Thursday, November 20, 2014

Team Heavy - Rob Kehrer

The 2014 Wilderness Classic ended in the tragedy of the death of Rob Kehrer.  Rob was well known in Alaskan wilderness adventure circles and the community has pulled together to grieve his loss and celebrate his life.  Rob added a tremendous amount of color and personality to Classic events.  

Luc Mehl has created a wonderful website as a memorial to Rob.  Please visit the site and add your memories of Rob and his love for the Alaskan outdoors.  There is also a button to contribute to the Rob Kehrer memorial fun.  Please do so.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rob Kehrer - 2014

2014 event participant Rob Kehrer has died while rafting the Tana River in the Wrangell Mountains.  Craig Medred has written a comprehensive article for Alaska Dispatch here about the accident.  Also, Tim Mowry has written an article for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner here.  As soon as I receive more information, I will post.

Rob was well known in the Classic community and liked by everyone.  He has been competing for many years and had fantastic stories to tell every year.  I remember meeting Rob in 2004 on the Eureka to Talkeetna route and was amazed at his positive attitude and high spirits.  Rest in peace Rob.  Rob's family is in our thoughts and prayers in this difficult time. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2014 Update

The 2014 Alaska Wilderness Classic is set to begin in just a few days.  If you plan to participate you should have already been preparing for the last six months.  Luc Mehl is doing a great job organizing and you should contact him if you plan to take part due to some slight administrative changes. 

It's important to emphasize again that the Classic is dangerous.  If you participate, you must know how to self-rescue.  Self-rescue does not mean that you know how to dial a sat phone for a rescue.  Self-rescue means that you know how to stabilize serious injuries enough so that you can walk (or crawl) dozens of miles to a possible fly-out zone.  You are on your own and you have to take care of yourself.  Most people will never acquire the experience necessary to run a Classic.  In fact, if you're reading this blog, you probably shouldn't even consider doing it. 

If you have any question as to the type of skill-set necessary to complete a Classic, read a post I wrote a while ago.  It is still relevant.  Reality Check

If you are participating this year, good luck and be safe!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

2014 Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic

The final race of the Thompson Pass to McCarthy cycle will be held August 3 - 9, 2014.  Race organizer, Luc Mehl has done a great job coordinating the race the last few years and has posted important information and an application online.  Follow the links to find out more. 

2014 Race Info
2014 Race Application

The race for the route in the next three year cycle has not yet been determined.  Wherever the race is held it is bound to be challenging and fun. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rocky Reifenstuhl

Alaskan endurance racing legend Rocky Reifenstuhl has died at the age of 61.  Rocky often competed in serious Alaskan endurance events such as the Iditabike, the Wilderness Classic, the Equinox Marathon and numerous biking events.  One of the most common reactions from fellow racers when discussing Rocky was disbelief at his incredible ability to endure pain, severe weather and inclement conditions in the wilderness.  He pushed competitors harder than anyone else and did not hesitate to seize any advantage he could get. Rocky was unphased by racing challenges and his ability to push through difficulty often left rivals shaking their heads. 

I had the privilege of competing in two of the same Wilderness Classic races as Rocky , including the now legendary 2002 snowstorm Wrangell's race.  Although I never had a serious chance at challenging his speed and skill, my race partner and I stayed close for many miles.  My respect for Rocky's speed and skill at wilderness travel grew considerably during that race as we tried to maintain his pace. 

Rocky is the type of racer that makes Alaskan endurance racing great.  Racers are only as great as their rivals and Rocky drove everyone who competed against him to their highest possible level of performance.  Rest in peace, Rocky. 

Here are a couple links to articles about Rocky's life.
Rocky Reifenstuhl - News Miner Article 1
Rocky Reifenstuhl - News Miner Article 2