I love coming up with challenging mountain routes. I get a huge amount of satisfaction in sharing them with others and I especially dig when others get motivated and inspired by the challenge. For several years now I’ve been trying to perfect a super-difficult 100 mile route in the Wasatch Mountains. My goal was to create something on-par with Nolans 14. When I was in Corsica in April/May this year I was inspired by a route called the GR20 and was convinced that I needed to return and tackle the whole thing. While it might happen at some point in my life I figured why not finish up the Millwood 100 idea (given that its in my backyard!) and then give it a go, it would be good training for Hardrock, afterall. The result is a route housed in Millcreek, Big, and Little Cottonwood and has about 45,000′ of vertical gain. It has it all, everything from beautiful smooth singletrack, wicked steep abandoned mining trails (see video above), completely off-trail sections, less than 1 mile or road, and very little flat. It has been “designed” so that it is easy to make water/food drops, crew, bail, and start or stop in many different locations. It might be done in a single push someday, but it is likely enjoyed most over 3-4 still very challenging days.
So, I called up my buddy Ty Draney in the early part of 2010, and in a matter of seconds he took the bait. We plan to do the JMT in 2011 so we needed some long hours in the mountains together, time to dial our systems, and see how we work together when sh@t hits the fan. The plan to was do Millwood in 2 days, July 25/26th with normal sleep breaking up the days. This would be ~50 miles and about 22kft of gain per day, pretty manageable right? 🙂 When all was said and done we did about 37 miles one day and 35 the next, staying at Brighton between the two days. I was very pleased with how it went and Ty didn’t want to kill me so I considered it a great success. I got to show him some terrain in the Wasatch mountains that few ever see.
More recently Chad Brackelsberg had some time off of work and decided to tackle Millwood over 5 days. Matt Hart jumped at the opportunity and ended up doing 2 hard days with Chad before calling it due to a glute injury which he sustained during his recent Colorado Trail record attempt. Chad ended up checking off about 70 miles of it over 4 days, his plans disrupted a bit by work. Chad did a great write-up here and Matt also here.