Live from The Highline Trail


Aug 9, 2007
I'm heading out Saturday morning, July 21, 2012, along with Dan Ransom and Cody to hike the famous Uintas Highline Trail. Depending on who you talk to or what book you read, it should stack up to somewhere between 70 and 90 miles of hiking with the side trips we have planned.

Our plan is to get it done in 7 days starting from Leidy Peak on the east end and finishing at the Mirror Lake Highway on the west end. 55 miles in a straight line but there are 11 mountain passes standing in the way.

I've decided to put my new DeLorme inReach 2-way satellite communicator to the test on this trip and essentially live-blog the trip through this thread. I'll post a bit as we get packed up and head out, and then once we're on the trail, I'll update this thread via messages sent to my wife audraiam who will update the thread with new information.

Here's a map of our approximate route. Check out the live map at to see our location as we complete the hike. Once you're there, zoom in and press the "+" button next to the my current location to see our tracks. That map will be empty until Saturday afternoon.

<iframe width="900" height="500" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" src=";msid=214533597045798101523.0004a392c0042f58525f6&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=p&amp;ll=40.75662,-110.34256&amp;spn=0.520126,1.234589&amp;z=10&amp;output=embed"></iframe><br /><small>View <a href=";msid=214533597045798101523.0004a392c0042f58525f6&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;t=p&amp;ll=40.75662,-110.34256&amp;spn=0.520126,1.234589&amp;z=10&amp;source=embed" style="text-align:left">Highline Trail 2012</a> in a larger map</small><br><br>[/parsehtml]I'm packing my bag right now. I'll be using my Osprey Kestrel 36 day pack for the trip. I just got everything in there except for food, water and fishing gear since I haven't decided what to bring. I threw all that on the scale and I'm weighing in at 21.6 pounds so far. Any bets on what I'll be at once we throw in food for 7 days, a liter of water and a fishing rod of some sort? If I'm sub-35 lbs, I might splurge and throw in a liter of whiskey. :)

A pic from last year on my Red Castle loop, just west of Porcupine Pass on the Highline Trail. Up until now, the furthest east I've set foot on the Highline.
I'm still amazed how you do that and pack everything into your 36l pack. I wish I could do that. ;)
Have fun and I'm a bit envious. would love to do such a week long trip one day.
Can't wait to see your pictures and looking forward to your live footage
The whiskey is a consumable you must take it. I bet you end up closer to 40 but after reading the guy doing it with the four man tent and redbull you can run across the trail.
Okay. Food packed, I still have to throw in some dehydrated smoked salmon but I'm at 9 pounds of food now, so lets say 10 lbs total. That puts me at 31.6 pounds. Add a liter of water and I'm at 33.8 lbs. Now time to pick a fishing pole....
i'm amazed you only need a pound and a half of food per day...
I'm shocked that you're debating the merits of bringing one liter of whiskey versus none at all; for I would have expected, at least for a trip of this length, the big burning question to rather be whether or not to bring two liters.
I wont even be that light this weekend for a one nighter with the wife.
i'm amazed you only need a pound and a half of food per day...

I honestly think I'll have too much. Part of my motivation to bring more is because many have told me that the metabolism goes crazy around the 4th or 5th day and they end up eating a lot more. Oh, and I plan to eat entire brook trout, whole, raw, and alive. What could go wrong?

I'm shocked that you're debating the merits of bringing one liter of whiskey versus none at all; for I would have expected, at least for a trip of this length, the big burning question to rather be whether or not to bring two liters.

That's the kind of pep talk I needed! I'm going to pickup Ezra tomorrow. But I think you deserve the user title of 'booze burro' more than I do. Mind if I fix that? :D
i haven't noticed metabolism going up that high in only a week - at least not significantly. but after the bodies reserves run out, it gets straight crazy. all you can think about is food. like 6000 calories a day after awhile. it's gross.

but i'm jealous, i'll have at least 12 pounds of food to start, maybe 13.
I'm also impressed. I've gotten my weight down to a respectable level, but I doubt I'll ever make that!

I've also contemplated the 70 mile Highline route...I'll be looking forward to hearing how the trip goes.

Have fun!
i'm amazed you only need a pound and a half of food per day...
I think I agree with Dan. Maybe 1.5 lbs is plenty (you've probably done the calorie math).But, I did a long, tough, 8 day trip in the Winds and didn't take enough food. I was hungry and a little energy depleted most of the trip. Sucked! I'll be curious to see how it works out for you. I'm sure you know what you're doing, just don't want you to make the same mistake I did. Should be a great trip for you guys. Have fun and be safe.
Here's what's in my bag and out of my bag, for those interested:

In the pack:
• MSR Missing Link Tent (similar to MSR Fast Stash)
50' of cord
Mountain Hardware Phantom 32 degree down bag
Thermarest NeoAir XLite sleeping pad
Petzl TacTikka head lamp (modified)
Thermarest pillow sack/stuff sack

Gerber Crucial multi-tool
• BIC lighter
1 liter nalgene bottle
3 liter MSR Hydromedary hydration bladder with 1 liter of water for hiking.
Steripen Adventure Opti water purification system
• two extra sets of CR123 batteries for SteriPen

Garmin Oregon 450 GPS
DeLorme inReach satellite communicator
• Extra AA lithium batteries for the GPS and satcom
• Paper maps: Nat Geo trail illustrated and some custom 11x17 quads

• Toothbrush & Toothpaste
• Various pills, ibupofen, medications, etc.
• Lip balm
• Hand sanitizer
• 2 oz bottle of Jungle Juice, 100% deet
• Sunscreen
• toilet paper
• first aid kit with the essentials+ emergency blanket, lighter, fire starter, etc.

• Slik Sprint Mini tripod
• Intervalometer
• ND filter
• Microfiber cloths
• dust blower
• lens brush
• spare batteries and memory cards

Amazon Kindle in microfiber sack

• Golite Poncho
• Mountain Hardware rain shell
• Patagonia down sweater
• REI long sleeve, turtle-neck type zippable synthetic shirt.
• Beanie
• Long johns
• Extra pair of socks & underwear

• About 10 lbs of food

On my chest: (not counted in my pack weight)
Clik Access chest pack
Canon 60D
Canon 10-22mm EF-S

Wearing: (not counted in my pack weight)
• convertible pants
• short sleeve synthetic shirt
• underwear
• floppy hat
• socks
• boots
• sunglasses
• a stack of backcountrypost stickers to give to people on the trail :)

I'll definitely add:
• iPhone
• Some fishing gear <10 oz
• truck keys
• ID and a $ card

I might add:
• 1 liter of whiskey (2.2 lbs)
Canon 17-55 f2.8 lens
Canon S95 compact camera
My first trip into the Winds was a 8 day trip, about 15-16 miles in. I don't ever remember eating more after being in 4-5 days. In fact, I found I had lost my appetite during the trip. I had to force myself to eat sometimes so I wouldn't get weak from lack of food. We had so much food we could have stayed another 2 days, and I would have gladly if we didn't have to get back for work... What I learned was to only take in food that I REALLY like or I won't eat it...
I"m jealous. I was near the end of the trail by Oaks Park Reservoir for Scout Camp last week. What a gorgeous forest, and you'll have lots to see/explore given the area was full of mines back in the day.
Have fun Nick.
It has been a while since I did something that long, my problems revolved around my feet. I did not keep them dry and as clean as they could have been, and it was a hassle, and painful.
No stove = I would not survive.
We will be watching your track log with bated breath! Keep an eye out for the missing Aussie hiker. If you get in trouble note that on this page is the short list of peeps coming in to look for you. At least those that actually rec'd stickers.... :) We want pictures of pine marten, felis concolor and yeti. Enjoy! This is one of the best hikes I've ever done.
No stove = I would not survive.

I think he's doing Starbucks Via cold.
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