There is no doubt that Death Valley is a place of extremes. It is the hottest, lowest and driest place in North America and during the months of July and August temperatures often exceed 125ºF/51ºC. It is the kind of place that will test the spirit of those that visit it and any living thing that survives there must be a hardy creature indeed.
If anyone knows the challenges that come along with Death Valley it is ultra-runner Marshall Ulrich. The endurance legend has run the Badwater Ultramarathon 18 times and has crossed DV 24. That’s an awful lot of time spent in such a harsh and unforgiving landscape. Apparently Marshall enjoys being in that environment however as last week he and Dave Heckman set off to become the first people to circumnavigate the entirety of Death Valley on foot and in the month of July.
Marshall and Dave started their trek last Sunday, July 22nd and have made excellent progress ever since. The entire trip will cover approximately 450 miles (724km) and range from the low of the desert floor to the highs of the nearby mountain peaks, extending as much as 5000 feet (1524 meters) in altitude. The two men are traveling completely self supported as strategically placed supply caches are keeping them resupplied with food and water along the way. They’re also carrying 3D video cameras to document their trek as well as capture the beauty of Death Valley National Park.
Updates are coming semi-regularly to Marshall’s website (click here!) and you can follow progress on their SPOT page. Judging from that page it appears that they’ll be finishing up the trek sometime this week.
Seems like a fantastic adventure and I love their approach. Marshall and Dave are essentially going as light as possible and using their supply caches to provided them with food and water at the appropriate times. I also like that they’re doing this expedition to draw attention to a beautiful place that more people should be aware of. I personally can’t wait to see some of the video footage that they are shooting.
Big thanks to Ray for sharing this great adventure with me.
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