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. 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 UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge:
1. Sign up on Ultrasignup.com for any or all of the UPWC routes before you make your attempt and before November 30th.
2. Between the day you sign up and midnight on December 31st, 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. Enter your proof and documentation, including trip report link and any GPS data at https://goo.gl/forms/pnpuBcJu4gBOfRyg2 no later than midnight December 31.
4. Early next year a party will be held at Seven Hills Running Shop to wrap up the event and kick off the next year's event. Finisher's patches and other awards and swag will be handed out for both the UPWC and UPMBC and the routes for the next year will be presented.
5. If you are unable to attend the UPWC Wrap Party/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.
While living in the Okanogan Highlands of north central Washington, I discovered many spectacular running routes. One of my favorites from that time was the 32 mile Windy Peak Loop in the Pasayten Wilderness. The mileage may not be exact, but one can expect to put in a good 50k with lots of climbing, technical trail, cruisy stretches, far-reaching views and lovely wildflowers.
Local time: 6:42 AM
Check out my trip report for lots of good information and enticing photos from the route. I ran it with my adventure buddy Lisa and we started at the Long Swamp Campground. This is reached by driving from the small town of Oroville towards Loomis. The drive itself is scenic and Lisa and I spotted a herd of Big Horn Mountain Sheep on our drive to the trailhead. There are other options. Roads out this way are in rough condition, washboard & potholes to be expected. From Long Swamp, the route begins a lollipop loop by running the 4 mile stick on trail # 342.
The direction Lisa and I went had us connecting to trail # 375, #341, and then #343. The trail then reconnects with trail #342, for the 4 mile return trip to Long Swamp.
The route begins with a good climb towards Windy Peak. At the base of the peak, there is the option of taking a spur trail to the summit. At this point there are incredible, 360 degree views. The landscape is open, rocky and barren. It is easy to linger here too long.
From here, the trail drops down into the lush environment of Horseshoe Basin. There are aspen groves in here and lots of opportunities for shade.
At Sunny Pass, there is an option of taking a 2 mile side trip to Louden Lake. The lake is a good spot to have lunch or cool down if its hot.
There are creeks in this area to get water. There are also good creeks in Horsehoe Basin and nearing the end of the route, in the old burn zone. This is a beautiful area with charred trees, rugged rock formations and abundant wildflowers.
This is a special, high country route in the remote country of the Pasayten Wilderness. I highly recommend making the trip if you like solitude and a nice, ultra distance loop run. I like that the loop offers a variety of different types of ecosystems and terrain to pass through, making for a unique adventure run.