Zioneering – the Temple Throne Traverse (not quite)

March 14, 6 AM, Canyon Overlook Trailhead

Jared Campbell and I are in Zion National Park. It’s a cool starry morning, and we immediately are enjoying scrambling up the white and red sandstone in the total darkness, our headlamps illuminating tiny circles in the smooth rock. Hey wait, it isn’t supposed to be dark … we timed our 6 AM departure based on when “Civil Twilight” was supposed to start.  Hmm… we keep climbing up the bare rock … then both realize that it’s not going to get light for another hour because I forgot to adjust for Daylight Savings Time. There are a few more things we should not have forgotten as it turns out… JaredMorning

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Leadville

Last weekend’s Leadville marked the return of Scott Jurek. Scott, as Anton told me last year, is “The Man” – 7 straight WS100 wins, Spartathlon, Badwater, 24 hours, etc – it is unlikely anyone will do that and hold that stature again. And he’d been out of competition for 1-3 years (depending on how you figure it). Can he come back? Is his time past or does he still have it? People would ask me my opinion, and I didn’t have one – I didn’t know.

This is his interview on Colorado Public Radio.

 

 

 

 

 

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Zironman

 May 25-26, Zion National Park, Jared Campbell, Ryan McDermott, Buzz Burrell

Jared conceived of Zironman two years ago while studying Google Earth during one of his typical four-hours-of-sleep nights; it was an ingenious route, going from the west boundary of Zion National Park to past the east boundary via the most “interesting” terrain. “Zironman” was a fun way of saying the route involved climbing, running, and canyoneering, and it consisted of some iconic technical canyons as well as virgin country where apparently no one had been before. Now that the Trans Zion route seems crowded every weekend in May, these are the types of projects one dreams up.

We geared up for it on a hot day in back in June of 2011, but after spending 8 annoying hours shuttling a car in 100 degree temperatures, we wisely scaled our initial attempt back to 3/4 of the distance. That Zironman “fun run” went really well – we figured out that “No Man’s Land” had a viable route through it, we did all the hard parts, and were really keen to come back the next year and knock it off.

The following year I was injured, but Jared and his best friend Ryan very graciously offered to wait until I recovered, a relative term though that may be, so we were quite keen this year. But mere hours before we were to start, the project was in jeopardy.

Our plan was to start at 5:30 in the afternoon, knock off Icebox, the first technical canyon while it was still light, then do the entire middle section which is normally exposed to the blazing sun during the night, arriving at the start of Imlay, the most technical canyon in the park when the sun came up. An excellent plan. Except 5:30 wouldn’t come for another 4 hours. We were sitting around with nothing to do.

Could Jared handle doing nothing? I had seen him accomplish incredible projects, but never this. This might be the crux of the whole route.

How the pro’s hang out

Ryan ironing his running shirt – being totally prepared is key

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only photo in existence of Jared Campbell not moving

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How is Ultimate Direction made??

I recently visited the factory where Ultimate Direction is made. This was extremely worthwhile: I met all the people we work with, saw the entire production process, reviewed prototypes for our completely revamped 2014 product line, then discussed the changes and improvements we wanted to make directly with the people who will be implementing them.

And, since the factory is in the Philippines, my morning run was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, followed by a quick swim. Very different than the 11 inches of snow and 8 degree temperature in Boulder this morning!

I also wanted to check on working conditions over there – I’ve always wondered if there really are “sweat shops” – what was our factory like? To be socially, environmentally, and technically progressive is very important to me personally, and thus I always want to move Ultimate in that Direction. And (presumably by coincidence), this town happened to be the start of the infamous “Bataan Death March” in WWll!

Upon arrival, my worst fears were realized: working conditions were really hard …

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In the High Country Movie

“In the High Country” will be a new kind of mountain film featuring Anton Krupicka. Filmed and Produced by Joel Wolpert with the support of Ultimate Direction, this won’t be the usual running film – no “loneliness of the long distance runner” – “High Country” will take you where you’ve never been before.

 

Anton Krupicka’s running has evolved from roads to trails to mountains and now free-soloing. Filmed over one season, “In the High Country” is about living and running light and free.  The raw footage is terrific, is being edited now, and the film will be released in the Summer of 2013, with an approximate running time of 30 minutes.

Watch the Trailer Now –> 

 

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Scott Jurek Changes Sports!

Scott Jurek is “The Man” – other ultra runners consider him the king, the top of the heap. He won the Western States 100 seven times in a row – current winners acknowledge that will never be done again.

Now he has switched sports – Scott has taken that same commitment and intensity and applied it to the business of running.  He has written a book, helped develop a radical new hydration system, and is supporting the sport.  He is working hard to be as successful in the business of running as he was in competition.

Photo: Joseph Connoly/VegNews

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Hot Tip: Coming This Spring!

In one month the Signature Series will be released. This unique series of three hydration vests is being really well received.  And why not?  It was designed by three of the best ultrarunners in the world!  Retailers ordered the entire initial production run before manufacturing was finished.

Working with these Athletes was great.  Other company’s should do this as well: just ask the best athletes in the sport what they want, and then just do it!

It was a great plan. So we decided to do it again.

Here’s a sneak preview of the upcoming “Jurek Collection”.

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What is Scott Jurek Doing?

“We focus on something external to motivate us, but we need to remember that it’s the process of reaching for that prize—not the prize itself—that can bring us peace, and joy.” Eat & Run, p.177

We spoke with Scott Jurek while filming a Video (we’ll put it up soon!) Scott has been uncharacteristically at home this summer, enjoying cooking and running in the mountains, as he explains in this conversation.

Q – What kind of running have you been doing?

I’ve been getting up into the Indian Peaks Wilderness, and finally did the Buchannen/Pawnee Loop; I’ve done a bunch of runs up there, but this one is a classic 28 miler, with two big passes, 12,000′ high, that take you over to the other side of the Continental Divide then back again. It’s been a lot of fun.

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Ring of Bells

The Four Passes Loop (nicer name: “Ring of Bells”), is considered one of the best long trail runs in North America. Starting at 9,600′ at the postcard-perfect Maroon Lake above Aspen, this loop is almost exactly Marathon distance, and transects the Maroon Bells/Snowmass Wilderness Area while going over four big passes, each over 12,400′. The scenery is amazing. There are no signs of civilization; only a runnable single track trail.

There are two ideal times to do it:

1) Late July, when the entire route is blooming with wildflowers; or,

2) The third week in September, at the height of the changing Aspen colors.

We choose #2!

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What Were They Thinking???

CAPTION THIS PHOTO!

We received an incredible response to that question on our Facebook Page – over 850(!) of you wrote what you thought they were thinking, over 100 people Shared it on their own FB Page, and over 20,000 people viewed the photograph and your proposed Captions, some of which were hilarious. Good job!

The photo is from the Leadville 100, where Scott Jurek paced Anton Krupicka the last 25 miles. The look on their faces is so striking, Scott asked me where it was from – and even though I (Buzz) took the picture, I had no idea either – none of us could remember this moment – so your Captions are just as good as ours!

The Caption with the most “Likes” will be awarded a Signature Series vest of their choice when they become available late this year.

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