Whatcom Passage

50 Miles, Friday-Sunday,  21-23 of September 2018



This course has it all. Remote wilderness travel, expansive views from high alpine passes, deep old growth forests, cascading creeks, rivers, and waterfalls, big mileage, and lots of elevation. Beginning in the heart of the North Cascades the course follows the shores of Ross Lake before turning west and along Big Beaver Creek to Beaver Pass (elev. 3,620’). Pause to enjoy the view before descending to Little Beaver Creek and then climbing to the course high point at Whatcom Pass (elev. 5,206’). Here the trail follows Brush Creek to its confluence with the Chilliwack River, then climbs again to Hannegan Pass (elev. 5,066’). Be sure to take in the view of miles traveled before the final granite pounding miles along Ruth Creek to the finish. Click here for an Alltrails course overview map and elevation profile. 


The Whatcom Passage 50M is a remote wilderness experience. Many variables including weather, fitness, terrain, and potential accidents or injury can greatly affect the time required to complete this course. Aspire is committed to providing exceptional crew services and professional support to guard against and respond to emergencies. The following schedule is a tentative outline for making travel arrangements.


4:00pm. Course check in. Burlington WA

  • Meet in the parking lot of Bob’s Burgers and Brews
  • Address: 9440 Old Hwy 99 N, Bow, WA 98232
  • Look for the green Suburban with “Aspire Adventure Running” decals

4:30. Depart for North Cascades campsite

6:30. Arrive camp. Aspire will serve an evening meal; conduct a course overview and orientation. Runners pack/prep for an early start.


6:00 am. Wake and hot breakfast served by Aspire

7:00 am. Trail Head Departure

  • Estimated travel time for the course 10-17 hours
  • Given the length, difficulty, and remoteness of this course, runners will be expected to travel in small groups or pairs
  • Aspire will provide a trail “sweep” who will be equipped with a minimalist first aid kit and emergency supplies as well as satellite communication technology.

5pm-Midnight. Course finish.

  • As per all Aspire events, course finishes are well stocked with food and beverages. These activities will be staged out of the Hannegan Pass Trail Head Parking lot.
  • Friends and family are welcome celebrate and rabble rouse at the basecamp/finish.


8-9am. Aspire will serve a hot morning breakfast

10. Shuttle departs for Burlington

Noon. Shuttle arrival Burlington


Running Gear: Each runner should come equipped with a personal running pack/vest, hydration system, water filtration, and personal snacks. Aspire has a selection of bars, gels, electrolytes etc. available, but we also encourage folks to bring foods that they are accustomed to for long runs. Running clothing should consist of a system that includes a wind/waterproof jacket and an insulative layer. Each runner is encouraged carry a water filtration system and a personal first aid kit to respond to blisters, chafing, and minor ailments.

Camping Gear: This course includes 2-nights of camping. Required equipment includes: a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and camp clothing suitable for a spectrum of mountain weather. Camping equipment is available for rent with registration.


Early Bird Registration: $280. Ends December 31st

Regular Registration: $310. Ends April 31st

Late Registration: $340. Closes September 9th


Trip Insurance

Every year we have at least one runner who due to injury, illness, or personal/familial circumstances can not participate in their registered trip.  While registrations can be transferred, Aspire does not issue refunds.  See our FAQ’s.  We strongly encourage each runner to purchase 3rd party trip insurance that will reimburse the cost of registration in the event that you are unable to participate in the event.