Be First recipients Greg Stafford, Will Fain, Cole Iverson, and Rex Shepard—the Cascade Challenge Team—are attempting a 1,000-mile multi-sport expedition to bike, hike, climb and ski over 14 mountains in Cascades. Our Be First program is an opportunity to get sponsored when you go for your own summit, whatever that may be. To learn more and submit your proposals, visit Be First.
Story and photos by Greg Stafford
The never-ending road trip for the Cascade Challenge has started. I have just finished my fifth trip on the bumpy, endless road known as the Alcan. The 2,500-mile march started in Anchorage, AK, wound through Canada, and is ending for the moment in Bend, OR. I am in Bend to train, gather supplies, and plan logistics for the human-powered traverse of the Cascade Range.
About a week ago, we acquired our Raleigh R.X. 1.0 road bikes for the cycling part of the expedition. My good friend Jared Hobbs came in on his day off and built the bikes at River City Bicycles. They are cycle-cross bikes and will be perfect for the variable conditions we will encounter biking to all the different mountains.
Will Fain also came up to Portland to get his bike and go out for some training rides. It has been raining in the morning and is a little slick and cold outside, which makes for great training weather. It felt great riding the new bikes. They are fast and durable, and I can’t wait to take them out on the open road.
I also bought a 6’x10’ enclosed trailer to carry all of our equipment and serve the support functions for the expedition. I am currently working on outfitting the trailer to house our bikes, skis, climbing, and camping equipment, as well as a mobile editing bay for all of our photography and video needs. My 2003 Toyota Tundra will be the support vehicle and will be towing the trailer up to Washington in a couple of weeks.
It is hard to believe that planning for this trip began almost a year ago. This part of the expedition is invisible to most people, yet it is one of the most important aspects of the trip. It should also be noted that this trip is a culmination of years’ climbing and skiing in the Cascades. The countless hours of planning, preparation, and training are paying off, and the team will be meeting in Bend on June 9 for the final preparations.
I have met up with Rex Shepard in Bend, and we are training daily. Yesterday, we went on a 20-mile training ride up Skyliner Road. Bend is a great training area and right smack-dab in the middle of the Cascade Range. A couple of days ago, I went out for a backcountry ski trip in the morning and then a bike ride in the afternoon. It is really a perfect place to cross train for an expedition of this type.
On the weather front, we are still receiving a substantial amount of snow in the mountains. This La Niña winter won’t let up, and all this snow is great for the skiing side of the expedition. We are also monitoring the spring thaw conditions, with the hope that everything will settle a bit more in the next couple of weeks.
Looking out at the Sisters, I can see the result of the massive snow season. I have been scoping some lines on the East face of the North Sister for some time. As soon as the weather cooperates, we are trying to put together a training mission on it. We are monitoring the weather, as we could really use a good weather window to start the expedition.
In the next couple of weeks we will be planning logistics, riding our bikes, and skiing before heading up to Washington and Mt. Baker for the start. Our routes are dialed, and we are excited to head out on this human-powered traverse of the Cascade Mountain Range. Everything is starting to come together, and the Cascade Challenge team is stoked to head out on this journey.
Sorry, no posts matched your criteria.