Part 1 out of 5 @chrisjfish for the rest of the write up.
Trip around the WURL'D
The WURL is a route in the Wasatch that the locals consider a right of passage. It’s a 36Mile~ 20k~ route with a lot of exposed and technical ridge traversing. It sounded fun.
@jasonhardrath saw that I was out playing around these mountains a month or two ago & threw out the idea of sending the first out and back. It was a vision he’s had for some time. Strangely enough I was chatting with a couple friends about this idea before Jason reached out. We immediately knew that we had to give this a go when we both had open windows.
We made our way out to the Wasatch about 1 week ago and the weather window told us to start Monday morning at 12am. We went into this effort without scouting any of the technical pieces. We chose to send it with our confident route findings skills and love for the mountains. Storms were on the way so we had no time to wait.
Within 24 hours of being in SLC we were able to put together a last minute support crew. The role these amazing humans played in this effort was absolutely crucial and it was incredible that so many people volunteered to help out any way they could with such a last minute notice.
After our first WURL, 32hours~ of constant movement, Jason decided that with our current pace, that me going back out alone on the second lap would give the “team” a much better chance of keeping this wild dream alive. He just got off of a 7 day EPIC effort less than two weeks ago & his body wasn’t 100%. “Go slay the dragon” he said. (More on this later)
My body and mind immediately switched gears and it was again, game on. I continued on backwards on the WURL with the help of inspiring company. (I’ll share many stories about these individuals soon)
I was able to push back to our starting line over the course of 66 hours and 48 mins. With a handful of 7 minute naps, support from local crushers & the mindset of accomplishing something bigger than I’ve ever done before, the dream became a reality. This effort ended up being 3x my largest effort to date.
This was a short summary of this EPIC journey. I have dozens of stories to share. Expect more, if you care haha.
For those who don’t know @jasonhardrath he is the king of FKTs. He is the first person to reach 100 FKTs and very unique ones at that. He has been around this ‘sufferfest’ block more times than I can count and this epic wasn’t new to him.
In fact, he had just gotten finished with a 7 day push in California tackling 2 separate FKTs in one push. Normans 13 & Human powered 14ers. I’d recommend reading up on this.
Because of this very recent effort his body wasn’t 100%. We got to talking midway through our first lap on the WURL & I reassured him that I’m sticking together as a team. We are doing this together. We were moving slow, but still cruising.
By the time we finished up our first WURL I was pretty weary about being able to make the storm cut-off the next day at the pace we were moving. But we are a team so we will do what we have to do. He came down to Bells Canyon & told me that if I wanted a chance at keeping this dream alive I needed to proceed by myself. The amount of humility that takes to accept is incredible. I was in awe.
We had just shared a big push around the WURL, in fact, my biggest effort to date until I completed lap 2, & now he wants me to go out by myself. My mind raced for awhile but I knew what had to be done.
This dude not only pushed me on to continue, but he jumped back in to the effort 24 hours later to help guide me through the final section. How many humans would willingly suffer with another fellow human, drop out to give their team a chance, and then hop back in to finish this journey strong despite all of the pain? Not many. I can only think of 1 personally, @jasonhardrath . At one point during the final stretch, he looked at me in the eyes and said, “you’re feeling exactly how you’re supposed to, let’s keep moving“
I was in pain. I had been awake for 60+ hours while moving through these mountains. I was suffering, but a beautifully remarkable suffer. It was a suffer that was new to me. But, I was doing exactly what I wanted and doing what I love. Every step of pain was putting me closer to reaching the goal. These feelings were just obstacles I was learning to hurdle. I didn’t want to be any where else & I sure as hell didn’t want anybody else to be with me besides him & our friend Eli (more on him later)
I learned more from Jason in the past week of deep conversation & sharing many hours on mountains than I have from the majority of people in my life. His wisdom has helped me put clarity behind a lot of my jumbled up thoughts, how to interact with a fellow human in a more positive way that would potentially inspire deeper, how to dig deep and maneuver the dark passages of the mind, how to truly embrace the journey for what it is. That journey including the part after the actually effort, where we are able to bring the gold back to the village.
@jasonhardrath I appreciate you more than you know. I’m already looking forward to the next adventure we get to share together. I can’t wait to learn more from you. You truly are a man that works beyond himself, for the well being of others. Much love brother! See you up on a mountain sooner than later? Cheers buddy
Crew Chief Maio @joe.maio ‘s reliability is next level. This man opened up his life for both me & Jason to crash into for a handful of days. When we shot him our crazy plans last minute while en route to SLC he immediately flipped a switch & was ready to rock and roll.
The organization he was able to produce throughout a team of people was a true skillset of a team leader. He put together our game plan while we focused on getting our nutrition locked in, calming our minds for battle & resting our body’s to be put through the ringer.
He called upon several close friends and the majority answered the call when they could. Most people work 9-5 jobs so it’s understandable when someone can’t hop out of real life last minute for some random dudes crazy endeavor.
He was able to get team members @youottofollow & @travis.suite focused to meet us on top of superior for high fives and stoke. These stout dudes also carried up our cache to be placed on Cardiff pass, Catherine’s pass for our first and second aid station, as well as on top of snowbird for our third. They filled our caches with fuel, water & of course their hint of love. They wanted to help out and it was blatantly obvious. There was no, “uh shit do we really have to help these guys”
While heading down White Baldy towards Pfiefferhorn I could hear a party in the distance. I couldn’t see anybody yet but I knew the crew was waiting to send us out into our second night. The stoke was exploding! As we approached the saddle, our final aid station until the TH, we were greeted with some of my best friends, and some brand new faces.
@joe.maio , @fearnowka , @the_ron_nelson , @anna.demonster @mmickeyd @grantkates were there to instigate stoke with food, music, cold drinks & the company of their vibrant selves. @fearnowka @the_ron_nelson both worked their magic behind their cameras and collected some incredible pictures.
@anna.demonster was actually there to pace us through the night, two random dudes she’s never met before. Her stoke was deep & her love for the mountains was inescapable. She shared many stories throughout the night about her WURL, mountain adventures and just life in general. We were able able to connect on a front beyond our current objective, getting to the TH to finish WURL#1. She has a way of keeping the party alive even if it was 3am and we were waking from our first 7 minute nap. That night was a long one but I wouldn’t have wanted anybody else to be with us at the time. She crushed. Oh, and she had to go to work less than an hour later after getting to the TH. 12+ hour night straight to work? Talk about a badass! Keep doing your thing @anna.demonster it’s mad inspiring 👊🏼
Heading down Bells Canyon was kind of painful. My lower back was beat, and I was facing a low point on the inside. I wasn’t really expressing it out loud. At the TH we were greeted by @joe.maio & @tylervalovic @verticalnomad , some really good dudes. They had breakfast burritos & churros ready for our disposal. I ate a few bites & then laid down to rest for a hour-ish.