Saturday, September 6, 2014


Lars and Tom had this planned for several months now and I always said I wasn't going to join.  The desire to repeat the WURL after spending 26+ hours on the route with Noah last year was non existent.  I was positive I'd never do it again but then they kept talking about it.  Then I agreed to join for part of it.  Then my work schedule came out and I had the day off.  Next thing you know I'm walking up Cardiff Fork with Amanda to drop off a food cache at Pole Line Pass and was fully committed.   It's funny how other's enthusiasm is contagious.

The plan was to enjoy the outing and not try to push the pace too hard.  Lars finished Leadville (6th, 19hours) two weeks ago and Tom just finished the Park City Point to Point a few days earlier so we figured the lingering fatigue of those big efforts would make this more of an enjoyable scenic day as opposed to a fast paced one.  With this in mind I packed a big camera and we were off.

We've always thought the WURL might be more aesthetic if it headed up Deaf Smith and out Jacob's Ladder.  That would at least straighten the ends out.  I'm not sure but I do know tradition is important to me and I have nothing but respect for Jared Campbell. So we decided we would start at Ferguson and end at Bell's just as he did.  Unfortunately that's not what we ended up doing.  By the time we hit Lone Peak we were 20 hours into the day and the mental/physical fatigue of the group was quite high.  I've been up and down the notch into Bell's half dozen times and find it to be a rather loose and dangerous place.  With this in mind we decided to head out Jacob's Ladder.  It's didn't feel great deviating from tradition but I think that for our party, that day, it was the right call.  I don't know.  Is it even the WURL if you don't exit Bell's?  Hard to say but I think we found the little bit of great scenery, adventure, and suffering that we were hoping the WURL would provide.

*** Special thanks to Amanda for refueling us at Hidden Peak.  I've never had a Deep Dish Little Caesar's pizza that tasted so good.  Thanks Ryan for the Ensure and Red Bull at the top of Red Pine. And THANKS Andy for taking our phone call from the top of Lone at midnight and then driving to the Jacob's Ladder trailhead at 3AM to give us a ride back home.  I'm not sure why you guys were all so willing to help but it made our day MUCH better!!!

Here are far too many pictures.
Early morning in Ferguson
Above Stairs
Between Storm Mountain and SLC Twins

Summit of SLC Twins

Heading towards Jepson's Folly, Sunrise and Dromedary

More of the same
Sunrise (O'Sullavan) Peak
Heading up Drom
Between Drom and Monte Cristo
Lars and Tom heading up Monte Cristo
The small bit of easy travel between Superior and Point Supreme
Devil's Castle
Tom mid Devil's Castle
My girl and the feast she provided 
Lars on the AF Twins
Tom on Red Baldy
White Baldy
Box Elder and Timp
The boys on the Pfeiff just before sunset
Lars on South Thunder


  1. Not sure whether I like the Tom on slab at sunrise or the 5$ hot-n-ready better...

  2. "between Drom and MC" shot is insanely beautiful.
    huge congratulations, what a wild accomplishment!

  3. Outstanding photos Jason! So cool that you brought a nice camera along. Would you mind if I use one or two of them on my blog post for the WURL?

    1. Thanks, carrying the big camera is always a pain! Feel free to use whichever photos you want.

  4. I'm a skimo/fastpacking enthusiast looking to upgrade from my point-and-shoot to something better (but still lighter than my wife's D7000 w/18-200mm lens). what camera do you use as your "big" camera, and what lens(es) do you bring along for trips like this? Planning to do some big Sierran traverses this summer, and would love to get similarly good shots!

    1. For this day I had a smaller dslr. A canon t3i with a 10-22 lens. For most ski days I'll pack a 5d with a 24-105mm. I think for skiing a dslr isn't too big of a deal but running with one is pretty bad. For any traverse in the Sierra I'm sure a dslr with a wide angle lens would deliver amazing pictures! It just depends on if you want to haul it around...

      I'm not sure what the right answer is. My brother had a Sony A7 and I'm thinking of switching to something similar but just have pulled the trigger. Good luck!

    2. I use a micro 4/3 body with a wide angle for my fast and light days with big views. It is so much lighter than a DSLR and still grabs great photos. I highly recommend.

    3. I ended up going with a Sony a6000 and love it- mounted with a Peak Designs Capture Clip it's always ready to go, and is still light enough for jogging without being a nuisance. I've been using the Sony 10-18mm lens in addition to the kit lens- pics on