Located in Denali State Park, the Kesugi Ridge Traverse course starts at the Little Coal Creek Trailhead (Parks Highway Mile 164) and finishes 30 miles later at Byers Lake Campground (Mile 147). Starting around 1,400 feet, the trail climbs steadily to above tree line to an alpine ridge with a high point of 3,500 feet. The trail is marked with cairns in most places.
About halfway, the Ermine Hill Trail comes in from the right (elevation 1,500 feet). The Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse course (about 14.2 miles) ends a short distance uphill from this junction at a rock formation called "The Doors." After their race, Half Traverse participants will take the Ermine Hill Trail 3.5 miles back to the Parks Highway at their leisure. A shuttle will return them to Byers Lake Campground.
After the junction, the Full Traverse trail again climbs above tree line until it finishes by descending 5 miles to Byers Lake via the Cascade Trail. The course ends in the Byers Lake Campground (elevation 800 feet) with food, drinks and awards. The total elevation gain is 6,200 feet and elevation loss is 6,800 feet.
Be aware this is not a race for beginners. Long-distance trail running experience is a must. Familiarity with the course is important. Past races have featured rain, snow, cold, and limited visibility.
Both the Full Traverse and Half Traverse have a REGISTRATION CAP of 50 entrants. If the races fill, there will NOT be a waitlist. Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the race director. Volunteers will receive free entry for 2018.
For more information, visit the website, at www.willowrunningcompany.com/kesugi-ridge-traverse
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE TRAVERSE must have completed at least one of the following trails: Kesugi Ridge trail, Crow Pass Crossing, Resurrection Pass trail, Lost Lake Trail, Matanuska Peak Challenge, Granite Tors, Angel Creek 50 or some other comparable race or training run.
Participants for the KESUGI RIDGE HALF TRAVERSE must have completed at least 15 miles on the trails listed above, or some other comparable 15-mile race or training run.
Participants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must wear or carry the following gear: windbreaker, long-sleeved shirt, pants or tights, hat, gloves, sustenance and water bottle.
All entrants for both the Kesugi Ridge Traverse and Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse must be at least 18 years old on race day.
The Kesugi Ridge Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours at the midway point of Ermine Hill Junction and 9 hours for the finish.
Local time: 1:13 PM
The Kesugi Ridge Half Traverse has a time cutoff of 4 hours at the Ermine Hill finish line.