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Definition of Unsupported Speed Record
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Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Definition of Unsupported Speed Record on 03/25/2009 10:49:03 MDT Print View


I've been playing with the idea of trying to set the unsupported speed record for the Tahoe Rim Trail and was wanting to get some clarification of what you all consider "unsupported". The reason I ask is that on the east side of the TRT, there has been placed a water cache by the Tahoe Rim Trail Assoc. If someone were to take water from this cache, have they in effect been supported?

Also, I can't find any official time for an unsupported hike of the TRT. I know a few people tried to set one last year but all parties weren't successful in finishing. I think Brian Robinson hiked it with his wife in 4 days. I'm thinking I would be satisfied to do it in 72 hours, leaving me with roughly 56 miles a day with some sleeping time each day.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
unsupported. on 03/25/2009 10:57:22 MDT Print View

hi there.

i'd say if you take water from the cache, that would be supported. of course, when i hiked the TRT last fall, the cache was empty. :)

three days would be impressive. i tried to do it in five and bailed after 3.5 and 110 odd miles with a sore foot. i don't think much about "records" though - there are other people on here who do and probably have a better opinion.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Definition of Unsupported Speed Record on 03/25/2009 11:01:30 MDT Print View

Caching sure sounds like support to me...

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Unsupported definition on 03/25/2009 11:22:12 MDT Print View

Yeah, I was afraid it would be seen as supported. Deep down I also thought that, just didn't want to accept it. That makes for a long dry stretch, or a 2000' drop to a water source then back up again. Oh well.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
trt unsupported. on 03/25/2009 13:45:06 MDT Print View

yes, it's pretty dry on the NE side of the lake, at least in september (the two times i have been on the TRT).

spooner lake is off the trail too (so that's a time sink also), then you have lots of climbing and ridge hiking, and then past marlette lake - though it's a long way down to the lake, there is supposed to be a water source much higher up (spring?), at least earlier in the season. then it's past twin lake (?), which also would have water earlier in the year - it's always a dry field when i see.

when i hiked it last fall, it seemed a LONG way from Spooner to the creek a couple miles from Ophir Creek (i had ca. 3L capacity). i was definitely on the pretty dehydrated side of things by the time i got there(i also did that section on an even-numbered sunday, so the mountain bikes were out of control).

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
trt unsupported speed record on 03/25/2009 15:16:26 MDT Print View

Does anyone know what the unsupported speed record is? I found a cool website with lots of different trail records:

Also, can anybody hike with you on an unsupported attempt, or is that also "support"?

Since I live in Lake Tahoe, I'm going to try to thru or section hike all of the TRT a few times before I test myself with a stab at 72 hours. I'm currently mulling over whether or not I really should spend any more money to lighten up my load. I'm thinking a Nunatak arc a.t. or MLD short quilt would be cool, but that's a fair bit of money to drop to lower my current base weight by 8 oz.

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
TRT Hike on 03/25/2009 16:10:30 MDT Print View

Sounds like some serious fastpacking Zach! I haven't heard of any offical times, but im sure TRTA would have an answer to that question. When are you planning this trip? Regardless of supported/non-supported, 3 days would be out of control, I love it! Im hope to thruhike the TRT in the early summer-aiming for closer to 4 days-we'll see how i feel! Goodlight-Travels

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Trt unsupported speed record on 03/25/2009 16:58:56 MDT Print View

Aaron--I live in Tahoe City, and if you aren't a total weirdo or anything, I would be more than happy to help you out if I'm able to. I will be gone for about a month starting mid-June, but other than that I'm free to help.

I'm up in the air about when to try--earlier in the year equals more water but higher temps and some snow, later in the year equals much less water, great temps and no snow.

Edited by on 03/25/2009 17:05:15 MDT.

Stephen Sherwood
(ssherwood) - F
Tahoe Rim 100m on 03/25/2009 18:09:21 MDT Print View

Hey there is a 100m Ultra on this trail every year (it was March 18 this year) & they run 100m in around 19 hours, I don't know your background but you could run the trail without sleep straight through. I can be done & if you want to tackle that i'm in. Stephen

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
march on TRT? on 03/25/2009 18:18:31 MDT Print View

maybe i'm confused, but it seems like the TRT would be under pretty significant snow in march?! like LOTS of snow?

do they run the race on the ROADS around the lake?

EDIT: checked web page. the registration ends in march, but the race is in mid june.

Edited by DaveT on 03/25/2009 18:19:31 MDT.

Stephen Sherwood
(ssherwood) - F
My Bad! on 03/25/2009 18:23:35 MDT Print View

Yep your right the registration ended march 18, I looked at it wrong,

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TRT speed records on 03/27/2009 14:15:16 MDT Print View

So the TRTA emailed me with the fastest times they have on record, but there could very well be faster undocumented times. They didn't know if Whit Rambach was supported or not, but all the others definitely were. I wish there was a more concrete time for Whit, as that could be 96 hours and 1 minute or it could be 119 hours and 59 minutes. So it sounds like if somebody goes unsupported and breaks 96 hours they have a new record. Pretty doable, I would think.

Here are the times:

Tim Twietmeyer – 45 hours and 50 minutes continuous running – officially timed

Whit Rambach – 4 days running - 2004

Betsy Nye – 55 hours and 22 minutes 2004

Peter Lubbers – 57 hours 54 minutes 2008 officially timed

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
trt record. on 03/27/2009 16:11:08 MDT Print View

yeah, under 96 hours unsupported sounds easy (at least for all you ultrarunner types). you can do it with long summer days, great weather, and bang it out.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Definition of Unsupported Speed Record on 03/27/2009 20:15:16 MDT Print View

Hey Zach,
I am going for this record as well this year.

There is no "Official" Unsupported Record" right now.
It is 100% up for grabs.

Klas Eklof went for the U/Supported Record last year, but had some stomach issues or something like that and stopped on the 2nd day.

By the way, where did you find that Betsy Nye did the TRT in 55 hours???

I am trying for the 2nd fastest time as Unsupported which as far as I know is Peter Lubers time.
Peter even stated that he has the 2nd fasted time.

That's O.K., my goal is for a sub 55 hour time anyway.
Now I'll just have to keep it instead of having a 2+ hour cushion.

The 55 hours is to have to maintain the 3 mph average.

By the way, Unsupported means "Unsupported". No one hiking with you and no assistance that has a possibility of making you faster what-so-ever!

The thing I am going to do is have someone drive to each road intersection and wait for me. If I am 6 hours late, they can come get me.
Other than that, they are doing nothing for me. No recording time splits so I don't have to, no changing out my food and water; no "wake me up in 45 minutes" no nothing.

As of now, I am going to be starting in Tahoe City and going Counter Clockwise.

I am also looking at no sleep at all during the nights.
Only sleep about 45 minutes before it cools down on the 2nd day and one or two 20 minute naps each day.
This way I can just bring a jacket and bottoms as warmth.

Edited by awsorensen on 03/27/2009 20:34:04 MDT.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
TRT speed records on 03/27/2009 21:13:25 MDT Print View


The TRTA gave me all those times I posted.

Good luck on your attempt! Do you plan on running at all, or just hike plugging along the whole time? For me, at least, I've thought that maybe a bit of an "ultra shuffle" would be okay on some flat sections, but wonder if that would ultimately make me slower by trashing my quads a bit more than just a fast walk would. I also go back and forth on the sleep thing--I do like it.

I've heard that people try to start at Kingsbury Grade (I think that's what I read?) because there is a 3 mile stretch that the TRTA doesn't consider official trail--effectively making this a 165 mile trail and cutting off about an hour. Maybe starting there and going counter-clockwise would help with the dry east side?

55 hours is a bit much for me. I trail raced years ago but never anything ultra distance--I'm just a thru-hiker and figured I can walk and walk and walk. I race road bikes and can't this year due to an injury (oddly enough, hiking doesn't bother it), and without a goal I go a little nuts.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I live in Tahoe City and if I can offer any help please let me know.

stefan hoffman
(puckem) - F

Locale: between trees
Unsupported? on 03/27/2009 21:29:44 MDT Print View

SOOOO....what does it mean to be unsupported on a longer hike? Like PCT, AT, CDT. Cuz it would be rediculous to carry all the food you need. So whats the diff between getting food at a store and having somebody get it for you or mailing it to yourself? Either way, you rely on something or someone other than yourself. Ben Saunders walked/skiied to the north pole with all his gear (300+ lbs i think) in tow on a sled. But i doubt any "unsupported" thru hikers use this method.

Zack Karas
( - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Definition of unsupported on 03/27/2009 22:34:48 MDT Print View

I may be wrong, but I think there is entirely-unsupported and self-supported. Self-supported is typical long trail style of hiking--you don't have any pre-planned assistance from people, you just go to POs and stores and such. Entirely-unsupported, I would argue, is starting with everything you would need for the entire trail (not including water from natural sources), like what Coup from Golite did a few years ago for his Long Trail, CT and JMT hikes. That make sense?

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Unsupported? on 03/27/2009 22:40:34 MDT Print View

The PCT, AT, CDT question finally comes out.
That is called "Self Supported"...

Everyone just gets that on such a long hike, you must resupply, but they can not have pacers. Thru-hikers are either just too lazy to call it Self Supported or they just don’t want to confuse the issue even more.

This you can not have anyone drop off any of your supplies at the trail head for you. You must hitch hike or walk in to pick up the supplies yourself.

With Self Supported, you can have hiking partners or share food as long as you are doing the hike under your own power.

About the longest fully Unsupport trail out there that I have heard of in terms of attempting to break the Unsupported Record in the way we are doing the TRT and JMT is the Colorado trail.

In an Unsupported attempt, you do not have the option of getting food for yourself along the trail. It must be carried from start to finish.

The whole truth of it is, these rules we have to follow are rules to just make it easyer to attempt a record. If it is already know what needs to be done, then we do it without asking questions.
If you want to cheat or push the limits of the way it just is then you shouldn't be making an attempt in the first place.

You must cover the distance under you own power and whatever help after that is allowed.

Self Supported-
You must cover the distance and not receive any assistance that would help you do the trail faster than you could without that assistance.

You are thru-hiking the trail with out any assistance or resupply other than the water you get from the trail.

This also means no pacing in a means of speeding you up. If you have someone hiking with you, (at night especially), that person will not only have a light that will assist you but also help keep you up.
So if you want someone to hike with and keep you company, than carry that person on your back.

No matter how many times these questions get answered, the questions never seem to change about the meaning. If you don’t want to get it then just hike your own hike.

Edited by awsorensen on 03/27/2009 22:42:48 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Definition of unsupported on 03/27/2009 22:46:19 MDT Print View

There is no way I could average 3 mph while just power hiking.
I plan on moving faster than a hike for at least half of the distance, (I like to call it trogging).
Basically averaging 2.5 mph hiking and 4.5 mph running.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
supported. on 03/28/2009 15:36:22 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 03/28/2009 15:40:30 MDT.