Bozeman, Mont. - On June 11, 2006, Roman Dial, Ryan Jordan, and Jason Geck will begin an attempt of the first and longest ever unsupported trekking traverse of America’s most remote, roadless, uninhabited wilderness, a distance of 1000 km (600 mi).
Expedition Goals. This expedition is being undertaken by three adventurers who simply want to answer the question:
How far can a man walk in a remote wilderness without resupply, outside support, and dependence upon foraging, hunting, or fishing?
The primary goals of the trek are thus
- To complete the longest wilderness traverse in the U.S. by fair means, and
- To be the first party to visit the most remote location in the U.S. by fair means.
Unsupported, Ultralight, and by Fair Means. They will carry all of their gear, food, and supplies for the entirety of the trek in backpacks. They will not forage, hunt, or fish. They will not resupply. They will not access roads or habitations for support. They will travel entirely on foot.
About The Route. The route will traverse the most remote (westernmost) region of Alaska's Brooks Range, starting at the Chukchi Sea near Point Hope and ending at either the indigenous habitation of Anaktuvuk Pass or the Alaskan Oil Pipeline Highway ("Haul Road") near Wiseman. This region is notable for two key characteristics: it is the largest contiguous roadless and uninhabited wilderness in America, and it contains America's remotest spot (defined by its distance from the nearest roads or habitations) in an area that is more than 15 times the area of the remotest spot in the contiguous U.S., SE of Yellowstone National Park.
The expedition intends not only to traverse the entire wilderness, but also traverse America's remotest spot en route. Total distance covered will be approximately 550-625 miles (~900-1000 km), depending on route conditions and the party's availability of remaining food towards the end of the trek.
- Read more about the expedition's route or view an interactive map to follow the expedition's progress, live via satellite.
Challenges & Risks. Mosquitoes. Polar and grizzly bears. Unpredictable terrain. Wading - and sometimes swimming - deep, swift rivers. Wet feet. Cold winds. Rain, fog, and snow. Staying warm with minimal clothing, sleep gear, and shelter. Taking enough food (but not too much) - and exercising the discipline to ration it. Managing the consumption of body fat as a calorie source. And of course, managing foot pain (a lot of it).
They will travel in ultralight style, sleep under tarps made with the lightest racing sailcloth materials, carry backpacks that weigh only 24 ounces but will carry 50 lbs (mostly food), and cook over bush fires. They will wear trail running shoes. They will travel at night, and sleep during the day - minimizing the amount of insulating gear they will have to carry. They will walk nearly 50 miles a day in the final third of the trek. And they will go ultralight: not including food and water, they will carry less than twenty pounds of gear - combined (< 7 lb/person).
Expedition member Ryan Jordan, Publisher of Backpacking Light Magazine and the BackpackingLight.com website, says "This expedition will be a serious test of ultralight trekking technique - it's absolutely mandatory that gear weight be ruthlessly eliminated so we can carry enough food to provide the caloric needs to complete this distance."
- Read more about the expedition's gear and why it has been carefully selected to face these challenges.
The People. Roman Dial is a Professor of Biology and Mathematics at Alaska Pacific University, an expedition adventure racer, and has trekked, skied, biked, and paddled some of the longest wilderness routes ever attempted in Alaska. Ryan Jordan is the publisher of Backpacking Light Magazine, pioneer of some of the longest unsupported long distance routes in the Northern Rockies and Yellowstone Ecosystems, and leading practitioner and educator about ultralight trekking style and technique. Jason Geck is an Instructor of GIS, Mathematics, and Outdoor Studies at Alaska Pacific University, reknowned wilderness athlete, and record-holder and 2005 champion of the Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Classic, considered to be the toughest adventure race in the world.
Expedition Sponsors. The expedition's title sponsor is BackpackingLight.com, the leading source of information and education about ultralight backpacking technique, gear, and style.
Other key sponsors include: ULA-Equipment (www.ula-equipment.com), Smartwool (www.smartwool.com), GoLite (www.golite.com), Pacific Outdoor Equipment (www.pacoutdoor.com), Cuben Fiber (www.cubenfiber.com), and Alaska Pacific University (www.alaskapacific.edu).
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O'Berry-Cavanaugh Public Relations | Bozeman, MT USA