EnergyFirst CEO Gerry Morton and Celebrated Guide Andrew Skurka Treks the John Muir Trail in One Week

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Averaging more than 30 miles a day at elevations over 14,000 feet, Gerry Morton and Andrew Skurka travel the 221-mile John Muir Trail in seven days — a trip that takes most hikers four weeks.

Mt. Whitney Summit

Gerry Morton and Andrew Skurka atop Mt. Whitney after completing the John Muir Trail in 7 days.

I recognize that not everyone would aspire to complete the entire JMT in a week, but I’m unapologetic about valuing the mental and physical difficulties that are inherent to such an undertaking.

The John Muir Trail runs 221 miles from Yosemite Valley to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the continental United States. It is a challenging trek that averages 10,000 feet in elevation, with several mountain passes that are in excess of 13,000 feet. It takes most trained hikers three or four weeks to make the hike.

EnergyFirst CEO Gerry Morton and professional backpacker Andrew Skurka finished it in one week.

Why attempt such a hike in one week? As a busy CEO and devoted family man, Morton set out to accomplish the trek and relish the beauty of the Serria Mountain Range in one week because, “At this point in my life, that’s the maximum time I could take away from my family and business. Plus, I’m always up for a challenge!”

Morton, with a proven record in endurance feats and accomplishments, prepared and trained for the hike with the same focus he brings to his business. In addition to degrees in nutrition, business, and entrepreneurship, Morton has participated in four Ironman Triathlons (including the Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii), run over 35 marathons (including the Boston Marathon) and took part in the Catalina Classic, a 32 mile paddle board race. As CEO of EnergyFirst, his line of all-natural supplements embodies his philosophy of embracing a healthy lifestyle and pushing one’s body to its limits.

While Morton knew he had the training to accomplish his goal, he knew he needed guidance from an expert in hiking, so he sought out Skurka, the absolute best in the field.

Skurka, an experienced guide on the trail, was named "Adventurer of the Year" by National Geographic Adventure, “Person of the Year” by Backpacker Magazine and is in Men’s Journal "Adventurer Hall of Fame." One year earlier, Skurka completed a 4,700-mile 6-month expedition around Alaska and Yukon by foot, ski, and packraft.

The pair averaged 33 miles a day, saw an elevation change of 84,000 feet and took over 500,000 steps. Their rucksacks weighed in at under eight pounds, plus food and water, and they neither carried nor filtered their water. “I recognize that not everyone would aspire to complete the entire JMT in a week, but I’m unapologetic about valuing the mental and physical difficulties that are inherent to such an undertaking,” says Skurka.

Says Morton, “This is definitely America’s most beautiful trail - the John Muir. It was absolutely spectacular. To finish it off here at the highest point in the continguous United States is fantastic. What a week!”

To watch a video of the hike and read more about it, visit National Geographic’s Adventure Blog here.


About EnergyFirst:
EnergyFirst, a leading company in the all-natural protein and supplement industry, was founded in 1997. We, at EnergyFirst, believe that everyone can benefit from drinking a protein shake whether the goal is optimal nutrition in a meal replacement, an easy and healthy breakfast alternative, a weight loss aid, or a protein supplement for athletes. We also believe that your protein shake should be 100% natural and delicious. EnergyFirst offers healthful and high quality products, including ProEnergy, a whey protein isolate derived from the milk of grass-fed, antibiotic-, growth hormone- and rBGH-free cows; Greenergy Superfood for antioxidant and immune system support from certified organic ingredients; Prefuel all-natural sugar-free pre-workout supplement; and Permalean Protein Bars.

About Andrew Skurka:
Andrew Skurka is an accomplished adventure athlete, speaker, guide, and writer. The 33-year-old is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, notably the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop, and the 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. In total, he has backpacked, skied, and packrafted 30,000+ miles through many of the world’s most prized backcountry and wilderness areas—the equivalent of traveling 1.2 times around Earth’s equator! He is the author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail and guides about 15 trips per year. For more information visit


Keywords: EnergyFirst, Gerry Morton, Andrew Skurka, John Muir Trail, Mt. Whitney, Forester Pass, Muir Pass, Mather Pass, Yosemite Valley, JMT, Fastpacking, Ultralight Backpacking

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