Dec 25, 2008 at 9:49 pm #1232832
It's time to officially announce the trip I have been planning for the past 6 months.
I will be solo snowshoeing the Superior Hiking Trail southbound from Jan. 3 to 17, 2009. As of this post, I have about 8 days to get everything wrapped up.
The trip is inspired by Andrew Skurka's Icebox '07 trip, where he hiked northbound from Duluth, up the SHT to the Border Route Trail to the Kekekabic Trail and ended on Snowbank Lake about 18 miles outside of Ely. The whole trip was essentially right in my backyard. As far as winter experience, I have been staffing a winter camp in central MN since the winter of 2005 and spent spent a week on Snowbank Lake about this time last year. I thru-hiked the trail in May and have been on the trail in various locations for multiple weekends.
I am estimating traveling about 15 miles per day on snowshoes with a base weight of about 19 lbs. I will be taking two resupplies – one in Grand Marais on day 4 and one in Finland on day 10.
Unlike Skurka's adventure, I am hiking southbound and the North Shore has not experienced a brown Christmas – the snow has been flying in recent weeks and I will not need crampons to deal with ice-coated trails. I am also not hiking the Duluth section of the trail.
As always, the last week before a major trip is always a quick one. I am picking up food on Monday, packing sending resupply packages, testing fuel consumption and finalizing my stove choice and a hundred other miscellaneous tasks that can only be done in this time frame.
If you're in the area during that time, let me know here and we'll see if we can meet up. I am definitely stopping in Duluth on the way home to decompress and chow down at Pizza Luce.
Everything else about the trip is posted on my blog, crazyrunnerguy.blogspot.com. I am working on getting a gear list into PDF form and linking it on my profile. So far, I have been unsuccessful.Dec 26, 2008 at 4:37 pm #1466618
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
I live in Duluth so I'd be able to backpack with you durring the weekends twords the end of your trip.
ChadDec 27, 2008 at 9:57 am #1466691
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Matt, this is excellent to hear. I look forward to trip reports and photos. Chad has been talking about doing a winter thru of the SHT for a couple years so I'm sure he's excited to hear about it as well.
– SamDec 27, 2008 at 6:09 pm #1466795
Matt, good luck on your adventure…that is one hardcore trip and I'm excited for you! Keep warm and safe…take lots of pictures and I truly hope to see a nice trip report upon your return.Dec 28, 2008 at 5:10 pm #1466932
Chad has a PM.Dec 30, 2008 at 5:19 pm #1467227
I have created a group on Facebook that will be following the trip. My profile is under my name, Matt Lutz, and the group is titled "Matt's Winter 2009 Superior Hiking Trail through-hike." Some BPL members have already joined and the group is visible to all persons.
Also, I will be texting updates from my phone to family and friends when I get reception. I will also be texting updates to Twitter, and my Twitter account is linked to my Facebook profile and will automatically update my status.Dec 31, 2008 at 7:34 am #1467293
I'm following you. If you want to follow me, my account is here. Don't know if you want to use only text messages or surf to Twitter's mobile site :-)Jan 5, 2009 at 8:08 am #1468024
The hike is over. I walked out yesterday, Sunday, Jan. 3 after wading through about five miles of knee, thigh or hip-deep powder. After I had walked under 1.5 miles on Sunday morning in about 90 minutes, I realized that at that pace, I would not make it to Grand Marais within the limits of my food supplies.Jan 5, 2009 at 11:11 am #1468072
Sounds grueling! I've had a couple much less ambitious snowshoe outings turn into comedies due to deep and fresh snow (and those were on relatively flat terrain, dead flat by SHT standards!).
Those needing climate info for MN can find all sorts of regularly issued summaries at the MN Climatological Working Group's web site
More specifically: weekly snow depth maps
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