The Cascadian Wilderness Endurance Series events present an exciting opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to participate in a multimedia adventure blogging contest. These self-supported/unsupported events are open to trail runners, backpackers, fastpackers, and hikers, and each event features a unique and defined route which participants must complete on foot and in one push. Unlike traditional endurance races, there are no course markings or aid stations along the way, providing participants with the freedom to create their own adventure. It’s all up to you! Participants can choose to tackle the route solo or with a couple friends. There are no cutoffs, so participants can take as much time as they need to complete the route without pressure. This unique event is not just about the physical challenge or exploring wild and beautiful places, but also about the opportunity to capture and share the beauty of the wilderness through captivating multimedia content.
1. After finishing your route, share your trip report about your experience. You can do this by posting in the Facebook group, tagging us in an Instagram post, making a YouTube video, creating a photo album, or any other artistic endeavor you can imagine.
2. Submit your time via the event page on Ultrasignup. If you have a GPS track, please include it. If you happened to get the FKT for the year, you must provide GPS proof.
3. Each year a meetup will be held in Seattle to wrap up the previous year, kick off the next year, make any big announcements about new routes or changes, and hand out patches, awards, and prizes for the previous year’s participants. If you are unable to attend the event, arrangements can be made to mail your patches to you.
We strongly encourage all entrants to join the UPWC Facebook Group and/or follow the @CascadianWildernessEndurance Instagram to ask questions about the routes, gather and share trail beta, connect with other participants, scope out the competition, and keep up to date on the most recent news, information, and general goings on. This contest is brought to you by the Cascadian Wilderness Endurance Company LLC.
Mount Aix/Nelson Ridge
The Mount Aix/Nelson Ridge Lollipop Route was designed by two-time UPWC BadAss Of The Year "Jaunty" John Barrickman. Here is John's description of the route:
Low point = 3,678’
High point = 7,474’
Cumulative E gain = 9,655’
Distance = 26 miles
Green Trails Map = 303S Goat Rocks/William O Douglas Wilderness
“The Mount Aix trail leads to a lofty world above the tree line, with views in all directions, and access to other trails for wandering in the open. On a clear day, you can see Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, the Goat Rocks, Mount Rainier, and the Stuart Range, just to mention the more identifiable peaks.
The trail starts out at 3700 feet on a dusty path leading through moderately thick forest. At 0.3 miles is an easy stream crossing.
At 0.4 mile, the trail traverses to the south, at first level, and then gaining ever more in steepness until beginning a series of switchbacks a half mile later. The switchbacks and traversing combine to take you through a steep-sloped forest, featuring numerous and diverse varieties of trees. At 2.5 miles the canopy begins to thin and the shade lessens. Finally, one last long traverse takes you up to an exposed ridge at 7150 feet, 4.4 miles. A weathered sign at a junction identifies the Nelson Ridge Trail #984 to the left. To the right and up continues the Mt. Aix Trail #982. Both of these trails connect to a third, the Richmond Mine Trail #973, as part of a 17-mile loop that stays above 4400 feet. The loop gets little use however, and may require route finding skills.” - WTA
The official route would start at the Mt Aix TH, tag Mt Aix and continue east on the Mt Aix trail (982) dropping down to Dog Creek. At Dog Creek, turn N NW on the Richmond Mine Trail (973) until the North Fork of Rattlesnake Creek. Just past the creek, I would turn west on the Nelson Ridge Trail (984) and circle back to the intersection with Mt Aix trail. Another 4.5 miles back down would put me back at the car completing the route.
Map and GPS track available here: https://caltopo.com/m/CFDS
The route is described in detail by The Jaunty One himself in the following video, beginning at the 33:05 mark: https://youtu.be/EySlihW4l4E
John's trip report for the route can be read here: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report.2019-09-08.4732031142
Why should you pay $20 to complete one of the endurance challenges? A small part of the fee will go to cover website maintenance and domain registration, as well as getting patches made and other small goodies/swag. The majority of this fee will be donated to trail maintenance organizations.
Event's current local time: 3:52 PM PT
Why are we even doing this? To get people out into the wonderful wilderness areas that we have here in the Northwest and to build the community of adventurous people! The trip report is just as important as actually finishing the route, and we love it when people come up with creative ways to share their experience. Information isn't always readily available for these areas, and maps can be scarce and not always reliable (especially the Pasayten and Frank Church/Selway Wildernesses.) That can intimidate some that aren't as experienced outdoors-people. The goal is to empower people to get out into these wilderness areas and hopefully to protect them into the future.