Kesugi Ridge Traverse & Half Traverse

When: Saturday June 24, 2017. Race start 9 a.m.
Where: Denali State Park
Entry Fee: $50 on-line. Limited to 100 entrants (50 for each race).
Sign-up: begins at 9 a.m. April 1 at https://ultrasignup.com/register.aspx?did=47081 
Contact: Race director Matias Saari at matiasmountain@gmail.com or cell phone 907-529-4178
Race Course: Point to point, starting at Little Coal Creek Trailhead and finishing at Byers Lake Campground. The course is approximately 30 miles. Good descriptions can be found in the hiking guides 55Ways to the Wilderness (5th edition) by Helen Nienhueser & John Wolfe Jr. and Hiking Alaska by Dean Littlepage.
 
A brief course description: Starting around 1400 feet, the Full Traverse trail (nearly 30 miles) climbs steadily to above tree line to a high, alpine ridge. The trail is marked with cairns in most places. There will also be flagging and/or pin flags in some key sections. About halfway, the Ermine Hill Trail comes in from the right (elevation 1,500 feet). After the junction, the trail again climbs above tree line until it descends 5 miles to Byers Lake via the Cascade Trail. 
NOTE: The suspension bridge one mile from the finish has been removed so participants must wade across Byers Creek. It is only about 25 feet across and the water is slow-moving but potentially thigh- to waist-deep.
The course will finish in the Byers Lake campground with food, drinks and awards. See pictures below for a couple of good visual directions.
The Half Traverse trail (about 15.5 miles) follows the above route to its finish just uphill from the Ermine Hill Trail junction. Participants will then return 3.5 miles down the Ermine Hill Trail to the Parks Highway at their leisure. A shuttle will then return them to Byers Lake Campground.   
 
Please be aware: This is not a course for beginning trail runners. There are significant climbs, tricky descents and difficult terrain. If you have never traveled the course, we strongly encourage you to do so before signing up. The trail will only have minimal markings, so familiarity with it will be important. Please do not overestimate your abilities! The weather has been inclement in past races, with cold temperatures, rain, snow, wind and low visibility occurring. The time and effort expended at Kesugi is comparable to running up to 2 marathons. If you are a road runner but have never tackled trail running, Kesugi is not for you. Steady running with some power hiking on the hills will be necessary to make the time cut-offs. 


Race finish
 
Close to Stonehenge Hill
 
Heading down the Cascade Trail
Comments