Ward Willis

Ward Willis

Kenzai Member
Head Trainer

Trip Report

  • Aug 15th, 2017 at 5:34AM

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Thank/Props:

Hey, Team Kenzai. Thanks for all your well wishes in advance of the Epic (that word cannot be over-used, dude) Presidential Traverse: https://kenzai.me/ward/blog/going-big-prezzie-traverse

I kinda felt like Frodo setting off for Tatooine riding Snuffaluffagus being chased by the Dothraki. In other words, I was both completely prepared and completely unprepared for the adventure that lay ahead.

The task:

Traverse 22 miles. Summit 10 mountains covering 9,000 ft of elevation along the toughest terrain in the Northern Presidential Range of New Hampshire

Prepared:

I train a ton. I grew up hiking in the Whites. Like all mediocre white dudes, I have a shit load of confidence. Plus, I was traveling with good pals. Those pals are the type of folks that bring maps, extra food, and a sense of humor for those that fly it looser.

Unprepared:

This category might be better labelled delusional. Tuck (https://kenzai.me/tuck/blog/portcity-kenzai-team-prezi-traverse) thought we could crush the traverse in 8 hours solely based on that fact that the world record holder did it in 4.5 hours. Liz ( https://kenzai.me/liz/blog/staying-on-track) tried to bail at the 11th hour. Fortunately, I have so much irrational confidence it inspires others. She borrowed some and committed. Then we pivoted slightly upping our target traverse time to 10 hours. Why we were focused on how fast we could do it at all remains fairly unclear.

The Report:

We ran...not at all. What were we thinking? Holy fuck the trail was rugged. The vertical robust. The humidity at low elevations ridiculous. That said, we motored. Covering the trail in 12 hours with minimal stops and a few laughs/farts/high fives/stunning views/great weather along the way.

24 hours after the fact my legs were just a bit weary, but mostly my pecs hurt from the Iron workout completed the day before the hike. Hahahaha. 22 miles and I was licking my wounds from a Kenzai workout. How fitting. Peep the pictures (the top of all ten summits)...all taken by Tuck (again, prepared) and stolen by me from his Instagram.

Song of the Day:

Radio by Sylvan Esso/Echo Mountain Session (Don't sleep) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riQLL65OMfQ

Runner Up:

Bangladesh by Droog ft. Heems https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XC4PV3Wi0O4

PS:

I got the best video message congratulating me on my accomplishments from Janet, John, and Cecilia all the way from Tokyo. I won't hop onto my emotional woo-woo this shit we are doing here matters soap box. But it does people. One love!

Other photos:

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11 comments

Jason F.Jason F.Kenzai Member
over 4 years ago

Excellent work dude(s).


    Jordan BentzJordan BentzKenzai Member
    Creative Directorover 4 years ago

    BEST LINE: like all mediocre white dudes, I have a shit load of confidence. hhahahahah congrats, budddddddy


      Janet L.Janet L.Kenzai Member
      over 4 years ago

      Wow - kudos to the 3 of you! What an amazing trek!


        Watson J.Watson J.Kenzai Member
        over 4 years ago

        It does matter!
        Gold star!
        Go Team Go


          Megan D.Megan D.Alumni
          over 4 years ago

          Absolutely AWESOME

          You better start putting your team together for the 100 km Macelhose in Hong Kong.
          Inspirational (from an observer!)! X


            Rich C.Rich C.Kenzai Member
            over 4 years ago

            amazing & great effort Ward. Congrats!


              John M.John M.Kenzai Member
              over 4 years ago

              You guys hauled ass: 22 miles in 12 hours. By flatland standards that's slow, but considering you first climbed 4,000 or more feet and then traversed all that rocky terrain above treeline, that's fast. Almost 2mph. Great effort. I gather you traveled light, real light, no heavy packs. But lots of water, I hope.


                Cece AielloCece AielloKenzai Member
                Trainerover 4 years ago

                Proving once again that you are indeed, the GOAT. That's who you are. Along with these other GOAT legends!


                  Cece AielloCece AielloKenzai Member
                  Trainerover 4 years ago

                  PS why don't you guys look tired in any of these pictures?


                    Ward WillisWard WillisKenzai Member
                    Head Trainerover 4 years ago

                    @Cecilia - All ten photos are at the top of a given peak. We were thrilled to be able to stop for at least a moment. Hence the happy faces. Though admittedly in the last one, I an winking not because I am being cheeky, but because I had so much sweat in my eye from laying down that I couldn't f-ing see!

                    These photos did not include the images of me yelling at Tuck at the top of Mt. Washington (friends occasionally disagree about certain things) nor did we include the photos of Liz falling and nearly bashing her skull in (her strong Kenzai core saved the day there) as we descended Mt. Jackson.

                    #onlyhappymoments


                      Scott H.Scott H.Kenzai Member
                      over 4 years ago

                      Simply AWESOME!


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