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

Here's the scoop:

The Route is an out and back from the East Bank Trailhead off Highway 20 in the North Cascades to the north end of Ross Lake and back. Here's the catch: you must summit Desolation Peak twice, on both the out and the back. So the complete route is East Bank Trail to the Desolation Peak trail, summit Desolation (a hike, not a technical climb), then head up Lightning Creek all the way to the Hozameen Campground, touch the monument at the Canadian Border, then reverse the route, including summiting Desolation a second time. That's the Body part.

Here's the Mind part:

Jack Kerouac spent 63 days during the summer of 1956 as a fire lookout on Desolation Peak. He wrote about his experiences in the books Lonesome Traveler, The Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels. To complete the UltraPedestrian Mind/Body Challenge you must read or listen to one or more of the works attributed to this period in Kerouac's career, and in your trip report tie in your experience on the trail to one of the books. This can be done in any way you see fit, through words, pictures, video, song, whatever expression you choose. Anyone who completes the route, reading, and creative assignment will receive a one of a kind finisher's patch.

Only 100 patches have been made. In 2015 two of them were awarded to Jeff Write (Jeff's Trip Report) and Brad Hefta-Gaub (Brad's Trip Report). That leaves 98 as yet unclaimed. Once those 98 are handed out to finishers no more patches will be made and the Double Desolation Route will be closed forever.

The entry fee for the 2016 UltraPedestrian Mind/Body Challenge is $25.00 per person. All proceeds beyond the cost of patches and shipping costs will go to support

How to participate in the 2016 UP Mind/Body Challenge:

1. Sign up on Ultrasignup.combefore you make your attempt and before November 30th, 2016.

2. Between the day you signup and midnight on December 31st, 2016, complete the reading, the route itself, and your artistic expression, whatever form it may take.

3. Email your proof and documentation to with the subject line "2016 UPMBC PROOF & DOCUMENTATION" no later than midnight December 31, 2016. (In the near future this step will be replaced by posting your info to the UPMBC website.)

4. In early 2017 a party will be held at Seven Hills Running Shop to wrap up the 2016 event and kick off the 2017 event. Finisher's patches and other awards and swag will be handed out for both the UPWC and UPMBC and the routes for 2017 will be presented.

5. If you are unable to attend the 2016 UPWC Wrap Party/2017 UPWC Kickoff Party, visit for complete results and visit Seven Hills Running Shop in person to pick up your UPMBC 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 Groupto 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.

Note: The registration fee for the UPMBC is a lifetime registration. You may attempt the Challenge as many times as necessary in order to complete it. If you fail to complete it during the 2016 season, a free signup code will be issued to you (upon request) for registration in future years until either you are able to complete the Challenge and earn your patch, or until all patches have been awarded and the Challenge is forever closed.

Complete Rules Of Participation

Failure to abide by the following may result in a time-based penalty, subtraction of points (for UPWC participants), 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 must be completed before a route is attempted.

Entrants may participate solo or as part of a team. Teams can be independent, unsupported athletes than just 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.

Every member of a team must be a registered entrant in the 2016 UPMBC. 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.

UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge participants will receive five points for completing the Mind/Body Challenge as well as potential bonus points, as awarded by Ras. (For complete details on the points system please see the main UP Wilderness Challenge page.)

The first 100 people who complete the Ultrapedestrian Mind/Body Challenge will be awarded a unique finishers' patch (only available through UPMBC participation).

Registration for the UltraPedestrian Mind/Body Challenge requires a one-time fee of $25.00 per person. Participants may attempt the Challenge as many times as necessary in order to complete it. If an entrant fails to complete the UPMBC during the current season, a free signup code will be issued (upon request) for registration in future years until the participant is able to complete the Challenge and earn their patch, or until all patches have been awarded and the Challenge is forever closed.

No refunds.

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