About the Mind/Body Challenge
Local time: 5:58 AM
For 2017 UltraPedestrian.com continues our new and unique challenge called the UltraPedestrian Mind/Body Challenge.
Here's the scoop:
The Double Desolation 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 climb), then head up Lightning Creek all the way to the Hozameen Campground, touch the Canadian Border, then reverse the route, including summiting Desolation a second time. The entire route adds up to 86+ miles. 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 writing assignment will receive a one of a kind finisher's patch. Only 100 patches have been made. In 2015 two of them were awarded, and in 2016 three were awarded, leaving 95 as yet unclaimed. Once those 95 are handed out to finishers no more patches will be made and the Double Desolation Route will be closed.
Below are are links to the trip reports of the only two people to finish the UP Mind/Body Challenge Double Desolation Route during 2015, Jeff Wright and Brad Hefta-Gaub. Not only did they both complete the UPMBC, they each also completed all three of the UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge routes for 2015, the coveted "Triple Crown", thus making for a "Fourple Crown." When you have to make up new words to describe your achievement, you have definitely achieved badassedness.
Jeff Wright's trip report
Brad Hefta-Gaub's trip report
Please visit the UP Mind/Body Challenge website for complete rules and details. 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 2017 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.