‘The Big Chill’: Ultrarunning Across Chilliwack, British Columbia, in Under 2 Days

Over 100 miles, 33,000 feet of gain, six epic North Cascade mountains — one guy conquers it all on foot.

Vancouver-based ultrarunner Gary Robbins ran what he calls a “backyard 100-miler.” In August, Robbins set out to complete a mountain route in his backyard of Chilliwack, British Columbia, which sits directly above Mt. Baker across the border in Washington. The North Cascade mountain range runs through it, spanning a rugged 270 miles between Washington and British Columbia.

Robbins’ chosen west-to-east route covers 109 miles of mountain terrain with over 33,000 feet of climbing and descent. The plan was to link sections of the mountains that no one had thought to link up before and run a there-and-back route. He spent months scouting to see if the route was actually possible. And thankfully, it was.

This video documents Robbins’ all-effort push to run the route point-to-point as fast as possible. His friend and pacer Jeff Pelletier produced the short film.

'Despair on the Colorado Trail': A Bikepacker's First FKT Attempt
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Mary Murphy
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Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee. She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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