski mountaineering” is climbing and skiing technical mountains, which is something that has been around for many generations and is not new. However, uphill skinning at resorts is something that is becoming more popular as a form of winter exercise and I don’t think requires any labels. Call it whatever you want; if you enjoy it, do it.

Mike Foote:  What most folks love and crave is a big day of backcountry touring. The skills and fitness you gain from skimo racing develop your ability to be efficient and strong on big days in the mountains. Skimo racing is just the essence of ski mountaineering distilled down into a controlled course.

Jason Borro:   Racing is great training for the real thing, which is ski mountaineering.  It demands efficiency that can mean the difference between success or failure in the wild.

GT Start

Start of 2017 Grand Traverse

WHY DO IT?

Max Taam:  Skimo has always been the perfect sport in my mind. It combines endurance, technical skills, and downhill ski racing in an incredible mountain setting.

Mike Foote:  Ski Mountaineering is simply the most fun and natural way to move through complex terrain in the mountains during the winter. It utilizes a wide variety of skill sets, pushes you incredibly hard aerobically, and has a level of adrenaline that is hard to find in trail running.

Mathéo 4Nikki Kimball:  Because it is crazy fun!  And because skiing gives my body and brain a break from the repetitive stress of running, while simultaneously allowing me to work on strength, power, cardiovascular fitness, and even the mental skills need in ultrarunning.

Stano Faban:  It’s just like trail running except you are much more free! Ski mountaineering/touring is an amazing way to cover lots of terrain, push yourself, and meet great people in general.  I don’t remember when was last time I called any of my skimo sessions a workout.

Eric Bunce: There are so many different aspects to the sport, so much technicality, so on race day its not who has the most horsepower but who is the best all around athlete.  Plus its a way to get out and explore the mountains.

Grant Guise: I moved from New Zealand to Tahoe to ski patrol, and started hearing these stories about Skimo, this weird sport that was big in Europe and involved a lot of lycra …

Anton Krupicka:  I participate in Skimo for three reasons: 1) Skiing is the winter version of mountain running; 2) Cross training – I can do big volume without overuse injuries; 3) I love mountain endurance competitions, no matter the sport.

Clare Gallagher:  There’s no way I could run year round; training and racing become exhausting. By doing skimo in the winter, I give my legs a break from running, strengthen my butt, back, and arms, and get so cold I wish it were summer again. Oh, and it’s pretty fun. And the people are hilarious hardcore hooligans that give trail runners a run for their money in terms of the weirdness-factor.  The lycra…

Clare 3

HOW IS SKIMO DIFFERENT THAN A TOUGH RUN?

Mike Foote:  Skimo is more demanding and intense.  Not only are the races much higher intensity and shorter in duration, the very nature of skimo lends itself to hard aerobic efforts – you might spend an hour climbing a slope and just five minutes skiing back down.  If you love climbing, skimo is the sport for you.

Grant Guise: For me, the ideal run and the ideal ski adventure are very similar: in the backcountry, exploring, moving fast, and ideally with a summit.

Anton:  The base aesthetic is the same – moving in a mountain landscape.  Beyond that, they’re obviously very different. For skimo, expensive, technical equipment is required. Basic technique is required. To be competitive, a lot of specific technical skill is required (i.e., transitions, technical skinning, and skiing steep, variable terrain on skittery, lightweight gear).

Nikki: During transitions, the athlete quickly and completely changes the function of her equipment. Whether going from uphill skinning to downhill skiing, boot-packing to skiing, or descending to climbing, the athlete must be absolutely focused on the several required tasks in transition.  I find any sport which makes ultrarunning seem easy to be of great value!

Dropping into Dragons Tail - courtesy photo Matt Hart

Dropping into Dragons Tail – courtesy photo Matt Hart

HOW HAS THE SPORT CHANGED?

Eric:  the sport has really progressed in the US both in numbers and in level of performance. You no longer can buy your speed; you have to train in all aspects of the sport.

Stano:  The gear was already light 10 years ago, and now it’s more accessible and durable so more people can pick up the sport. One new trend is lots of trail runners are getting into skimo; I think they have seen the light at the end of the tunnel :)

Nikki:  The sport has grown in the decade I’ve been doing it, mirroring ultrarunning. The overall effect is positive (more people enjoying healthy activity, better equipment, easily accessed learning opportunities), but I feel some growing pains. The gear has improved so that one is at a disadvantage when not racing on relatively current and expensive gear. The growth of skimo catalyzed amazing improvements in gear function, but expect your bank account to be a bit lighter.  Of course, simply enjoying ski mountaineering, or not being concerned with race results, can release an athlete of her perceived need for the most expensive gear.

Skimo Company, Salt Lake City

Skimo Company, Salt Lake City

WHAT ABOUT THE RACE SCENE?

Max:  We have a lot of great races in the US now that provide challenging, authentic Skimo courses. My favorites include the Aspen Snowmass Power of Four, Taos, and the Powderkeg.  Racing in Europe is still a must for any American racer at some point during their career. It’s a big eye opener regarding the level of racing and truly amazing courses. My favorites are the Tour du Rutor and the Pierra Menta.

Mike:  Last year I made the US Ski Mountaineering Team and had the opportunity to race in Europe at the World Championships. The level of competition over in Euope is incredible and eye opening. Nations have developmental teams and take the sport quite seriously.  There is such history and celebration of the sport over there, which is great to learn from.

Max Taam and partner finishing 2017 Grand Traverse before the sun comes up on Aspen Mt.

Max Taam and partner finishing 2017 Grand Traverse before the sun comes up on Aspen Mt.

Stano:  I have been racing for over 15 years and have followed the sport for about 20, and attended three World Championships. But the most important thing to me is that it’s still one of the most pure sports out there. Sure there are rules and you need to be fit, but when you are racing up and down mountains on snow there is definitely some magic to it.

Grant:  I was super keen to start a series of races here in New Zealand, and for a few years we had a small series of 4 races and then a couple of races a year, but it has died down now. I think skiing here is looked at as something that is social and not competitive.

Eric:  I have been racing since 2005 when i jumped in a race in New Zealand while I was working down there. Then came back stateside and started racing the (Wasatch) Powderkeg and the Colorado races. Two  years ago went to France and raced Pierra Menta – totally hooked!

Nikki:  My first race was Bridger Bowl’s Skin to Win. I raced on hand-me-down skis, a pair I later handed off to a friend who nicknamed them “The Skis of Death” for their complete inability to turn. Prior to the race I watched available videos about the sport on YouTube: all two or three of them. I was still undefeated in trail ultra running and feeling a bit cocky: how tough could this be? It’s just a combination of two sports I’m pretty good at: running and skiing, right?

The gun went off at Bridger’s Le Mans start and I ran fast to my skis. Then I fumbled with my bindings while watching the entire pack start up the mountain. But I recovered from this and started passing skiers up the hill. Then I spent what felt like hours trying to get back into my bindings while out of breath and terribly embarrassed that everyone I had passed seemed to fly by me effortlessly. The race continued in this manner, with the exception of me catching fewer and fewer other athletes after each transition. I finished, exhausted, in last place by over half an hour.  And strangely stoked to return.

Clare:  I love skimo races because most of them are partner races. This is due to the remote nature of the sport and the need for a buddy in case of an avalanche or if other bad things were to happen. I began my skimo “career” partnering with my dad for a handful of COSMIC races. The 2016 Grand Traverse was our last race together. It’s a miracle we finished, let alone were still able to call each other family. The hurt and dynamics of these races are so complicated and make for the rawest, most tear-strewn, hypothermic, and concussed of experiences.

Clare 4

THANK YOU TO THE AUTHORS!!

Jason Borro– Salt Lake City, UT.  Owner of the Skimo Company, the first retailer of skimo specific gear in North America.

Eric Bunce– Salt Lake City, UT.  RD of the Wasatch Powderkeg, and a skier and skimo racer.

Stano Faban– Vancouver, BC. Publisher of Skintrack.com, a leading blog of all things backcountry skiing.

Clare Gallagher – Boulder, CO.  Ultrarunner, ski mountaineer, winner of the 2016 Leadville Trail 100 and 2017 CCC race in France.

Mike Foote – Bozeman, MT.  Ultrarunner, twice 2nd at Hardrock 100, 3rd at UTMB, and too many other big races to count.

Grant Guise – Waneka, New Zealand.  Ultrarunner, ski mountaineer, 8th and 11th at Hardrock 100.

Nikki Kimball – Bozeman, MT.  Longtime ultrarunner, skier, 3-time winner of WS100, 1st place UTMB, 1st place Marathon Des Sables, National Snowshoe Champion.

Anton Krupicka – Boulder, CO.  Ultrarunner, ski mountaineer, climber, twice winner of Leadville Trail 100, 2nd place Western States 100 , Miwok 100km winner.

Max Taam – Aspen, CO.  Dedicated ski mountaineer, winner and CR of 2017 Grand Traverse, Crested Butte, CO.

YOUR COMMENTS WELCOME!  Ever tried Skimo?  Are you going to?

FKT Grants – What Happened?

How hard is it to set a new Fastest Known Time? Really hard as it turns out.

In April we awarded four Grants to people undertaking interesting and ambitious projects. How did it go?  Some great attempts, some not so great … and none succeeded! But do any of these constitute a real “failure”?  Is learning, growing, and exploring a failure or a success?  Read on and then tell us what you think.

D Ridge

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Heart Affect

by Michele Yates

FOR GREAT IS NOT MEASURED BY HOW LARGE OR HOW MUCH, OR BY TROPHIES OR MONEY, OR STARDOM OR SUCH, BUT THE GREATEST OF THINGS ARE BY WHOLE OR IN PART, MEASURED BY HOW THEY AFFECT EACH ONE’S HEART.”  ~Michele Steinhauser

It’s been awhile, so let me just back up to August where we had another successful, fun Rugged Running camp!  I am so blessed to be able to do what I love and educate others on how to get the most out of their running, fitness, and goals.

Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 10.25.00 AM

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The Teton Picnic

By Lucas Onan
Every part of it was so surreal to me. I’ve spent a good amount of time in the Tetons so they hold a special place for me. I was pretty giddy the whole time.  I was having way too much fun.
(Editors Note:  The “Teton Picnic” is biking from Jackson’s town square to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park, swimming across the lake, climbing the Grand Teton and then doing the whole thing in reverse for a total of 42 miles of biking, 2.6 miles of open water swimming, and 20 miles of hiking and climbing.)
As we drove into Jackson square that morning, there were still people hobbling along from bar to bar. Their night was still going strong. Ours was just beginning. After meeting our two lovely support ladies and Lewis, Ryan’s friend who had decided to join us just the night before, we hopped on our bikes and were off. Start time: 2am.
It was good getting our legs warmed up on the bike ride. Just 22 miles to Jenny Lake with the silhouette of the Tetons looming over us to the west. I hit it off with both Ryan and Lewis from the start as we all have the same sense of adventure and love of the mountains. It was as if we had been long lost friends (even though I had met both of them only within the past few hours). We knew we were embarking on this crazy adventure but it was something we all enjoyed so much that it honestly just felt like another day to play in the mountains.
Lucas at Jenny Lake

Lucas at Jenny Lake

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LA Freeway

By Matthias Messner

There is not much information about the LA Freeway. The most I ever found was in  Anton Krupicka’s Ultimate Direction blog post, Schemin’ and Dreamin’. According to Krupicka’s post, Buzz Burrell, who named the route, was the only one to ever complete it. In two days. Nobody had ever completed in one day. I thought, no wonder, after reading the specs for the first time two years ago:

The LA Freeway is a true traverse of the Continental Divide linking the highest point in Rocky Mountain National Park (Longs Peak, 14,255′) and the highest point in the Indian Peaks Wilderness (Arapaho Peak, 13,502′) and tagging 18 named peaks along the way…half a dozen instances of low-5th Class climbing and lots and lots of 3rd and 4th Class scrambling…endless talus-hopping and tundra-trotting…from Longs’ East Trailhead to Arapaho’s 4th of July Trailhead is approximately a 50K with at least 18,000′ of vertical.

First I thought, it is not possible. But it stuck with me, and the more I thought about it, the more I was drawn to this route. Since I was a little kid, growing up in the Dolomites, in northern Italy, I have spent my free time in the mountains. I have always loved moving in technical terrain. It has always seemed natural to me. And, of course, I have a competitive personality. So, why not?

Screen-Shot-2013-01-10-at-1.15.31-PM1

Map courtesy Anton Krupicka

August 5, 2017 was the day. I got up at 2:30 AM and drove to the Longs Peak trailhead. Coffee, water and everything else was already in the car. I wanted to reach the summit of Longs at sunrise, in order to maximize my daylight time.

I started at exactly 4 AM, at the car (a little ways down the road, parking lot was already full!), and passed the trailhead about 3 minutes later, wearing shorts, a long sleeve shirt, a light running jacket, a thin woolen hat, a baseball hat, gloves, a vest with two flasks of water (16 ounces each), six energy bars (about 200 calories each), and three gels. I planned to meet Sara, Cori, Caitlin, and Miriam on the saddle between Chiefs Head and Alice, and David, Nikita, and Will somewhere between Shoshoni and Toll to refill food and water.

Going up Longs, I took all the shortcuts I know of. I easily passed 50 people and two ptarmigans on the way. At the time, I was annoyed by how energized everyone seemed to be. A few said something to me but I was not in the mood to interact. The only mishap of the entire day happened before getting to Jim’s Grove trail. I had found my way through a super dense bush section so many times with daylight. But this time, I somehow got lost and didn’t feel like backtracking, so I forced myself though. It was not very elegant; I scratched up my legs and lost my sunglasses.

Once I hit the Cables (North Face), there was enough daylight to turn off my headlamp. The sky out east was completely fogged in, so the sunrise was not that spectacular. I reached the summit of Longs at 5:56 AM, touched the plaque and started my descent down the Homestretch.

Homestretch (South side of Longs) at dawn

Homestretch (South side of Longs) at dawn

I have done the traverse from Longs to Chiefs Head a couple times in both directions, so that entire section went smoothly, as expected. I stepped off the Keyhole route at the bottom end of the Homestretch, contoured over to the low point between Pagoda and Longs (there is a 3rd class passage down the ramp, other options are more technical), and climbed up Pagoda (6:28 AM). I started descending Pagoda by its south ridge. From there I stepped into the bowl, did the few required 4th class moves, walked down a scree field, and finally hit the grassy ledge which took me to the saddle between Pagoda and Chiefs Head. I climbed Chiefs Head (7:11 AM) and descended to the saddle where I was supposed to meet the girls. I saw them but they were still about 15 minutes (Sara says 10) down the ridge (I was half an hour ahead of schedule), so I decided to continue.

Longs

Looking back at Pagoda and Longs

I felt good, had enough food, and knew there was a puddle of water on the other side of Alice I had drank from twice before. I climbed up Alice, which I summited at 7:57 AM, and refilled my flasks at the puddle a little ways down the back side.

Before the clouds rolled in - many miles of rough terrain ahead

Before the clouds rolled in – many miles of rough terrain ahead

While I paused for a minute, fog started coming in over the ridge from the west. The visibility was quite bad; at times I could not even see 50 feet ahead. Luckily, I had the Gaia GPS app on my phone, which proved to be well worth the $20 I paid for it. It helped me navigate through the fog.

Isolation

Isolation Peak

This was especially important because this entire section, from Tanima to Paiute, was new to me. I cancelled plans to scout it a week earlier because of bad weather. But, on the map that section didn’t look too technical, so I thought knowing that it would go had to be enough. I had heard though, that Isolation notch could be tricky. In the notch, I found my way up a 5th class, west-facing, approximately 30 foot, steep scramble, then contoured back north on a narrow ledge to finally get out of the notch and reach the ridge again. The visibility all the way to Isolation had been bad, but once I got off Isolation (9:40 AM) it started clearing up. The sun came out and all of a sudden it made sense again to be out there.

The next peaks were Ouzel (10:17 AM) and Ogalalla (10:46 AM). From there I could see two gorgeous peaks and their ridges: Copeland and Elk Tooth. They are not part of the LA Freeway but they definitely sparked my interest for some later adventures.

On the map, the terrain between Ouzel and Ogalalla looked very runnable. I was excited to finally be able to cover a few miles a little bit faster. But nope, the grass up there provides very unstable footing. It’s almost as if you’re stepping on a sea of tennis balls — your ankles want to roll in all directions. That and a lot of pointy and sharp rocks forced me back into hiking mode most of the time. Actually, on the entire LA Freeway course, there is very little runnable terrain. Most of the time you will be moving on sharp rocks. Wearing shoes that protect your feet well is a very good idea.

The next ridge, before Peak 12277 (11:55 AM), was memorable. It felt like an ancient allee, flanked by big rock spires instead of trees, with Buchanan Creek on the west side and Envy Lake on the east.

Matthias

Tired on Sawtooth

Next, I tagged Red Deer (12:13 PM), went down Buchanan Pass, and started to get really thirsty. I only had 32 ounces of water since refilling in the puddle at Alice (about 5 hours prior) and a few more sips from random rain puddles here and there. I started really looking forward to meeting up with the boys on Toll. But that was at least another two hours away. I ate a gel with caffeine, which helped a bit. The next two peaks were Sawtooth (12:35 PM) and Algonquin (1:07 PM). Both look boring coming from the north. But Sawtooth looks really awesome from Algonquin — I understood why it got its name.

The ascent up Paiute, coming from the north, is also a gem. I got a bit lost on the ridge before dropping into the notch. I was too high and ended up standing on the edge of a sheer vertical face. I saw two vertical hand cracks about a foot apart leading to a lower ledge, about 30 feet down, which had an exit. I decided to not try that. Instead I scrambled down on the west side of the ridge until I was able to enter the notch via a narrow ledge going back east along the vertical face. Then I hiked up the scree towards the base of the summit faces of Paiute. There, I opted for the 5th class chimney between the spire on the east and the summit of Paiute (2:17 PM).

Next, I got on the ridge towards Toll and finally heard and then saw David, Nikita, and Will yelling from the summit. That gave me quite a boost, both physically and mentally. I have done Toll once before via the lower boulder field on the west side. I remembered that as not that exciting so I opted for the upper ledge on the west side of Toll and found another really fun 5th class chimney to the summit of Toll (2:44 PM) where I met up with the boys.

Until now, the weather had been good enough to stay safe on ridges and peaks. But when I came off Paiute, thunderstorms had started forming in the Winter Park and Granby area. Luckily they were not moving towards us. Still, on the summit of Toll, for a moment, I heard the buzzing and felt the terrifying signs of an electrical storm and was worried I would have to bail. For a moment I was worried I was going to have to bail. But looking south, towards the remainder of the LA Freeway, it was still clear.

Quickly, we got off the summit. I drank a Redbull and felt better fast. I stashed another two packs of energy blocks. By this time, I had a hard time eating anything that required a lot of chewing. I refilled my flasks with water and took also a tiny bottle of Coke with me. I figured the less the guys have to carry back down to Brainard, the better for them.

With the new energy, I decided to keep going. Overall, my body felt relatively good. My knees were a bit sore behind the knee caps from all the steep ups and downs.

And thankfully, Will agreed to accompany me for the remainder of the course. We headed up Pawnee (3:12 PM), over to Shoshoni (3:43 PM), and started the Kasparov Traverse. It started sleeting on us while Longs, long behind us, was in the sun. We did not climb the Chessmen but still tried to stay on the ridge as much as possible by meandering on its east and west side. We tagged Apache (3:44 PM), where we saw at least a dozen tiny birds glissading on a snowfield (seriously, I was not hallucinating). We headed down to the saddle before Navajo. The sleeting stopped and the sun came out again.

Navajo is one of my favorites. The scramble up starts with a fun 5th class dihedral which requires some stemming and ends with a fun 15’ hand crack to the summit (5:09 PM).

Navaho

Will on Navaho

But the descent off of Navajo is one of the more awful ones. It is steep, long, and has soccer ball-sized rocks, which require very cautious footing. We stayed on the ridge for the most part, but in order to skip the Arikaree notch we contoured the glacier as high as we could (this is the Boulder watershed and we did not want to enter it) to ascent Arikaree via its northwest face.

After ascending and descending over 18,000’ at this point, my uphill legs started feeling really tired; on every steep ascent I had to stop every couple minutes to catch my breath.

After tagging the summit of Arikaree (5:58 PM) we continued south. As we passed the debris of the 1940 airplane crash, yet another storm rolled in and we started feeling the raindrops. We continued along the ridge until the last tricky section: the rock formation right above the glacier to the north side of North Arapaho peak. It features some southeast-facing vertical rock walls and, in my opinion, is the trickiest in terms of route finding.

The passage I found starts on a grassy ledge on a vertical wall about 30’ above the top of the glacier. We kept going as long as we could, then we climbed up a steep grass-filled dihedral. Once at the top, we moved a bit more south to climb another steep but shorter dihedral. Then we traversed a 10’ long exposed rock section which has good foot and hand holds. And finally we climbed another steep, grass-filled, 30’ long dihedral to get back on the ridge again. From there, all ways lead to the summit of North Arapahoe which we reached at 7:30 PM, at which time, the rain turned into a full-on, whiteout snowstorm. The strong winds and lack of glasses made the normally trivial traverse from N to S Arapahoe a painful experience. I was exhausted and freezing. This was the only time in the entire day I did not have the proper clothing.

Luckily, David — he waited for us on S Arapahoe for an hour and 15 minutes — had a jacket for me. We slogged down the ridge of S Arapahoe and as soon as we were off it, the weather got nice again. We saw a gorgeous sunset and I finally realized that I made it. From there we ran down to the Arapahoe Pass trail where we met up with Sara and Cori. They had also been waiting for an hour and a half on S Arapahoe in the snow storm for Will and me.

We got to the parking lot at 9:02 PM (I had guessed I would finish sometime between 7 and 9 PM). The last mile or so I sped up — relatively — because I realized I had a chance to finish in under 17 hours. In fact, the total time was 16 hours and 59 minutes.

Arapaho Pass

Sunset on Arapaho Pass

Some people have asked me if I could have done it quicker. Yes, I think so. In ideal conditions — nutrition and hydration wise, no stopping for pictures and pressing the OK button on my Spot GPS device, no chatting with friends, perfect weather, etc. — but same fitness, I think I could have shaved up to an hour and a half off my time. Gauntlet thrown!

My splits:

Longs TH 4:03 AM
Longs 5:56 AM
Pagoda 6:28 AM
Chiefs Head 7:11 AM
Alice 7:57 AM
Tanima 8:37 AM
Cleaver 8:51 AM
Isolation 9:40 AM
Ouzel 10:17 AM
Ogalalla 10:46 AM
12227 11:55 AM
Red Deer 12:13 PM
Sawtooth 12:35 PM
Algonquin 1:07 PM
Paiute 2:17 PM
Toll 2:44 PM
Pawnee 3:12 PM
Shoshoni 3:43 PM
Apache 4:44 PM
Navajo 5:09 PM
Arikaree 5:58 PM
N Arapaho 7:30 PM
S Arapaho 7:58 PM
4th of July TH 9:02 PM

Strava:
https://www.strava.com/activities/1121208979

Specs:
36.5 mi; 21,022′

Editors Note #2:

I created the LA Freeway July 8-9, 2002. Here’s what I wrote then:

This evening I finally completed a long-standing project:  hiking from 
Longs Peak to Arapaho Peak, staying on the Continental Divide, and 
climbing everything in between.  Longs – Arapaho is an amazing route:  
really long, continuously high, no trails of any kind or people of any 
kind except at the beginning and end, quite exposed, constant summits to surmount, and miles and miles of tricky 4th class rock with some solid 
5th class pitches thrown in to keep out the riff raff.

That’s all I ever wrote.  The route is so pure and so obvious: from anywhere in east Boulder County, look up at the skyline – that’s the route!  What more is there to say?

I’ve been all over the world and believe this is one of the finest routes of it’s kind anywhere.   And it’s even in plain sight of one of the climbing and running capitals of the world. 15 years later, Matthias finally repeated it, in absolutely excellent style.

The gauntlet is indeed down!  – Buzz

Comments welcome!  What do you think?  Want to have a go?

UD Athlete Interview: Clare Gallagher

UDer Clare Gallager is about to toe the line at this weekend’s Western States Endurance Run. This will be Clare’s second hundo to date, as her first was a 1st place finish at the 2016 Leadville Trail 100. Before the “big dance” commences, we wanted to ask Clare a few questions about her trail running background, and her go-to mantras and methods.

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The Everest Out My Back Door

By Justin Simoni

I’m just going to start out by saying it:

I hate birthday challenges.

Although, each year I get myself ramped up to try to do another one, they usually blow up in my face. My greatest-worst birthday challenge was the Arizona Trail Race: 750 miles of bikepacking across Arizona on singletrack from the Mexican to the Utah border. It includes a mandatory portage down through and back up the Grand Canyon on foot – bike carried on your back! Now that’s an birthday adventure! And it started one year right on my birthday. The heavens gave me a sign, I must go!

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A Trail Run with the Crazy Mother Runners

Written by the Crazy Mother Runners: Marnie, Carsen, and Sherry.

The sunrise from the top of Lewis Peak glows soft pinks and purples. The crisp wind cools our foreheads as we enjoy the little reward after climbing the last 5 miles. We set down our hydration packs and take a picture together to remember this beautiful morning. The morning didn’t quite start as peaceful as this mountain top moment. But that’s how we like it.

An hour earlier, an incoming group text reads, “I’m going to be seven minutes late.” Relieved to get the message, since I’m also running late. Always late. But that’s okay since one or all of us are consistently 7-10 minutes late. Finishing up our classes at the gym, helping our kids and husbands, or just trying to catch a few more minutes of sleep. We’ve made it a habit to multitask. Filing every minute of our day. We might be busy, but finding time for running, with good friends, is a priority.

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Eric Carter: 2017 SkiMo Season Wrap Up

by: Eric Carter

Looking back in my training diary, it is interesting remembering some of my early-season training sessions and realizing that they feel like they were so long ago. We were incredibly lucky this season to have snowfall in early October. It wasn’t long before we were able to ski down to the valley and by the end of October, ski training was in full swing. I spent a good chunk of the season on the road, first travelling to the US Team qualifying races in the US and then living in Europe and travelling to World Cup races. 
 
Snow conditions in Europe were incredibly bad. The Alps had very little snow all season and spring came early. The Dolomites were nearly summer when we arrived for World Championships. Only the Pyrenees had decent skiing. It’s hard not to look at the unseasonably warm temperatures, the lack of storms, and the smog that settles in the valley and not draw conclusions about climate change.
La Grande Course

La Grande Course

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