Salt Lake City, UT (March 27, 2018)—The family and close friends of the late Kyle Dempster, with the support of Outdoor Research, Higher Ground Coffee, Black Diamond, CiloGear, Keen Footwear, PROBAR, La Sportiva, Liberty Mountain and Hyperlite Mountain Gear and Duct Tape Then Beer, are excited and proud to announce the winners of the first annual Kyle Dempster Solo Adventure Award.

This year’s recipients proposed exciting and challenging trips that embody Kyle’s creative spirit and his desire to explore wild places, and they demonstrated both a willingness to push their person limits and a passion for storytelling that will inspire future adventurers. We are excited to support the following adventures in 2018, and to hear the stories that come from them.

ANTHONY MARRA, Salt Lake City, UT, $2,000

Anthony will embark on four-month trip across the north and south islands of New Zealand by bike, climbing and skiing nine major summits along the way. He will tow a bike trailer laden with camping, skiing and alpine climbing gear, as well as a surfboard, which he’ll use when he cuts out to the coast for some celebratory beach time after each peak. To prepare for this trip, in the summer of 2017, Anthony spent three months biking from the Canadian border to Mexico, climbing and skiing 26 peaks in the Cascades and Sierra.

JESSICA KELLEY, Seattle, WA, $1,000

Jessica has envisioned a 1,350 bike-rafting loop through Alaska that she is calling “Where the River Meets the Road.” Jessica will begin riding her bike from Anchorage, and will combine paved and gravel roads with sections of the Yukon, Tanana and Susitna rivers to create an epic loop through the Last Frontier. Before and during the trip, Jessica will also raise funds for Anchorage GRIT, a bike mentorship program for middle-school girls, to “make the adventure even more meaningful, and give me that extra boost to keep going on the toughest days.” Jessica is an endurance athlete and coach, and has competed in numerous bike and foot races across the country, including the White Mountains 100 and the Iditasport 200, as well as a number of backcountry challenges including a traverse of the North Cascades and the FKT of the Press Traverse in Olympic National Park.

ALEX GABER, Auburn, CA, $1,000

This summer, Alex will set off on a thru-hike of a 1,000-mile loop he has envisioned in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, traveling through 10 different wilderness areas, as well as Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Alex’s planned route travels over 58 named summits and much of it is completely off-trail. He’ll attempt to stay along ridgelines and avoid roads as much as possible. Alex is an experienced long-distance hiker who has completed the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, as well as an innovative route from Mexico to Canada that combined the Arizona Trail, the Hayduke Trail, and a self-mapped route from Arches NP to Glacier NP.