100 Miles From Nowhere

WasatchWill

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Recently, a brother-in-law of mine was telling me about a show he had recently started watching, called 100 Miles From Nowhere. He said it was about some ultra runner adventurists who venture out on some rather extreme routes and that one episode was filmed here in Utah in the Wasatch Mountains and that I'd probably be pretty familiar with many of the locations in it. I hadn't heard about it before, so I did some probing on YouTube the other night and found that indeed, this is a new series that just started airing on Animal Planet last month. Why it's on Animal Planet is beyond me because it doesn't appear to be a show with much focus on animals of any kind other than the crazy and insane stuff some adventurous Homo Sapiens like to challenge themselves with.

On my way out of work yesterday, I noticed the weekly BYU campus newspaper print featured a front page article about the show on account of one of the trio whom the show follows in each episode being a BYU professor who was apparently approached by the Discovery Networks about such a show after his own YouTube channel gained popularity. It turns out all three guys that make up the group are all fellow residents of Provo. They are all buddies and do all the filming. They have no other camera crew and allegedly no others to assist them on their journeys.

Last night I took the time to watch the first episode, which happens to follow a route they laid out right in their backyard. They ascend Provo Peak and Freedom Peak before making their way down and across Provo Canyon over to Timp and then on into AF Canyon and up to Little Cottonwood where they ascend up Devil's Castle before coming back to Provo and finishing up their journey with an ascent up Cascade Peak.

Of course, there's a bit of drama with them as they run out of water and find that their planned water source has gone dry and they get at each other some more as they get more exhausted and face other obstacles further along the journey at various points. I question how much of it was natural and real emotion, and how much of it was staged at the request of their producers in order to ratchet up the drama and emotion to "make for good tv". Sometimes these "reality" shows feel less real than scripted shows, IMO.

Here's the first episode...


A few more thoughts I had as I watched this first episode...

Near the beginning of the show, when they show a map and graphic of their proposed route, it looks like they intend to begin from up above Y Mountain, but their video shows them actually starting from Rock Canyon Trailhead. It then looks like they intended to ascend the ridge of Timp via the Everest Ridge on day 2 and drop over into Timpooneke, but as the show progresses it becomes obvious that they never do such and likely just followed the GWT over and around Timp to get into AF Canyon.

During this same stretch along Timp, having run out of water, they apparently failed to find water to refill their containers at their planned source. It looks like this took place at one of the upper drainages feeding Battle Creek on the western face of Timp along part of the GWT (trail #49) which was running dry at the time, or possibly even one of the drainages feeding into Dry Canyon on the opposite side of Big Baldy. They acted like they were in big trouble and would have to go miles out of the way to find another source of water and risk serious dehydration along the way, when I'm sure they knew that the main drainage into Battle Creek a few hundred feet to a half mile further down trail would likely have running water and if not, they could have moved on down the Battle Creek trail not more than a mile where it meets up with Battle Creek again and find a reliable flow. Judging by their video later on, I'd say that's just what they did, but prior to that, they go on to show a graphic implying a good sized body of water where Big Baldy should be that they apparently went to scout out? :facepalm: Later graphics say they ended up going 6 miles off course and 1 hour and 20 minutes later they got their water before getting back on course, which I find doubtful. They also could have just continued down the GST about another mile to capture water from Indian Spring without having to gain back so much elevation to get back on course to their next destination.

I would like to know what waterfall it was that they chose to climb up en route to the ridge leading them to Devil's Castle. Looking at their route map, I'm guessing it may have been the one up at Silver Lake in AF Canyon. Then it looks like they end catching the ridge up on Twin Peaks from there.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Finally, their map shows that they would be ascending Cascade Peak from the east, but all their shots make it look pretty obvious they went up one of the western couloirs, likely Upper Couloir. This becomes more obvious with their reveal of the other side. Still, I had hoped to bag Cascade Peak later on this year and had hoped to get up to it via Upper Couloir myself, but if it's really as hairy as it looks in this show, I'm going to have to reconsider doing it the longer way.

Besides already having some other episodes out that were shot in Oregon, Northern AZ, and most recently Idaho, it looks like they'll be releasing episodes shot in Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, and Patagonia. While they may be doing some minor misleading between their mapped routes and their actual routes, -- How often do we all stick to our planned routes to the T? -- I have no doubt they are doing some pretty hairy and daring stuff and I think it will be worth watching the other episodes as the series progresses, if only for the landscape eye candy they capture on video while forgiving some of the drama that is likely acted out at times.

Other recent episodes can be found on the same Youtube channel.
 

andyjaggy

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I can't stand this kind of stuff, because as you said, it ends up just feeling scripted. I don't doubt they are doing some pretty crazy stuff here, they have more balls than I do anyway.

Cascade is pretty hairy from what I've read.
 

WasatchWill

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Yeah...apparently there are three common ways up Cascade from what I've read. There is Bunnels Fork from South Fork Provo Canyon, which apparently used to have a decent trail leading all the way up the drainage but that has since been overgrown over the years and become quite the bushwhack. Then there are the Dry Fork (Squaw Peak Rd), Big Spring (South Fork), and Shingle Tree (South Fork) trails that all converge on the ridge Cascade sits on, a few miles south of the peak. Taking that ridge is apparently full of obstacles, including trees that make for some tricky negotiations and people have gotten scraped up pretty good trying to get safely over and around them. Then there is Upper Couloir, also accessed from Squaw Peak Road. This is supposed to be the shortest and most direct route up and I have a neighbor who has done some hunting going up that route and he made it sound like it's not nearly as hairy as it looks. He knows a few landmarks to look for that supposedly takes one safely up it. I will have to pick his brain some more.
 

DrNed

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Thanks Will - I'm going to check it out, unless the drama makes me barf . . .
 

Kullaberg63

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Staged, for sure. Aren't they all?

Most of us here do stuff equally or more challenging, but without clever editing and add-on drama it would never satisfy the average sensation hungry couch potato. The recently posted trip report from Matthew Vogt would make a fine film, but of a far more introspective and slow moving sort than most producers, and viewers, are looking for.

With the experience and level headedness of this forum (and the actors of the show, I'm sure) it really takes some unusual bad luck to get in serious, TV show worthy trouble. Especially in the essentially low commitment environment that those blokes travel in. Regularly occuring epics and strings of close calls happens to noobs in over their head, or absolute cutting edge extremists like recently deceased Dean Potter.
 

WasatchWill

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Staged, for sure. Aren't they all?

Most of us here do stuff equally or more challenging, but without clever editing and add-on drama it would never satisfy the average sensation hungry couch potato. The recently posted trip report from Matthew Vogt would make a fine film, but of a far more introspective and slow moving sort than most producers, and viewers, are looking for.

With the experience and level headedness of this forum (and the actors of the show, I'm sure) it really takes some unusual bad luck to get in serious, TV show worthy trouble. Especially in the essentially low commitment environment that those blokes travel in. Regularly occuring epics and strings of close calls happens to noobs in over their head, or absolute cutting edge extremists like recently deceased Dean Potter.
Well said. For me, the scenic landscapes are enough to attract my eyeballs and I can always hit the mute button when the acting becomes too much.
 
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