A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown.
W= It’s in the heart of the WASATCH Range.
U= ULTIMATELY 20,000 feet of ascent and descent over 38 miles.
R= Stay on the fucking RIDGE!
L= It’s going to be a long day LINKING together over 16 prominent peaks!
My co-wurler Jason Dorais has covered the outing quite thoroughly on his blog. And even a vid!
Before my blog started up I was following Jared Campbell and his adventures. I read about the WURL and it hurt my mind and my legs just thinking about it. I really wasn’t sure if it’s something I could ever complete, but what a time I’ve had daydreaming about it’s painful mysteries. That’s one of the main aspects I like about mountain projects is the unknown. Over the past 10 years I’ve done all the sections, except getting out Bells Canyon. And one day I even did about half the wurl.
This summer of fitness seemed like the perfect time to give it a go. I had many false starts and this round kept getting pushed back by weather. I assumed I would be going it alone since I didn’t want to set a firm date and folks are busy. Jason jumped on board for the full meal deal when I shot out an email asking for help at the re-supply points. At first I was excited, then worried about trying to keep up with the fastest man in the Wasatch. Luckily he had a recently sprained ankle. Our plan wasn’t to set a speed record, but just to finish.
Ferguson went by quick and easy even in the dark.
Traveling in the dark keeps you really focused on what’s at hand and ground is covered without a sense of how far or long you’re moving.
Plenty of places along the way that you’d be ok if you fell, as long as you didn’t mind not ever getting back up.
Jason takes a quick break on top of Twin Peaks.
Dr. Dorais with his perfectly wrapped ankle. He watched hours of youtube vids on how to properly perform the procedure and it worked!
Short and sweet climb onto Dromedary from the saddle of Tanners Gulch.
Temps were cool and it was a perfect dayfor a “hike” in the clouds
The Pfeifferhorn looks impossibly far on LCC ridge. It’s better to keep your head down anyway and try not to trip, fall, or roll an ankle.
As we worked through the terrain we tried to define this beast. Partly hiking with some trail, but mostly a cross country scramble with a little climbing. It’s the WURL.
Moving steadily and enjoying conversations as varied as the terrain.
My kind and dear brother Jonah met us with a feast at Cardiff Pass. We topped off water, packed in some ProBars and gels and continued on.
I don’t often eat McDonald’s, but when I do it’s very welcomed salt and calories! Thanks to Andy Dorais for the surprise drive through on top of Mt Wolverine.
Off to the Devil’s Castle.
This is one of the more exposed and “technical” sections of the route.
Felt great to have looped around the upper canyon and be heading West. Halfway!
Andy tapped out and Forrest Shearer tagged in between Sugarloaf and Baldy.
We took a nice long break at Hidden Peak. Jason had ridden the tram the day before and left a cooler under the bench in the warming hut. I put on fresh shoes and socks and felt like a new man. Until we started hiking anyway.
The iphone was used as camera and gps, which eats up a ton of batteries. I used the Goal Zero Guide 10 to revive it.
Despite the chance to eat and re-fuel I fell behind on calories and bonked up Twin Peaks. I forced myself to eat and recovered once we topped out.
Not sure what the hell we are so excited about?! Still a long way to go. I guess we were just showing off our trekking poles. They did come in handy (pun) on many of the ups and out Bells. Thanks Black Diamond for the bomber sticks that took a licking and kept on clicking.
Did I mention we still had a long way to go! We checked the weather and it looked good until 3am. We still had hopes and were on pace to finish in 24hrs and be home in bed before the forecasted downpour.
I asked Jason what it feels like to be one of the fastest humans. This was his response.
Next up was White Baldy and here we met up with my new room mate and instant friend Alex Lemieux. He had doubled back from the Pfeiff to meet us and get some scramble on. White Baldy was really fun blocky travel and we picked up the pace a little bit.
Were we there 12 hours ago? If I didn’t have crummy iphone pics to prove it I might not believe it was so.
The ups and downs balance out nicely and the 20,000 feet of climbing is well spread out making it only feel like 19,500 or so.
We snacked as hard as we could before the Pfeiff, but appetites were waning. Just as darkness fell we topped out on the “Little Matterhorn”. Then things got really hard, much slower and we dragged on into the night.
I believe in a long, prolonged, derangement of the senses in order to obtain the unknown. -Jim Morrison-
Route finding in the dark with diminished mental capacity and still a lot of exposed terrain ahead.
Jason really shines at night in the mountains! I didn’t know that South Thunder was on the route and would have skipped it. We stayed true to the ridge with the enormous abyss of Hogum Fork on our right. Right around here it transitioned to that other kind of fun, the kind that isn’t that fun.
Big Horn was problematic and slow, but we pushed on feeling fine up to Lone Peak. Final summit was anti-climactic. Too dark to see much and too tired to care. Just kept thinking about the hell that can be Bells Canyon. Jason led us to “the notch” and we simul-climbed down that shit pile of loose shit. Candidate for worst place to be on foot in the Wasatch.
Bells was pretty straight forward. We kept pushing right as we bolder hopped and bush-whacked. It was a tremendous relief to hit the trail and be able to motor over smooth terrain.
Then it rained hard! We just laughed and didn’t care. We hit the car at 26+ hours soaked to the core.
Looking back, if we had moved just a bit faster overall it would have saved us a ton of time! The tortoise approach is just too slow for such a lengthy outing. Although we do own the SKT! Maximum respect to Jared Campbell and Nik Berry for opening this up to the wurld and in such fine and fast form.
The funny part about completing things like this is that you loose the mystery of it. Luckily there are many more projects floating around and filling in that daydream space. Enough fucking around, let’s get some snow on those peaks and have some real fun.