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.
Spider on Steroids
This is a challenging route that includes sections of cross-country travel and route-finding. Consider carrying traction devices and trekking poles or an ice ax to navigate permanent snow fields. I highly recommend going clockwise to get the crux of the route (Little Giant Pass to High Pass) done when you’re fresh.
Local time: 6:42 AM
Starting at Little Giant trailhead, go over Little Giant Pass and then drop down into the Napeequa Valley. (The Napeequa Valley is stunning and has been referred to by some as “Shangri-la.” That said, it is a very steep descent on an abandoned trail from Little Giant Pass to the bottom of Napeequa Valley, so caution is advised. From a previous trip report: “...Two horses died falling off the trail here. They reportedly tumbled many hundreds of feet before coming to rest. So don't doubt that it's steep.” Apparently the bleached bones of these unfortunate animals can still be seen from the trail.)
Travel up the Napeequa Valley on the Boulder Creek/Pass Trail (#1562). As you near the northwestern end of the valley, approx 1 mile NW of Louis Creek, look for the North Fork of the Napeequa (NFN) heading north to High Pass. Follow the NFN up towards High Pass - there is no maintained trail and some route-finding may be necessary. Go up and over High Pass, at which point it’s mostly trail back to your car: From High Pass, take the High Pass Trail (#1562.2) to the Buck Creek Pass trail (#789?) to the PCT.
The PCT connects to the Suiattle Pass trail (1279), which takes you from Suiattle Pass to Cloudy Pass. At Cloudy Pass, drop down to Lyman Lakes on trail #1256, where you pick up the Upper Lyman Lake trail (#1256.2) which leads you to Spider Gap. From Spider Gap, descend into Spider Meadows Follow Phelps Creek trail all the way out to Phelps Creek TH Road walk/run back to Little Giant TH (this is part of the route - no car shuttles, please!)
Note: in 2016 there was an alternate route included, according to Ras, this route is no longer open for future awards... beyond just the fun you get from being in the wild.