On Saturday, August 20th, 2016, 9:10 PM Tim Walther and Marshall White of Grand Dynamics International completed the first non-motorized circumnavigation of Jackson Hole, spanning over 200 miles and 27,000 vertical feet in less than six days.
The route explores rarely visited areas in the Jackson Hole region, including stretches in the Gros Ventres and Teton Wilderness as well as the Northern part of Grand Teton National Park and beyond.
The duo encountered many challenges over the 200 mile course which were overcome by teamwork, a positive attitude, determination and continuous focus on fueling and hydration.
The primary mode of travel included a style of mountain trekking referred to by Walther and White as “swifting” which uses trekking poles as a method for ascending and descending steep mountain passes. Other elements included mountain biking, with hike-a-bike segments and off trail navigation via game trails, open water swimming, lake kayaking and SUP (Stand Up Paddling).
Walther says, “This route has been the culmination of years of visualizing and ‘figuring out’ the link ups between the segments, including many off trail segments requiring navigation and route finding. It’s truly a dream realized and a route that I hope will inspire locals and visitors to consider.”
The “Around the Hole” began with most, but not all of the segments being completed by the team before the main event.
“We had several legs with unknown terrain and navigation, which kept the adventure and uncertainty a big part of ‘the fun’ of actually completing the course,” says White.
The team had staged support crews and caches along the way to help with logistics. This element made celebrating along the way another great part of the experience.
The overview of legs is as follows.
40 Miles: Walk/Trek/”Swift”: Town to Crystal Creek Trailhead
50 Miles: Mountain Bike + river ford (+ route finding & orienteering): Crystal Creek to Jackson Lake (Spalding Bay)
15 Miles: Sea Kayak: Spalding Bay to Lizard Creek
1 Mile: Open Water Swim of Jackson Lake: Lizard Creek to Webb Canyon
30 miles: Swift/Run/Orienteering: Connecting Webb Canyon to the base of Littles Peak, connecting Northern and Southern Teton Crest Trails via Granite Basin Lakes and overland navigation to Lake Solitude and Cascade trail.
34 miles: Swift/Run: Lake Solitude to Phillips Pass
6 Miles: Mountain Bike: Phillips Pass to Wilson Bridge
13 Miles: SUP Stand Up Paddleboard: Wilson Bridge to South Park Bridge
15 Miles: Mountain Bike: South Park Bridge to Jackson via Game Creek/Cache Creek
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