godzone-logo

8th Edition

Disciplines

"British Columbia is an amazingly diverse and expansive location for Primal Quest. We are thrilled that the event will take place in this area rich with demanding and challenging terrain, it is sure to be a full-intensity adventure."

- Maria Burton (Primal Quest Race Director)

The main disciplines for Primal Quest are navigation, trekking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and fixed ropes. The race may include additional disciplines that reflect the demands of the terrain. Where important specific skills are required in a certain Chapter of the event, detailed information will be provided in the Newsletters to help teams prepare in good time.

Mountain Trekking (PQ Pure & PQ Pursuit)

It’s a fact of life that teams spend a lot of time on their feet in expedition length races and it is no different at Primal Quest. Traveling by foot through a wide variety of terrain is one of the most basic skills of the budding adventure racer but you should not underestimate its importance. Teams will need to be competent trekkers, be confident over rugged terrain and understand potential hazards such as exposed ridges and river crossings. Those who have experienced previous Editions of Primal Quest will understand that travelling along paths is often the exception and not the rule so teams should prepare for rough travel.

Due to the wild nature of Primal Quest courses teams must ensure that they carry all required items on the Mandatory Gear List. This means that the 20L backpacks that have become almost the norm in other races rarely have the carrying capacity required. This additional burden may slow teams down considerably and can have a debilitating effect on feet if they are not well prepared.

Mountain Biking (PQ Pure & PQ Pursuit)

Teams should be prepared for a range of riding surfaces including fire trails, steep hills, unsealed roads, cross country, sealed roads and single track. The organisers prefer to keep bike pushing and carrying to a bare minimum but teams should accept that it is not practical in all situations to avoid every route which throws up such challenges. Hike a bike is a part of adventure racing and amounts may depend on bike skills and strength.

There is a lot of debate about the ideal mountain bike for expedition length events. Teams would do well to consider the additional benefits of comfort over performance on an event that might take as many as 10 days to complete. Teams are expected to carry out running repairs during the race and should ensure they have the appropriate skills to fix all manner of bike related problems. Many teams carry spares in their bike boxes to ensure that they may continue should something break. It is highly unlikely that spare parts will be located on route.

Whitewater Rafting (PQ Pure & PQ Pursuit)

NEEDS CHANGING!! Chapter 7 – Fiordland sees the introduction of pack rafting. All GZ Pure teams need to supply their own pack rafts. Decisions whether to take singles, doubles or a combination of both is left to the discretion of the teams. There will be extensive paddling and trekking with the pack rafts. It is recommended that teams bring rafts that are appropriate for carrying in backpacks, that are capable of use on moving water and that can fit in any gear that is being transported on the stages they are used.

Teams will be visiting very remote areas. Using the pack raft will enable teams, in certain circumstances, to make faster progress and to avoid certain obstacles. Teams should be well practiced with using their pack rafts and should know how to perform running repairs in the wild. All teams will need to bring their own paddles (can be double bladed) and inflation device for the pack rafts. It will be a mandatory requirement for competitors to wear a PFD (buoyancy device) whenever a pack raft is being used. More information about pack rafting will be released in the Newsletters.

Glacier Trekking (PQ Pure & PQ Pursuit)

NEEDS CHANGING!! Canoeing in GODZone could be on inland rivers, lakes and fiords. As a general rule, the canoes are used for paddling white water or flowing rivers. Serious or higher grade whitewater paddling will not be permitted at night. Specific details will be outlined at the pre-event briefing and in the team handbook. All participants should view the Certification page and take note of the water safety requirements before entering the event. Teams should take their water training seriously to ensure safety and enjoyment. Skills are much more important that strength in a canoe.

GODZone has fleet of commercial grade inflatable canoes capable of running class 4+ rapids (though Chapter 7 will not paddle grades that high – but they could be Grade 3+). Teams are expected to provide suitable pumps and a repair kit, details of which will be released in the Newsletters. It is usually mandatory to use GODZone paddles for canoeing and teams are not permitted to bring or use their own single bladed paddles.

Fixed Ropes (PQ Pure & PQ Pursuit)

Primal Quest will have fixed ropes which will have to be negotiated for teams to proceed along the course. These could include, amongst other things, abseiling, ascending, tyrolean traverses, roped scrambling, crampons and ice axes and even canyon swings. As a general rule, fixed ropes will be a logical progression of the overall course and detours to a suitable fixed rope site will be avoided.

All rope activities will be supervised by experienced and trained professionals. Any mandatory equipment needs to be relatively new, in excellent condition, will be checked at registration before the start and meet specifications set out in the Mandatory Gear List. Teams may have to demonstrate use of equipment at the pre-race skills check. Further information on equipment required for any fixed rope sections will be released in the Newsletters. All rope specific skills, such as that used for descending and ascending, will also be set out in the Newsletters well in advance of the event start.

Alpine Navigation (PQ Pure Only)

NEEDS UPDATING!! GODZone may have fixed ropes which will have to be negotiated for teams to proceed along the course. These could include, amongst other things, abseiling, ascending, tyrolean traverses, roped scrambling, crampons and ice axes and even canyon swings. As a general rule, fixed ropes will be a logical progression of the overall course and detours to a suitable fixed rope site will be avoided.

All rope activities will be supervised by experienced and trained professionals. Any mandatory equipment needs to be relatively new, in excellent condition, will be checked at registration before the start and meet specifications set out in the Mandatory Gear List. Teams may have to demonstrate use of equipment at the pre-race gear check. Further information on equipment required for any fixed rope sections will be released in the Newsletters. All rope specific skills, such as that used for descending and ascending, will also be set out in the Newsletters well in advance of the event start.

Ocean Kayaking (PQ Pure Only)

Kayaking in Primal Quest could be on inland rivers, lakes, fiords and on the sea. Generally, inland paddling will be permitted during both day and night, though this may be dictated by river flows. Dark zones may also be enforced on white water and any exposed lake sections or the sea if the conditions merit it.  Specific details will be outlined at the pre-event briefing.

All participants should view the Experience & Skills page and take note of the water safety requirements before entering the event. Teams should take their water training seriously to ensure safety and enjoyment. Teams will paddle double kayaks.

Other Disciplines

From time to time a course or stage will pass through an area which offers unique opportunities for other methods of travel. This may be related to geography, be of cultural significance or both. Information on other disciplines may be released in the Newsletters or as late as the pre-event briefing. Primal Quest likes to keep some secrets up its sleeve. However, there will be no secret discipline that requires a significant amount of skill without information being provided to teams beforehand.

Teams are extremely likely to spend a fair amount of time paddling at Primal Quest, they may have to swim, canyon or cross deep rivers at any time of the day. Therefore, it goes without saying, that every competitor at Primal Quest should be a competent, confident and strong swimmer. Any long swims will be notified to the teams in advance. However, teams must ensure they can cope in the water in all sorts of conditions.