There’s not an enormous amount left to say about the Open. yet, which hasn’t been said in the previous thread and the comments.  Dan Durston had a true adventure in the best tradition of wilderness, pushing through a myriad of mental and physical obstacles to grind out a finish.  For everyone else save Greg a DNF of one kind or another is presumed.  I’ll let the participants say what they want and need to say first.  One thing which was clear before we even lined up in now even moreso; I won’t be listing times/results in the conventional manner.  The Bob Open is about the experience first, and the objective second.  The “official” narrative will reflect that, though there will still be numbers for those so inclined.

And yes, we’ll have it again next year.

Same weekend for certain.  Similar distance as well.  The logistics are always going to be a pain, but I’m leaning towards lessening the road walking and making the start and perhaps finish be at a more developed location, like a cabin in which participants can gather.  There should already be plenty of evidence concerning likely conditions, so for those many who were on the fence or professed interest: start training.  You’ve got 11 months to build fitness and plug holes in your skillset.

I’m inevitably left thinking about what might have been.  The original timeline was not realistic given the snow up high, but under better conditions and with closer to prime fitness a ~36 hour finish on that course is quite possible.  It’s also interesting to contemplate, given less fresh snow and two ideal performances, whether my ~100 mile packraft route or Dan’s ~80 mile foot route would have been faster.  But the point of these things is the human details which create and define actual experiences.  I’m content with my choice to bail, but sad I missed out on the full experience Dan had.  I think I’ll be spending quite a bit of time in the Bob this year.

In addition to actual splits, I added a list of clothing worn to the above link.  I went with warmer layers due to both the forecast and my desire to keep still-vulnerable core a bit on the warm side to save energy and preserve my health.  The R 1/2 hoody in particular reminded me how well it works.  The equivalent of expedition weight long underwear, the fabric is a mini version of the still extent R1 fabric.  I bought an XL women’s hoody (they never made one for men), and took in the torso and hood to make it fit.  The combination of grid fleece and pertex kept me comfy the whole time, the outer surface of the fleece got wet when the windshirt soaked through but my skin never did.  The hoods and zips regulated temperature perfectly.  Even though it precipitated almost the whole time, I only used my raingear while packrafting.

I’ve been using my new Crossleathers without insoles for a while, and on the Open discovered the limits of this approach.  Little bits of grit, which fall into the holes of my preferred Inov8 3mm insoles, instead ground into and bothered my feet.  So I ordered 3 new pairs of insoles on Monday.

I’m still on the fence about sleeping bags.  To actually sleep by a fire you need to dry your clothing pretty well, have shelter from the wind and precip, and have a pretty steady blaze.  In a sleeping bag the first requirement isn’t nearly as strict, and gathering enough wood to last hours is in pine forests not the simplest of matters.  In short, this approach is restricted to certain campsites, which limits it’s flexibility and has me thinking it may not be as efficient as it might at first seem.  Further experiments will be required.