A Colorado Plateau-based wilderness event in the Wilderness Classic/Bob Open mold needs to happen. The possibilities are just too great. My problem is that reasonably extensive though my travels there have been, they all took place a while ago, before I had the eyes I do now. I need your help.
A course, and by course I mean start and end points, needs the following:
-100-150 mile on-the-ground length
-all public land (no Navajo Nation, too complex)
-easy/not contrived to obey a rule of no linear travel on paved roads
-not be such that a mountain bike would be the obviously fastest way to go
This last issue is rather interesting, in that it highlights the extent to which the Bob Open plays by artificial rules. Absent the current ban on mountain bikes in Wilderness, the route I did would have gone to a team of strong bikers in less than 30 hours. Even with the deadfall and the inconvenience of hauling bikes across Lodgepole Creek, that would have been the fastest. Future courses, with more snow, will make the bike question less ominous, but it will remain a blight on the events free spirit.
With few exceptions, southern Utah does not have this disadvantage, setting up the Utah Canyon Classic to be a hellbiking race par excellence.
My idea for a course? Henrieville to Natural Bridges. It would work out to a bit more than 150 ground miles, but just looking at that line freaks me out, so it’s probably a good idea.
Your thoughts? Better routes? Appropriate time of year? Have at it, because I’m seriously about this for 2014.