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Superior Hiking Trail southbound thru-hike Jan 3-17, 2009
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Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Superior Hiking Trail southbound thru-hike Jan 3-17, 2009 on 12/25/2008 22:49:47 MST Print View

It's time to officially announce the trip I have been planning for the past 6 months.

I will be solo snowshoeing the Superior Hiking Trail southbound from Jan. 3 to 17, 2009. As of this post, I have about 8 days to get everything wrapped up.

The trip is inspired by Andrew Skurka's Icebox '07 trip, where he hiked northbound from Duluth, up the SHT to the Border Route Trail to the Kekekabic Trail and ended on Snowbank Lake about 18 miles outside of Ely. The whole trip was essentially right in my backyard. As far as winter experience, I have been staffing a winter camp in central MN since the winter of 2005 and spent spent a week on Snowbank Lake about this time last year. I thru-hiked the trail in May and have been on the trail in various locations for multiple weekends.

I am estimating traveling about 15 miles per day on snowshoes with a base weight of about 19 lbs. I will be taking two resupplies - one in Grand Marais on day 4 and one in Finland on day 10.

Unlike Skurka's adventure, I am hiking southbound and the North Shore has not experienced a brown Christmas - the snow has been flying in recent weeks and I will not need crampons to deal with ice-coated trails. I am also not hiking the Duluth section of the trail.

As always, the last week before a major trip is always a quick one. I am picking up food on Monday, packing sending resupply packages, testing fuel consumption and finalizing my stove choice and a hundred other miscellaneous tasks that can only be done in this time frame.

If you're in the area during that time, let me know here and we'll see if we can meet up. I am definitely stopping in Duluth on the way home to decompress and chow down at Pizza Luce.

Everything else about the trip is posted on my blog, I am working on getting a gear list into PDF form and linking it on my profile. So far, I have been unsuccessful.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Superior Hiking Trail southbound thru-hike Jan 3-17, 2009 on 12/26/2008 17:37:06 MST Print View

Hey Matt!

I live in Duluth so I'd be able to backpack with you durring the weekends twords the end of your trip.


Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Superior Hiking Trail southbound thru-hike Jan 3-17, 2009 on 12/27/2008 10:57:32 MST Print View

Matt, this is excellent to hear. I look forward to trip reports and photos. Chad has been talking about doing a winter thru of the SHT for a couple years so I'm sure he's excited to hear about it as well.

- Sam

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Superior Hiking Trail southbound thru-hike Jan 3-17, 2009 on 12/27/2008 19:09:35 MST Print View

Matt, good luck on your adventure...that is one hardcore trip and I'm excited for you! Keep warm and safe...take lots of pictures and I truly hope to see a nice trip report upon your return.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
PM on 12/28/2008 18:10:03 MST Print View

Chad has a PM.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Facebook and Twitter on 12/30/2008 18:19:34 MST Print View

I have created a group on Facebook that will be following the trip. My profile is under my name, Matt Lutz, and the group is titled "Matt's Winter 2009 Superior Hiking Trail through-hike." Some BPL members have already joined and the group is visible to all persons.

Also, I will be texting updates from my phone to family and friends when I get reception. I will also be texting updates to Twitter, and my Twitter account is linked to my Facebook profile and will automatically update my status.

Edited by citystuckhiker on 12/31/2008 16:48:10 MST.

Johann Burkard
(johannb) - F

Locale: Europe
Re: Facebook and Twitter on 12/31/2008 08:34:27 MST Print View

I'm following you. If you want to follow me, my account is here. Don't know if you want to use only text messages or surf to Twitter's mobile site :-)

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Hike over on 01/05/2009 09:08:24 MST Print View

The hike is over. I walked out yesterday, Sunday, Jan. 3 after wading through about five miles of knee, thigh or hip-deep powder. After I had walked under 1.5 miles on Sunday morning in about 90 minutes, I realized that at that pace, I would not make it to Grand Marais within the limits of my food supplies.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Hike over on 01/05/2009 12:11:37 MST Print View

Sounds grueling! I've had a couple much less ambitious snowshoe outings turn into comedies due to deep and fresh snow (and those were on relatively flat terrain, dead flat by SHT standards!).

Those needing climate info for MN can find all sorts of regularly issued summaries at the MN Climatological Working Group's web site

More specifically: weekly snow depth maps