Known as the lowest, driest, and hottest place on the continent, Death Valley is located on the border between California and Nevada, southeast of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This superlative desert boasts massive sand dunes, jagged mountains, salt pans, fluted canyons and 3 million acres of raw wilderness.The Valley itself is a long narrow basin located 282 feet below sea level and walled by towering mountains which act together to create the famously extreme temperatures. Home to the second hottest air temperature ever recorded – a blistering 134°F – and the most consecutive days with temperatures in excess of 120° F (52 days) – summer nights provide little relief as lows regularly remain around 95°F and have been known to be over 105°F.. The route begins at the Northern tip of Death Valley, at an altitude of over 6,000 feet at the head of Last Chance Canyon, where I drop in. Loosing thousands of feet in the first miles I drop to the valley floor and simply struggle South, to the South Eastern corner of Death Valley, negotiating washes, stretches of sand dunes, salt flats and wash rubble. .
1. Unassisted – Assist refers to any outside help received by the trekker. A form of assist is re-supply or caches. 2. Unaided – Aided refers to external power aids used for speed and load advantage. Typical aids are wind power (kites), animal power (dogs/camels), or engine power (motorized vehicles). 3. Self Contained – A special category of Ultra Trekking whereby the trekker takes nothing from the environment including water. To be Self-Contained all water and food must be carried or hauled from the starting point of the expedition. Often referred to a “well to well” trekking. 4. Solo – Alone Note – certain stretches of the route run near 4X4 tracks, which could not be avoided. To avoid confusion, during these sections of the route, I shall engage my satellite locator to transmit location progress every 10 minutes, as verification that roads and track are never used.