For most people, the arrival of a spring weekend means taking advantage of longer, sunnier days, outdoor sports, picnics in the park, or even planning a camping trip. But for Andrew Skurka, a record-setting solo trekker, his spring weekends often consist of launching an ultra-long distance hiking expedition, all of which cover some North America’s most famous wilderness.
Originally a long-distance high school and collegiate runner, Skurka once hiked the 2,184-mile Appalachian Trail in a mere 95 days, averaging about 23 miles a day. He later traveled from the Gaspe Peninsula at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River in Quebec across the United States to the Olympic Peninsula for his first sea-to-sea expedition, covering an astonishing 7,800 miles. Since those two expeditions, Skurka has covered much of the Western United States on solo hikes, including a circuit that took him through several national parks, including Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Mt. Rainier.
His latest challenge brought him to the remote wilderness of the Canadian Yukon and Alaska, where he was challenged by wintry elements, grizzly bears, swarms of mosquitos, and his own physical limits;