Monday, Dec 31, 2018 @ 8:00 AM

UPWC - ShellRockin' Loop

Mazama, WA 42 Miler

This Event Took Place Mon. Dec 31, 2018


The sixth 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 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 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 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.

ShellRockin' Loop

ShellRockin' is a remote loop in the Pasayten Wilderness approximately 42 miles long with about 14,000ft of gain. The crux of this route is a 7+ mile off-trail traverse of ridges and peaks between 7000ft and 8700 feet above sea level. Depending on the time of the year there could be steep snow travel required and rock fall is always a danger as well as lightning, exposure, and possibly nasty weather. The rest of the route should be pretty straightforward but following the route could be tricky after you complete the traverse as you descend into the Middle Fork Pasayten Valley as well as the northern end of Buckskin Ridge Trail. Excellent navigation skills, as well as alpine traveling skills, are a must.

At this time I recommend doing the loop counter-clockwise for two reasons, one, to make sure you get done the off-trail section before dark and, two, to try to get through the off-trail section before possible afternoon lightning storms. I also recommend using a GPS device or smartphone with an app like Gaia GPS that has the GPX file for this route uploaded but do keep in mind that the GPX file was created by me drawing a line on a map, not an actual recording from someone doing this route--I have not done the off-trail part of this route. From all of my research, it does seem that the route is doable but going off route could lead to some tricky or dangerous areas. And in addition to your normal safety gear you might want to bring traction and or an ice ax, snow might linger here late into the summer in some parts of the off-trail traverse and you might want to wear a rock helmet at times on the traverse.

August is the ideal time to do this route, though a month earlier or later could be possible you could be pushing your luck with snow possible.

Trailhead Directions

The Start/Finish is near Harts Pass near Mazama, WA. Drive up Hart's Pass Rd(rough road, sometimes 4WD needed but not usually, expect the last 12 miles of the drive to take about an hour) and go past the Harts Pass Ranger Station towards Slate Peak. There will be a trailhead about 1.6 miles after the ranger station, park there. You'll probably need a NW Forest Pass. This is the trailhead for Buckskin Ridge Trail and Middle Fork Pasayten Trail.

Local time: 2:16 AM


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