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Taking The UltraPedestrian Ethos To The Masses

Gearing UP for Ultraneering

By Ras Vaughan

Big Impossible Sounding Ideas

There’s a particular type of ill-advised, hare-brained scheme that resonates with me on a fundamental level. When an adventure of this sort first presents itself, whether via outside influence or internal genesis, I experience both a physical and mental response. The physical response includes the sound of blood rushing in my ears, chills up and down my spine, sharpening and narrowing of my vision, and racing heart. Mentally my response is along the lines of, “That sounds impossible. I have to give it a try.” I’ve come to think of projects of this sort as Big Impossible Sounding Ideas.

As intimidating as they may seem at first conception, I’ve learned over the years that Big Impossible Sounding Ideas can be deconstructed into smaller and smaller component parts. Those parts can then be evaluated and explicated until a way is found to make each of them possible. Then all of those little possibilities can be reassembled to make that Big Impossible Sounding Idea not only a possibility but a reality. This is a process which can take months or even years to run its course while my brain chews on the problem, evaluating information, formulating and reformulating plans, and passively letting possibilities bounce around my skull to see if any of them take root. And once I decide that something is humanly possible, the all-consuming question for me then becomes, “Am I the Human Being to do it?” That’s exactly how things played out when I first heard about Chad Kellogg’s idea for the Mount Rainier Infinity Loop.

The Cowlitz Connection and the Mount Rainier Infinity Loop

In 2015 Richard Kresser and I attempted a project I had dreamed up to combine the 93 mile Wonderland Trail around the base of Mount Rainier with a traverse of the summit. It’s not hyperbole to say that Mount Rainier is responsible for making me the man I am today, and I find myself continually drawn to it, persistently pursuing new ways to experience the mountain as completely as possible …

photo by Ras/UltraPedestrian.com

UltraPedestrian Wilderness Challenge 2016 Wrap/2017 Launch Party!

Join us on Thursday, February 23rd at 7:30pm for an inspiring time with many of the most BadAss Hominids in the Pacific Northwest.

There's a lot in store (literally in Seven Hills Running Shop) this year. We'll give out finisher's patches to everyone who completed a Wilderness Challenge and/or Mind/Body Challenge route, award Firsties prizes, distribute participants' swag, and bestow our first ever UltraPedestrian BadAss of the Year award.

In addition, we have lots of big announcements, including a restructuring of the Wilderness Challenge format, a new event sponsor, upcoming media exposure, and the highly anticipated announcement of THREE NEW ROUTES for the UPWC for 2017 as well as a new Mind/Body Challenge route.

Come be a part of the unique inspiration and excitement of the

Hominid UP!

To Infinity Chad Kellogg. September 22nd, 1971 to February 14th, 2014. Seattle climbing community legend. Dear friend to many. And the toughest guy around. "For Chad, not eating and shivering on ledges-that was like skiing powder for him. It was just that fun," remembers Jens Holsten.
On Christmas day, Ras and I took the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend to spend the day with my sister Julie, her husband Benoit, their two children and my parents. We exchanged gifts and I was soon ushered upstairs by my niece Amelie to play a game away from all of the activity downstairs.
I'll be the first to admit that I tend to be a bit of an iconoclast. I've spent much of my life questioning the conventional wisdom, and frequently finding it wanting. And this pattern of rejecting the accepted norms has been a key part of my approach to adventuring.
By Kathy Vaughan Ras and I haven't been in a good place for a while. We relocated a year ago from a quiet, peaceful existence in the Okanogan Highlands of north central Washington, to the busy hustle and bustle of Whidbey Island. A few days after our arrival, we began working for a yard maintenance business.
By Kathy Vaughan I ran along the gentle singletrack trail. Some sections were long stretches of boardwalk. I cruised along easily, Lisa and her husband Jason were behind me. I could hear the ocean as we got closer. The forest was thick with underbrush and packed with trees, a temperate rainforest along the upper Washington Coast, in the Olympic National Park.
By Kathy Vaughan We awoke in the middle of the trail, the cold pre-dawn chilling us until we stirred fitfully. We were on the descent to the South Mowich River from Golden Lakes. We had hiked through the high alpine meadows and the area around the old patrol cabin in the middle of the night, frost on the boardwalks and puncheon bridges crunching underfoot.
Mount Adams Infinity Loop Complete Caloric Burn Versus Intake I have been fueling based on both dietary fat and stored body fat for almost five years now, since I began training for the inaugural Pigtails Challenge 200 miler early in 2012. (Here's my by Ras Vaughan nutrition and fueling report from Pigtails, May 2012.)
The GoPro Hero3+ cameraEC Technology Power Bank 3.7V/22400mAh/82.8Wh chargerZiplock screw top container for soaking dehydrated food Mount Adams Infinity Loop was my second foray into the very rarified discipline which Gavin Woody has dubbed "ultraneering".
"It was just one of those moments where I felt like a light shined on me and there should have been an angelic choir in the background," Vaughan said of the moment last year when a former Mount Rainier ranger described the route to him.
Ras Vaughan and Gavin Woody just wrote a new chapter in the northwest book of ultra endurance challenges. Most people are content to climb Mount Rainer OR follow the Wonderland Trail around the mountain, but Vaughan and Woody decided to combine the trip and raise money while they did it.
Jon Jonckers / Outtheremonthly