WSER Course Trivia Contest

Are you jonesing for a little time on the WS trail like I am?  Can’t wait to smell the dust and the manzanita? Well, for those of us that don’t live close to the trail, let’s live vicariously through another trivia contest.  If you don’t have a lot of experience on the trail this might be fun for you to learn a little about some of the landmarks or sections.  If you have spent a lot of time on the course, well, the questions might seem easy.

This contest is similar to the 1980s video contest although you probably don’t need to watch any videos to answer the questions and I’m going to make the rules simpler.  Answer the ten questions and extra credit below the map.  You get one answer per question and answers must be submitted via comments to this post.  First person to answer a question gets 5 points.  Person with the most points gets a Conduct The Juices T-shirt.  Extra credit also worth 5 points.  Contest closes on Feb 18 at noon PST.

WSER Course

WSER Course (used with permission from WSER)


  1. What year was the Cal St section added to the run course?
  2. When did the No Hands Bridge get hand rails?
  3. Where’s the Shortcut Trail?
  4. When was the Pucker Point Trail first used in the run course?
  5. What miles of the current course go through the Granite Chief Wilderness Area?
  6. Where is the halfway mark on the course?
  7. Where’s the best place to find a shower curtain on the course?
  8. Who built the Swinging Bridge?
  9. What years has the race used the alternate snow course on Mosquito Ridge Rd?
  10. What is the “Elevator Shaft?”

Extra Credit: What color is the Green Gate?

Update: Click here for answers and results of contest.


  1. 1. 1986
    2. 1984
    3. After the Hwy. 49 Crossing, the real reason for the Pointed Rocks Aid Station!
    4. 2002
    5. 4.5 to 8.5
    6. Deadwood Cemetery
    7. Last Chance (someone took the last one in 2008!)
    8. Army Corp of Engineers. It was part of a toll road built in the 1850’s for the miners.
    9. 1983, 1995, 1998
    10. Near vertical descent between Dardanelles and Peachstone aid stations.
    Extra credit. Silver. That’s the State Park standard color for gates now. We can’t paint it green. I asked! Originally it was blue.

    • Places Along the Western States Trail:
      The Story Behind KAPUT SPRINGS.
      by Shannon Yewell Weil

      In 1966, a Nevadan named Cliff Lewis rode a 13-year-old, half-Arabian gelding named KAPUT on the Tevis Cup Ride. While riding into the canyon from Deadwood Ridge, Cliff dismounted his horse as they stopped to get a cool drink of water at what was then called HOLIDAY SPRINGS. Just as another horse and rider passed them, Kaput stepped too far backwards and suddenly tumbled over the side of the narrow trail and crashing through the vegetation and finally came to a stop on a small ledge.

      Cliff hastily scrambled down the steep canyon wall to help his tangled and and bruised horse and stayed with him until the Drag Riders arrived. Since Cliff and KAPUT were running near the lead, it took a couple hours but Cliff kept quite as not to disrupt other rider’s experiences on that day. The Drag Riders immediately radioed for help and a full-blown emergency rescue ensued.

      That year a writer from Sport’s Illustrated magazine was at the Ride reporting on the mighty Western States 100-Mile One-Day Trail Ride. Founder and President, Wendell Robie quickly swung into action by calling in a helicopter to come and rescue poor KAPUT. A harness was constructed not knowing if it would hold the horse but it did. This photo was taken as he was being airlifted out of the canyon and ultimately to safety. The official comment on the Ride Results reads: “Fall into canyon from Deadwood Ridge – Horse rescued from ledge by helicopter.”

      This Charlie Barieau photo ran in the Sport’s Illustrated article as well as another article in The Western Horseman magazine. Ever since that day Holiday Springs has been called KAPUT SPRINGS

  2. 1. 1986
    2. 1984
    3. About two minutes after the Hwy 49 aid station just before the climb starts
    4. 2002
    5. On the New Course: 4-8 miles. It used to be a little later but since they shortened the climb to the Escarpment it comes sooner now.
    6. The spring coming out of the ground about 12 minutes after the Deadwood Graveyard
    7. Last Chance Aid Station
    8. The army or National Guard or CCC, one of those three
    9. 1983, 1995, 1998
    10. The drop-off after the 16th little uphill in between Cal 1 and Cal 2

    EC – Battleship gray

  3. #10, more trivia: Back in ’98 or ’99, we had a runner pick up too much speed here, trip and impale himself on a manzanita branch over the Memorial Weekend. He was carried to Peachstone, I gave him first aid and drove him out to Foresthill. He was transported to Auburn Faith Hospital where he had the hole in his thigh patched up. It missed the artery. He recovered. The real question – – why is there an “elevator shaft” in the first place and when do I get the shirt? Congrats to AJW. He won Rocky Raccoon and still has enough brain cells operating to answers most of the questions correctly.

  4. A few more:

    11. Where can you find loose barbed wire adjacent to the trail?
    12. What’s the best place to find an old sleeping bag on the course?
    13. Are there any shoes hanging from telephone poles on the course? If so, where?
    14. How many minutes does it take to climb from the El Dorado Bridge to the first fly catcher hanging from a tree on the left side of the trail? (hint: it’s a yellow fly catcher)
    15. How many dogs are buried in the pet cemetary to the right of the trail about 1/2 mile out of Michigan Bluff?
    16. When was the pump installed at Deadwood?
    17. What is the mile mark of the White Bridge where Howard passed King?
    18. In what years has high water required a boat crossing of the American River at Mile 78?

  5. Howard passed King on Robie Drive maybe a 1/4 mile out of the Robie Point aid station but before the top of the climb. The 1983 film (Desperate Dreams 2) missed the pass. Really too bad. It’s still one of the best WS films ever recorded. OK, NOW I’m done.

  6. OK Greg, I’ll take the bait, you may call those Aid Stations Dardastones and Peachnelles ( or whatever) but all the real runners still call them Cal 1 and Cal 2 no matter how hard you try to change them.

    And, I know it’s not a multiple choice question on #8 and that is my point, I think all three of those entities built the bridge.

    You may be done, but I’m not, I’ve got some training to do.

    OK Craig, who gets the shirt?

  7. @AJW – Your answers were excellent, but he got his in before you. I’ll have to consult with the competition committee tonight while we’re huntin’ to determine if you should also get a shirt. You both definitely added color. And Seagull Junker also answered several correctly, including the halfway point.

    Who would have guessed that Soderlund wants a T-shirt?

  8. I guess I’ll have to be happy with yet another 2nd place but when I get out there this summer I am going to measure the distance from the start to the beginning of the Granite Chief Wilderness section because I think it comes at 4 miles not 4.5 miles because of the re-routed section up to the Escarpment. That said, my multiple choice answer to who built the swinging bridge was pretty lame.

  9. @AJW – The competition committee convened tonight while huntin’ and reached a unanimous conclusion regarding awarding you a shirt. In order to maintain the integrity of Conduct the Juices contests, we cannot award you a shirt from this contest. We did ponder whether Soderlund should be disqualified because of his connection to the race, but he won fair and square and basically kicked your butt. We do appreciate your enthusiasm and participation. It was suggested that you start working on your Twietstache, details of that contest will be forthcoming.

    Official results will be announced at the end of the contest period along with the official answers.

  10. Wow, I expect Greg to know his stuff, but you guys kind of scare me! You really are hard core! People like me probably make you sick. I live one hour from the starting line. I live an hour and a half from the finish. I have never even seen the course from the river to the finish, except when I have run WTC. And I need a map to find the stadium at the school. I have no idea where it is. And, I live within a 15 mile radius of 5 seperate people that have been in the top 10 overall men/women at least one time in the races history.

    WS Trivia: What runner has applied to the race 5 times and entered a raffle 4 times, but never made it to the start? Me!

  11. ok, i don’t now the course like you fast dudes, but i do try to be a student of the game. and TM needs to fill us in on his own little trivia questions.

    but here it is…

    Kaput springs… does greg know this or LB???

    got it’s name by…

    “Kaput” Spring got the name because a horse named Kaput went over
    the cliff when it backed away from the water too fast. Kaput was owned
    by a town local who had no money and mooched off of everyone. Poor
    old Kaput should have been shot down there because he was badly
    injured. But it so happened that there was a photographer from Sports
    Illustrated at the spot who took pictures of Kaput’s plight and Wendall did
    not want to give people the wrong impression about the Tevis race. So he
    called in a helicopter to rescue Kaput at his own expense. Kaput made
    the front page of the next issue of the magazine.

    so there it is… just a little triva that i know. and when ajw passes the “pipe” saying “let’s get er done”, i’ll be saying “it’s time to jam”.


  12. i heard up near kaput pipe, people in suv’s and shotguns park inside cemetary’s and laugh at runner’s while making comments about staying off certain “private” roads around those parts.

    well…that’s what a i hear, anyway.


  13. Does anyone have an answer to AJWs questions 11-17? I am dying to know.

    12. I remember there was something lying around forever where the motorcycle track crosses the trail just past Deadwood cemetary. It may have been a sweatshirt.
    13. At Michigan Bluff. Two pairs of shoes (I think).
    14.10 minutes to the first flycatcher
    15. 2 dogs
    … sorry, I don’t know the rest (and I probably have 12-15 wrong also).

    What is the name of the store that used to be above (and to the left) the doggy graveyard?

    Cheers, PC

  14. Greg can fill in better details than I about the story about guy that went to the hospital with the opened up thigh, but its my understanding that the person treating the impalee at the hospital owned property near the entrance in Todd Valley for the access trail and didn’t like people using the access road.

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