The Last Darkness:
Running 275 km through the Owyhee Canyonlands
By Jeff Browning
“I couldn’t feel my feet. We had crossed the frigid river too many times to count, and locating a passable route along the narrow canyon floor required scrambling, crashing through willows and crisscrossing the river over and over again. We’d covered a mere 9,5 km in three hours, and I began to think we’d bitten off more than we could chew. But then again, adventure has always run deep in the Owyhee. For, in just 10 years, the Owyhee is expected to be one of only three remaining vantage points in the Lower 48 with a clear view of the Milky Way. It is the last darkness.
The plan seemed simple: Run the last 280 km of the new Oregon Desert Trail (ODT) in a four-day span. I set out with ultrarunner Jesse Haynes, photographers Fred Marmsater and Jonathan Byers and Trailhead Labs’ Jereme Monteau on logistics—all ultrarunners, all up for a grand adventure. The ODT is a 1300 km set of waypoints through Eastern Oregon’s high desert—currently just a concept. And although 275 km is meager in ultrarunning terms, the deep volcanic canyon, flowing rivers and highly technical terrain provided a whole new dimension to the term ultrarunning.”
The Airshed PulloverThink Outside the Sweatbox
The Airshed is an ambassador favorite. One tester dubbed it “The Magic Shirt” for its ability to block just enough wind to fight the chill, yet remain breathable enough to prevent the dreaded sweatbox effect. When paired with a baselayer or midlayer it covers an incredible range of temperatures. Work hard, play hard, the Airshed does it all.
An Interactive Film Experience
In December of 2016, President Obama used the Antiquities Act to protect Bears Ears for future generations. But lawmakers are pushing to rescind this designation in favor of privatization and development. It is imperative that we protect this culturally rich and recreationally spectacular landscape and keep public lands in public hands.Explore & Take Action
Women’s Trail Running Kit
Men’s Trail Running Kit
An endurance coach, ultra athlete and family man, Jeff lives to run in wild places. Recognizing his responsibility to the planet, he also fights to protect these special landscapes. As a designer, Jeff believes that form follows function and gear can always be better, lighter and more dialed; a self-proclaimed tinkerer, he will cut his shoes apart and modify his shorts in an effort to test out new ideas. In addition to adventuring in the mountains, Jeff spends his time chasing three kids, four chickens, two cats and one dog around their organic garden in Bend, Oregon.Learn More About Jeff
Our Lightest Trail Shells
Three ultralight shells for the trail and beyond.
A Park on the Run By Kt Miller
“I woke in a daze and waddled, still in my sleeping bag, bottom unzipped, feet out, toward the camp kitchen to greet the team. The morning was brisk and we’d gone light on clothes to save weight. My hands snuck out to grasp a cup of hot coffee. Two bull bison emerged in the mist and lazed through the tall grass to the east as we marveled in silence—it felt like a good omen for the miles to come. I’m a big fan of marveling.
We were a team of five runners, photographers, locals: Justin Angle, Walker Ferguson, Beau Fredlund, Fredrik Marmsater and me. We’d departed the day before, covering 48 km of a five-day, 225 km backcountry traverse from our front door in Cooke City, Montana, all the way to Old Faithful, in the heart of Yellowstone National Park. We wanted to experience, firsthand and on the ground, some of the environmental stories and policies that play out in this microcosm of wildness so iconic to the world’s concept of what ‘wild’ means.”