UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge

An annual Adventure Blogging Contest open to Bipeds of all stripes

Registration is open!

2017 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge

presented by Altra Running, Nathan Sports, and Seven Hills Running Shop

The fifth annual UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge is a multi-faceted multi-media adventure blogging contest open to Trailrunners, Fastpackers, Backpackers, and bipeds of all stripes. Entrants may attempt any or all routes on offer. There are no aid stations, no course markings, no start/finish, no lemming lines, no cut offs, no set date; in fact, it's all up to you.

We have 15 total routes on offer for 2017, including all 10 classic UPWC routes, two Mind/Body Challenges (which include a reading assignment in addition to a particularly grueling route), and three new routes for 2017. For each of these 15 routes we will print 100 Finisher’s Patches. After all 100 patches are awarded a route will be closed, whether it takes three months, three years, or three decades for all the patches to be awarded.

  1. Devils Dome (loop ~45 miles)
  2. Olympic Coast Route (point to point ~50 miles)
  3. Mother Mountain/Northern Loop (loop 44 miles)
  4. Alpine Lakes Grand Tour (point to point ~75 miles)
  5. Easy Pass (point to point ~28)
  6. Chinook Pass (loop ~30 miles)
  7. Graves Creek (loop ~60 miles)
  8. Double Desolation Mind/Body Challenge (out and back ~93 miles)
  9. La Bohn Traverse (point to point ~30 miles)
  10. Windy Peak (lollipop ~30 miles)
  11. Spider on Steroids (loop ~50 miles)
  12. Loowit Trail (loop ~28 miles)
  13. Ben & Kevin’s Excellent Pasayten Adventure (loop ~51 miles)
  14. Owyhigh Lakes (loop ~40 miles)
  15. Sourdough Sufferfest Mind/Body Challenge (out and back ~100 miles)

Beginning in 2016 an UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge BadAss Of The Year award was instituted to recognize BadAssery above and beyond the normal UPWC level, which is a high bar indeed. The Inaugural UPWC BAOTY was awarded to “Jaunty” John Barrickman, for linking together the La Bohn Traverse route with the Alpine Lakes Grand Tour, in addition to completing the Windy Peak Lollipop and the Double Desolation Mind/Body Challenge route all in a single season.

How to participate in the 2017 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge:

1. Sign up via Ultrasignup.com for any or all of the 2017 UPWC routes before you make your attempt and before November 30th, 2017.

2. Between the day you sign up and midnight on December 31st, 2017, complete any or all of the routes as well as your trip report, whatever form it may take. Completing a route must include producing content in the form of a trip report, photo album, video, audio recording, artistic rendering, or any other form which reflects your experience of the route and can be posted online via your personal blog and/or the UPWC Facebook Group.

3. Email your proof and documentation, including trip report link and any GPS data to UltraPedestrian@gmail.com with the subject line "2017 UPWC PROOF & DOCUMENTATION" no later than midnight December 31, 2017. (In the near future this step will be replaced by posting your trip report directly to the UPWC website.)

4. In early 2018 a party will be held at Seven Hills Running Shop to wrap up the 2017 event and kick off the 2018 event. Finisher's patches and other awards and swag will be handed out for both the UPWC and UPMBC and the routes for 2018 will be presented.

5. If you are unable to attend the 2017 UPWC Wrap Party/2018 UPWC Kickoff Party, visit UltraPedestrianWildernessChallenge.com for complete results and visit Seven Hills Running Shop in person to pick up your UPWC commemorative finisher's patch. If you live outside the greater Seattle area, arrangements can be made to send you your finisher's patch via U.S. mail.

We strongly encourage all entrants to join the UPWC Facebook Group to ask questions about the routes, gather and share trail beta, connect with other UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge participants, scope out the competition, and keep up to date on the most recent news, information, and general goings on.

Failure to abide by the following may result in a time-based penalty, subtraction of points, and/or disqualification.

All participants must at all times comport themselves in accordance with Federal, State, and Local laws, as well as Leave No Trace backcountry ethics.

Registration via Ultrasignup.com must be completed before a route is attempted.

Entrants may participate solo or as part of a team. Teams can be independent, unsupported athletes that simply travel together, or team members can mule for one another. But teams will not be allowed to receive any outside support from non-running personnel.

Highly coveted Bonus Points will be awarded by UPWC organizers as they see fit. The value of these Bonus Points is ineffable, and they are generally highly cherished by those awarded them.

Every member of a team must be a registered entrant in the 2017 UPWC. Registration for minors is free.

All participants must submit proof of having completed the route via Spot Transponder, GPS/Garmin/Suunto/DeLorne/Other data, photographic evidence, and/or a convincingly detailed trip report/blog.

If you are submitting your entry for speed based awards you MUST provide SPOT/GPS/GARMIN/SUUNTO/DELORNE/OTHER data as proof.

Everyone who completes a route for the 2017 Ultrapedestrian Wilderness Challenge will be awarded a unique finishers' patch (only available through UPWC participation) for every route they complete. Each route will have a unique patch design of which only 100 will be made. Once those 100 patches are awarded for a route it will be closed.

No refunds.

All proceeds beyond the cost of prizes, awards, and shipping costs will go to support UltraPedestrian.com, and the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge.

For the second year in a row Phil Kochik and Seven Hills Running Shop hosted the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge Wrap/Launch party. This now annual event is when the Finisher’s Patches and other honors are awarded, exceptional performance is recognized, and out is handed swag for the year recently concluded. Then new routes, rules updates, and any changes to the contest guidelines are announced.

It also happened to be a gathering of some of the most BadAss Hominids in the Pacific Northwest. Phil provided vegan pizza, there was soda pop, and an assortment of beer showed up. Red, gold, and green UltraPedestrian stickers were passed around. There was a vibe of not just excitement, but of long anticipated camaraderie, as well as some eyeballing of the boxes of prizes and swag from Nathan Sports and Altra Running.

The biggest announcement of the night was a change of format. For the first four years the UPWC announced new routes each year, Finisher’s Patches had the year printed on them, and the routes were off the table the next year. But all that ended with 2016.

Beginning with the 2017 UPWC all ten of the original Wilderness Challenge routes are open once again, as is the Double Desolation Mind/Body route and the new Sourdough Sufferfest Mind/Body route, and three new UPWC routes are in the offing. In total, there are 15 routes in play for the 2017 UPWC. For each route 100 Finisher’s Patches will be made. Once all 100 patches are awarded for a route, it will be closed. Each year new routes will continue to be added.

Altra Running supplied buffs for everyone who completed a route. Nathan Sports provided BigShot bottles to each finisher as well. And, of course, each person received a custom Finisher’s Patch for each route they completed.

Nathan Sports generously provided their brand new 25 liter Journey Fastpack as a special award for “Firsties”, the first people to complete a new route. Those who bag Firsties face a more substantial challenge than those who follow in their footsteps, since the do so with little to no route beta. John T. Barrickman got Firsties on the La Bohn Traverse, Jon Armstrong bagged Firsties for Windy Peak, and Lisa Eversgerd, with Kathy Vaughan, nabbed Firsties as the first ever female finishers of the Double Desolation Mind/Body Challenge.

Altra Running also supplied trucker caps emblazoned with their iconic Zero Limits motto. One was awarded to Brad Hefta-Gaub for his NOBO/SOBO/YOYO La Bohn Traverse out-and-back. Another was awarded to Arya Farahani for designing the La Bohn Traverse route. And Rm Shnkr Sv Kmr won a pair of Altra Olympus max midsole trail shoes.

Links to the complete results can be found here:

Seven Hills Running Shop

Phil Kochik shows constant love for the Trail Community by hosting events like the UPWC Wrap/Launch Party at Seven Hills Running Shop.

Stuff We All Get

IF we finish one of the UPWC routes. Nathan Sports and Altra Running showed the innovative mindset central to their brands in recognizing the uniqueness of the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge, and those mentally and physically skilled enough to tackle it.

Renaissance Hominid

In addition to completing the Windy Peak route and putting up a mind-boggling NOBO/SOBO/YOYO remix of the La Bohn Traverse during the 2016 UPWC season, Brad Hefta-Gaub also designed the UPWC BAOTY patch and aided in the design and manufacturing of all the finisher's patches.

The Jaunty One

John T. Barrickman wins one of the new Nathan Journey Fastpacks, a 25 liter running pack designed for self-supported and unsupported adventures.

The Inaugural UPWC BadAss Of The Year Award

The first ever UPWC BAOTY Award was also given to Jaunty John Barrickman for the jaw-dropping audacity of his La Bohn Traverse/Alpine Lakes Grand Tour linkup, combined with also completing the Windy Peak route and the Double Desolation Mind/Body Challenge all in the same year.

Only Two Of Three Routes Completed In 2016

Due to wild fires and forest service closures, the Spider Gap Route had no finishers. But Windy Peak and the La Bohn Traverse each had multiple finishers. The Double Desolation Route, part of our Mind/Body Challenge, had three finishers as well: John T. Barrickman, Lisa Eversgerd, and Kathy Vaughan

UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge 2016 Wrap/2017 Launch Party!

Join us on Thursday, February 23rd at 7:30pm for an inspiring time with many of the most BadAss Hominids in the Pacific Northwest.

There's a lot in store (literally in Seven Hills Running Shop) this year. We'll give out finisher's patches to everyone who completed a Wilderness Challenge and/or Mind/Body Challenge route, award Firsties prizes, distribute participants' swag, and bestow our first ever UltraPedestrian BadAss of the Year award.

In addition, we have lots of big announcements, including a restructuring of the Wilderness Challenge format, a new event sponsor, upcoming media exposure, and the highly anticipated announcement of THREE NEW ROUTES for the UPWC for 2017 as well as a new Mind/Body Challenge route.

Come be a part of the unique inspiration and excitement of the

Hominid UP!

The fourth annual UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge is a multi-faceted multi-media adventure blogging contest open to Trailrunners, Fastpackers, Backpackers, and bipeds of all stripes. We are offer three unique routes. Entrants may attempt any or all of these. There are no aid stations, no course markings, no start/finish, no lemming lines, no cut offs, no set date; in fact, it's all up to you.

How to participate in the 2016 UP Wilderness Challenge:

For 2016 UltraPedestrian.com is once again offering a new and unique contest called the Mind/Body Challenge.

Here's the scoop: