Posted by: runuphill | February 27, 2012

Coming Up for Air – A Fund-raiser for Breathe Utah

Me on top of Grandeur Peak, Feb. 2012

3/4/2012 UpdateSuccess!  Yesterday’s adventure was incredible with unbelievable support from family, friends, and the local community.  We exceeded our original goal for the fund-raiser by over $1,500 (raising 4,000 total)!  Thanks to all who came out and participated in the event.  Salt Lake Tribune Article – Channel 2 News Coverage (soon) – X96 Radio From Hell! (scroll to 19:30)Random Pictures from the day

7PM 3/2/2012 UpdateDespite the fresh new snow, we’re still ON!  Come rally at 6AM to help break trail for this fun event.  Our sponsors (Black Diamond, Gregory, Liberty Mountain, Knead-a-Massage) have donated prizes, which a few lucky (randomly chosen) pledge-makers will receive.  Hope to see you bright and early.

Pretty funny screenshot of SPOT tracker page here.

  1. Start : 06:00, Finish : 08:07
  2. Start : 08:09, Finish : 09:57
  3. Start : 10:00, Finish : 11:45
  4. Start : 11:55, Finish : 01:43
  5. Start : 01:53, Finish : 03:50
  6. Start : 04:07, Finish : 06:05
  7. Start : 06:15, Finish : 08:15
  8. Start : 08:24, Finish : 10:29
  9. Start : 10:40, Finish : 01:05
  10. Start : 01:18, Finish : 03:31, Elapsed Time : 21 hr 31 min

Those who know me often laugh at how often I go up Grandeur Peak.  I have been up it countless times via many different routes, in every possible form of weather, with every type of gear, and at just about every hour of the day. In winter months going up the west side of Grandeur can often mean starting in smoggy, cold, polluted air and climbing up to warmer clean air above.  Locals call this an “inversion”, which is a bit of a misnomer.  The Salt Lake Basin is a topographic basin where stable thermal layers (including inversions) often form.   The air pollution problem is not caused by inversions, it is caused by pollutants that are emitted into the stable layers.  It is a bitter-sweet feeling sitting on the 8,300′ summit looking down at a glowing cloud of pollution below, realizing that I must go back down into it.

Air Quality Index

The topography of the area, mixed with pollution from the well over 2 million people and industry can render some very unhealthy conditions.  The conditions are unique enough that many studies have been performed in Salt Lake Basin.  In fact, one of the world’s foremost experts in environmental epidemiology and public health, C. Arden Pope, of Brigham Young University (BYU) helped establish the connection between air pollution and health problems.  His research has influenced environmental policy in the United States and Europe, contributing to the establishment of emission standards for particulate matter pollution.

PCAPS Field Measurement Image - Grandeur is the top-right series of green dots.

The University of Utah’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences recently chose the west side of Grandeur as a location to locate sensors every 100 vertical feet to take measurements throughout the winter of 2011.  This study was called the “Persistent Cold-Air Pool Study” or PCAPS for short and they have generated some incredible data and interesting presentations, like this one (be patient, it’s 60MB).

The solution to our pollution problem must come from reducing pollutant emissions.  Breathe Utah is a local non-profit dedicated to addressing the root causes of air pollution.  They are active in our local legislature and have been instrumental in many projects including the passing of Utah House Bill 146, “The Utah Clean School Bus Project”, which secured $2.3 million in funding for retrofitting all eligible diesel school buses in the state of Utah with particulate filters.

The Grandeur Peak fund raiser was born out of my passion for the Wasatch Mountains and my unusual escapades up Grandeur Peak.  I want this fund-raiser to bring awareness to the unique air-pollution challenges we face living in the Salt Lake Basin, raise money for an exceptional non-profit group, and encourage folks to come enjoy a summit or two (or three or four…) on Grandeur Peak.  Join me on March 3rd, 2012 at the Grandeur Peak west side trail-head, I’ll be going at it from about 6AM until midnight trying to reach the summit ten times.  Make whatever donation you can or make a pledge of $1, 5, 10 or more for each time I reach the summit as I shoot for my goal, which equates to over 33,000′ of gain, more than doing Mount Everest from sea level.


Jared Campbell

Grandeur Peak west side trail image

Incredible business sponsors supporting this event:


  1. […] in oxygen and ticking off vertical, it’s a great way to raise the issue. (You can read the history of Running up for Air […]

  2. […] 2012 I did 10 summits; 2013 was 12, and in 2014 I am challenging myself to 15 summits in < 30 hrs.  Think I’m […]

  3. […] on my 2012 awareness campaign, physical challenge, and fund-raiser for Breathe Utah, it’s time to do it again!  Partnered again with Breathe Utah, my goal is to get as many […]

  4. […] the west side of Grandeur Peak, logging about 34,000′ of gain in poor winter conditions as a fund-raiser, and then the week before Barkley I snuck in a 14 hour adventure with my buddies Matt Hart and […]

  5. Jared can’t wait to read the barkleys right up! So amazing, congrats !

  6. Hey; great job! I stopped by with Brendan Nicholson and two other friends on our way home from ski touring in the afternoon, but we missed you. We did see two forms on the ridge about 20 minutes up from the trailhead, so that could have been you with a pacer. Congratulations on this extraordinary feat!

  7. Wow, you got the 10 done! Mostly good even splits too. That’s tough work for winter … anytime. Good job!

    PS: Couldn’t find Trib article.

  8. Way to go, nice work up there!

  9. Wow! Congratulations. I sent a straight up donation initially, but I will need to send another in honor of 10 laps. SImply amazing. Rest up.

  10. Congratulations Jared!! Seeing you complete your incredible Goal was truly Inspiring!!!

  11. Jared, Thank you for doing this. I left Salt Lake City four years ago and I’ve not had one asthma attack since I left. The funny thing is I moved to New York City, which you’d think the pollution would not be much better. Thank you for working toward bring more awareness to the pollution problem in the Salt Lake Valley.

  12. It looks like the Gods are not going to let you off so easy, Jared. I’m psyched to see it happen and go play in the snow. I’ve donated and I’ll see you tomorrow!

    • You’re right! The Gods usually let me off easy, :), but not tomorrow. I’m also coming off a pretty wicked week-long sickness to make this more of a challenge…. Fortunately I have an army of friends who will be with me at 6AM to make a highway of a trail. It will be beautiful tomorrow!

  13. I guess i know where i’ll be on Saturday morning now. Great idea Jared.

    • Thanks Craig! I’ll need all the help I can get to pack down a trail! This recent dump means that Saturday will be “full value”! 🙂

  14. Jared, You are an inspiration to us all. I will come over this Saturday to show my support and to make a donation. Thank you for the awareness you provide to our valley.

    • Thanks Heather! See ya Saturday if you can make it out.

  15. Nice!! The pledge should be for every time you do a lap down….Ouch!!

    • Good point Nick! Fortunately the snow will soften the ride down a bit. 🙂

  16. Cool. I’m pledging $10/summit.

  17. Jared, you are an inspiration in so many ways. Breathe Utah thanks you so much for this, and we promise to continue to work tirelessly for cleaner air in Utah.

    • Thank you Cameron. All I’m doing is slogging up a mountain over and over. You and Breathe Utah are doing all the really challenging work. I’m happy to turn a silly habit of mine into something constructive.

  18. GO JARED GO! Fantastic! I’ve donated and will hopefully join you on one of the last laps! You are amazing!

    • Great! Looking forward to seeing you out there Sallie!

  19. […] Go support him and Breathe Utah however you can! Jared Campbell being awesome on Grandeur Peak This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← Photo of the Day — February 26th, 2012 […]

  20. This is totally awesome. I’ve donated and I’ll be there first thing Saturday for some laps and to help out however I can!

    • Thank you very much Mike! I really appreciate your support and for spreading the word on your blog. See ya Saturday morning.

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