JMT speed record attempt
Display Avatars Sort By:
Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 07/22/2009 22:39:54 MDT Print View

Hello All,

During the past 4 weekends I have hiked 90% of the JMT. Based on those outings and other time trials I have officially decided to try and break the unsupported record. I will head to the Sierras this weekend to start acclimating and plan to start hiking midweek-ish. I hope to finish no later than Sunday night. I'm aware that many record attempts may be starting the following week (presumably to take advantage of the August full moon). If I am fortunate enough to break the record I'll try to post it as soon as possible for those quickly following my attempt. I expect to be in a pretty sad state at Happy Isles (if I make it) so it may be as late as Tuesday before I return home and am able to post my time.

Given no one here knows who I am (first post!) here's a link to a trip report to give you all an idea of the preparation that has gone into this record attempt.

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/515720/bear-flat-c2c-vivian-creek-socal-triple-crown-the-hard-way.html

Thanks to all the previous record holders and attempts! I have studied each one closely and learned so much from all of them. The probability of a successful hike would certainly be ~0 if if it weren't for the past attempts and accounts guiding me in this effort.

Wish me luck!
Brett

Art ...
(asandh) - F
JMT Unsupported Record Attempt on 07/23/2009 10:54:32 MDT Print View

Bret
Best of luck to you !

Could you do us all a favor and clock yourself both from Whitney Portal and from Whitney Summit.

Edited by asandh on 05/02/2010 23:40:27 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Unsupported record attempt on 07/23/2009 22:46:30 MDT Print View

Art,

I'm aware of the current bifurcation in the supported/unsupported record starting points. It's an unfortunate situation with no likely resolution in the near future. People seem pretty passionate on both sides. Below are my 2 cents (or maybe a nickel!) on the matter. This isn't meant as a direct response to your comments but rather are my thoughts on the 'JMT starting point debate' in general. In short my opinion is that until there is a resolution, each record seeker should decide for himself/herself where to start based on their own motivations and potential future consequences.


Well, I wasn’t planning on getting involved in The Great Debate but given the setup and the fact I am about to consume a week’s vacation and put myself through unimaginable hell for a few days for a JMT record, I’ve decided to give my two cents on THE issue.

Somehow around the beginning of the year I stumbled upon a trip report for one of the JMT record attempts. At the time, I was completely clueless regarding the bureaucracy surrounding such things. I didn’t know the difference between supported, unsupported, etc. I inevitably came across The Great Debate—essentially being that the unsupported record seekers claim the southern JMT terminus is Mount Whitney whereas the supported seekers believe it to be Whitney Portal (or at least choose to start the clock there). When I decided to start training for an attempt I was unbiased. I had no vested interest in the debate. I didn’t feel the need to invoke the spirit of John Muir one way or the other. If I were going to commit the enormous time and effort in a record attempt I wanted to know the truth. After investigating the issue it became pretty clear to me that the southern terminus is indeed Mount Whitney and the supported record crowd likely chose to start the clock at Whitney Portal out of logistical convenience (and perhaps due to historical precedent as well). The trail is what it is. FKT JMT is unambiguous and does not change to suit the needs of record seekers.

I was not planning on divulging this, but on my upcoming unsupported attempt I intend to start at Whitney Portal. I feel the benefits of the challenge to beat the supported record being unsupported (I’m not saying I think I can do this!) surpasses the marginal increase in probability of not beating the unsupported record by starting at the Portal. I choose to do this knowing it will hurt my time on the JMT portion itself. I am doing this because my primary objective is to beat all existing records. I have been training for about 6 months and have never done an ultra (though my recon hikes were effectively ultras I suppose). Therefore, I know whatever time I get, I will have the capability to beat it by a fair margin with more training and experience in the future. If in the future my objective is to obtain my fastest conceivable time--even supported--I may not start at the Portal.

I am not interested in convincing anyone where to start their record attempt—all the information regarding the subject is available for people to decide for themselves--but there is one point I would like to make which is geared towards future record seekers. At some point in the future the supported record will fall to the point that the difference between starting at the Portal and the summit becomes significant. When this occurs it is inevitable that someone will do a supported attempt starting at the summit and break the Whitney-Happy Isles time. This will invariably put a cloud over the existing “supported record holder” and to the true FKT. Future supported record seekers should be aware of this eventuality.

Each JMT record seeker has their own reasons why they willingly put themselves through such pain. Some think records are only records if they are recognized by the relevant community. Others could not care less if anyone recognizes their record. Personal satisfaction is sufficient. I fall in the latter camp. Personally, if I’m ever in a situation to contend the FKT JMT and I think that starting at the Portal could jeopardize my chances of beating the existing record—or if I am trying to achieve my absolute best time, I will sit on the summit of Whitney for 2 weeks acclimating and go from there.

There are currently two worlds. One thinks FKT JMT is measured from the Portal and the other believes from the summit of Whitney. The competitors must choose which world to inhabit and be content with the consequences of their choice. Nothing else matters.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Brett Maune - JMT Record Attempt Late July on 07/23/2009 23:52:02 MDT Print View

Brett
Holey Moley that's a lot to digest.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:01:33 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Unsupported Attempt on 07/24/2009 10:33:39 MDT Print View

Art,

I didn't mean to overwhelm you with my response. I just wanted to state my thoughts on the matter to the community once and for all and be done with it. It's funny, when I first encountered the debate I thought it was a bit silly. Inevitably though you are forced to take it quite seriously if you are willing to put yourself through the effort of breaking one of these records. You have to care.

Personally, I view the unsupported record as starting from the summit, the supported record by convention starting from the Portal, and the FKT JMT effectively a subset of the supported record.

Thanks for mentioning Catra's efforts. I wasn't aware of it. There may be a chance we will cross paths.

Oh, and if by any chance a record gets broken in the next week. Please post it here so I know what it is while acclimating and hiking!

Thanks,
Brett

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Unsupported Attempt on 07/31/2009 22:08:36 MDT Print View

Hey Brett,
Well here is my nickel from someone who made an attempt at the Unsupported Record.
The John muir Trail is from Yosemite to Whitney.
since we agree with that, here are some current stipulations.

Since the ultra running crowd deemed it necessary to start at the portal, a change hasn't been made due to the fact you made about the time that could be gained when you didn't have to gain 6,000' before you started.

When and if everything settles and Michael Popov "If" he has both records would like to propose that the clock gets started for both at the summit of Whitney.
However, since it is not fair that he had to make that extra effort to get to the top, he would like the chance to break his own record the next year from the time at the top and starting from the top and have that be the "Official Record".
If it it proposed and agreed upon, then I'm sure others could go for the record next year before him starting the time from the top.
If they were to beat his time from the top and he was not able to beat there’s, then that person would have the record.

Yes, it is a lot to digest.
I hate when people think that any 125 mile a week runner can do this and break the record easily.

It is a whole new game when you get into day 3 without much sleep. You can be a top 1% runner and it doesn't make any difference until you do it.
You also have to like this crazy stuff we do.

I am not fast and Trail running 50k's to 100 milers is not my cup of tea.

However, I can go head to head with the best multiday runners in the world on a course I like and do very well because the battle is what it is all about for me.

Primal Quest for 10 days and 17 hours of sleep, heck yeah.
3rd place at Across the Years 72 hours race with 233 miles, (beating Michael Popov) now we're talking.

The closest thing to the above are these multi-day records.
Since I am not well built and hate the weight, it hasn't been good to me.
I am 0 and 2 with my record attempts, (JMT Unsupported in 2007 and TRT Unsupported this year).
Then again, Michal can just blow me away with a 15 pound pack on.

I will keep trying because it is just what I like to do.

I like the fact that you just want to see what you've got and get the best time "YOU" can.
That is really what it is all about.
even though there is a record out there, it may never belong to me, but it is just what I like to do.

I will be out there crewing and pacing Michael Popov.

He is starting Monday night, or (really the 4th Tuesday at 12:00am).

This means he will be done on Friday.

I will be seeing him at the end of day 2 on Wednesday night.
I hope you are able to update the time by then.
I am sure he would really like to know what happens with you.
Best of luck out there.
He was really moving during his Unsupported Record Attempt.
I passed him into the first night just before Glen Pass and once he passed me back, I never even caught a glimpse of him again.
What ever you do, be happy that you made the effort to do it. The trail will still be there. It still lingers over me, and I can still hear the call.

Edited by awsorensen on 07/31/2009 22:24:14 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Unsupported record attempt on 08/03/2009 21:13:54 MDT Print View

Just a quick note for now. I want to get this out ASAP. I, uh...failed. I bonked hard core on the first day and couldn't recover. I will post the details of the fiasco soon. I would very much appreciate any advice from the community to help me fix my diet. I really would like to give this another shot this year.

Aaron, tell Michael I wish him the best, but that doesn't mean he can go ahead and crush the record (yet) :)

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Mega Bonk on 08/03/2009 23:09:11 MDT Print View

This post describes my presumed mega-bonk during the recent JMT record attempt. I’ll try to get the (short) trip report up tomorrow. Again, I would greatly appreciate any advice from the community to fix my racing diet. Unfortunately the only way to completely test a diet is to do the actual hike, but if I’m going to try this record attempt again I want to be as sure as possible at least the diet will work.

I originally was going to do a Perpetuem diet as advocated by Mark Davis. I eventually dismissed this after a few test hikes. I thought the powder mixing took too long and I didn’t like using water bottles on the sides of my pack (I never tried to mix the powder in a camel bag). So I switched to hammer gel. The gel worked great. I never had a problem with it and used it for all of my long JMT recon hikes, but it was really heavy! I realized too late that it was only ~2.5 cal/g instead of ~4 I expected. I guess Hammer adds a lot of water to the Maltodextrin. With ~20k cal of the gel my pack weighed nearly 30 lbs. After conducting all of my recon hikes with this heavy pack I decided to switch to an untested diet consisting of 20% gel and 80% snickers (injesting ~260 cal/hr) for the actual record attempt to reduce weight. I thought I would be safe with this fat/carb mix but apparently I wasn’t. After ~16 hours/55 miles of hiking on the first day I think I had a major bonk near Pinchot Pass.

In retrospect I’m guessing the fat components of the ~10 snicker bars I had up until that time were slowly accumulating in my stomach partially digested, inhibiting digestion of the carbs. When I bonked (I didn’t realize it was a bonk at the time) I injested gel and another snickers but it had no effect. I was dead in the water. I could barely move uphill. The sun was setting so I decided to take a 3 hour nap. When I awoke I had more gel and snickers but still had zero energy. I waited another 30 min with no improvement and knew it was over at that point. I awoke the next morning again with no improvement. I inched my way up towards Pinchot Pass and finally started regaining energy around noon. The ‘bonk’ lasted ~16 hours after which I was completely fine! Was this really a bonk? Can the snickers cause the bonk to last this long? I’ve only ever bonked while cycling prior to this and recovery from that was pretty quick. I’m not sure it was a bonk but don’t know what else it could have been...

Ok, now for the proposed solution. So I’m thinking of using simply Maltodextrin (4 cal/g)—the sugar used in Hammer gel and Perpetuem as my primary energy source. I’m not sure how much I should consume though. Others on these forums claim that only about 250 cal/hr can be digested during intense exercise. On the first day of the JMT I may burn nearly 20k calories but would only consume 6k in Maltodextrin. Can I really make up the difference by metabolizing fat? That seems like an insane caloric shortfall. I’m concerned I would be setting myself up for another bonk even if I consume only carbs.

So I guess in summary:
Is it likely the ~10 snickers bars caused an extended bonk lasting 16 hours?
Can I live primarily on Maltodextrin—consuming 250 cal/hr while burning ~20k cal per day? Can I consume more than 250 cal/hr?
Has anyone tried corn syrup as an energy source?

I’m also trying to devise a way to easily injest the Maltodextrin powder without the inconvenience of mixing it with water. I’m thinking of trying to solidify/mold chunks by dissolving it in water and then drying it or maybe even pressing it into ‘cookies’. I’m not sure if these will work. Any suggestions?

I would greatly appreciate any help in this matter. I need to get this solved before the next attempt!

Thanks,
Brett

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
bonking! on 08/03/2009 23:26:32 MDT Print View

Is it likely the ~10 snickers bars caused an extended bonk lasting 16 hours?

LOL. In Australia, the words "bonk" and "bonking" are in common usage. However I'm guessing they mean something different in the US, because over here 'bonking' means having sex!

So, as I read it, you spent 16 hours on the trail having sex and are blaming it on snickers bars. Too funny! =-)

Edited by ashleyb on 08/03/2009 23:32:45 MDT.

twig .
(bretthartwig) - MLife

Locale: Australia
JMT speed record attempt on 08/03/2009 23:35:09 MDT Print View

"Mega-Bonk"

Sounds great!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Mega Bonk on 08/03/2009 23:57:38 MDT Print View

Brett
nice try, there's always next time.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:10:14 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Mega Bonk on 08/04/2009 00:07:58 MDT Print View

Wow,
I couldn't help you with the food matter.
After a day of running I have a horrible time eating on the go.

I also use Perpetuim, jels and snikers for calories.
I go for about 40% with the perpetium, just so I don't have to stop and eat all the time.
I used it for 10 days of Primal Quest in Moab and it worked just fine.

I agree with the calorie density though, not good at all.

The only thing I can remotely suggest what happened is if your body depleted its self of either potassium or sodium.

I have had a problem with the potassium during my 72-hour race. I knew it would be a problem so I was eating plenty of bananas and oranges.
Turned out it was way too much fruit and I took about 15+ trips to the john over the next 12 or so hours.
This made a really lousy second day for me.
When I visited medical, he recognized right off the bat that I was very low on potassium and said I needed to lay off the fruit and take potassium pills.
My legs and even the rest of my body had some serious shacking action going on when I was at rest.

I recovered after about 2 hours and made a great come-back after that.

As far as sodium goes, with the speed you were pushing, it would seem like the likely cause.
I wouldn't blame it on the calories or any particular food other than not selection something with more sodium.

If you depleted you body while you were pushing that fast, and with the heat, I could easily see the bonking happen for the time period it did with you.
Especially if you did not immediately notice it and try to recover it would only keep getting worse.
Even when you stop, you body is so wound up, that you will just continue to go down hill for many hours.

Sometimes, if if you don't loose that much weight after a very hard, long race, it may just be because you hydrated well and it is just water weight.
2 days later, with your body still on over-drive, you may have lost another several pounds.

If you read the prior JMT attempt stories, someone mentions that over the next few days they were so hot they couldn't sleep without sweating puddles.

In the end, a lack of sodium will make you fell exhausted and depleted of energy. The heat you were in can magnitude that immensely.

So my suggestion is just more sodium and potassium, as well as some amino acids thrown in.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Mega Bonk on 08/04/2009 17:21:26 MDT Print View

Thanks for everyone's input.

What's really frustrating about my 'bonk' or whatever it was is that I had no problems on my recon hikes. My 4 recon hikes generally consisted of a ~50 mile day followed by 30 +- 10 mile day. I had no nutritional problems and I was consuming entirely hammer gel. My recon hikes were conducted at a ~3.5 day JMT pace. For the actual attempt I planned (and did) go about ~10% faster. I was acclimated though so the effective increase in effort was less. The longest recon hike weekend was 92 miles and I had no serious problems (the balls of my feet were beginning to hurt though).

Based on my recon hikes it seems my problem was most likely the change in diet (snickers!) and probably not something like an electrolyte imbalance. Although I was going faster I felt I wasn't overly stressing myself. I don't think temps were a problem either. It was still cool going up Forester pass and I had a nice cold light rain going up Glen.

Ugh, I feel like I will be flying blind on the next attempt. I guess this is where experience really counts. Everyone needs to find the diet/supplements which work for them.

So what do people think about 80% Maltodextrin and 20% snickers (for some fat and protein)? how about 300 cal/hr? or more?

Thanks,
Brett

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: JMT Mega Bonk on 08/04/2009 17:32:16 MDT Print View

Brett,
I would highly recommend going to the Hammer web site and downloading the fueling handbook.pdf. It's free and probably the best book that I have ever read concerning nutrition.

I'm using the products as I prepare for a marathon later this fall and I tested it recently on a two day 40 mile hike. Worked great for me. I use HEED, perpetum, gels and electrolyte capsules.

Even if you don't use the products the handbook will give you an understanding of what and how your body reacts to endurance sports.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: JMT Mega Bonk on 08/04/2009 20:36:36 MDT Print View

"I originally was going to do a Perpetuem diet as advocated by Mark Davis. I eventually dismissed this after a few test hikes. I thought the powder mixing took too long and I didn’t like using water bottles on the sides of my pack (I never tried to mix the powder in a camel bag)."

Brett,

If you can get over you dislike of a bottle on the side of your pack, you might try a technique that Hammer recommends: Mix the powder with just enough water to form a paste and them slurp out a mouthful and dilute to proper strength by drinking from your bladder. If you do it this way, and use perhaps a quart gatorade bottle, you can reduce the number of times you have to stop and mix to maybe 3-4/long day. You can get a lot of Perpetuem in a quart bottle by adding just enough water to make a thick slurry. The good thing about Perpeturem is that it also contains protein and fat. Another powder to maybe take a look at is Ultragen. It contains glucose, whey protein, some BCA's, and a full complement of vitamins and electrolytes. Ultragen is meant to be a recovery drink, but the glucose gets where it needs to go very quickly and makes an excellent "bonk" antodote. It could easily be used on the move in an ultra event such as the JMT record. It might be worth experimenting with a combination of these two on some long back to back days during training. They both supply a lot of carbs and Ultragen, in particular, has a good healthy dose of protein in the form of whey protein.
You should also have some body fat to supply energy. It doesn't require any digesting and would bypass any stomach problems that might result from trying to digest fat rich foods on the move. Best of luck next time!

My 2 cents.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
JMT Attempt on 08/04/2009 23:46:52 MDT Print View

Hi Brett

Good going on your JMT attempt. It has to be one of the hardest race courses in the world. All those rocks!! I am glad to read that you will try again.

Well, I too started an unsupported JMT attempt on Aug 2 at 0600 from the summit of Mt Whitney and ended my attempt at the Woods Creek Bridge. After I developed bad cramps in my legs going up Glen Pass I determined that the best thing to do was to take a left turn and hike down to Roads End. I knew that my leg cramps would not be relieved soon and that my attempt was toast. My average speed at that point was 3.2 mph. Art's comment on speed may be applicable. I am not an ultra runner and it may have been better for me to have finessed my way to Yosemite. Last year I listened to my body more and stopped when I felt it was right. This year I trained with longer runs and then gave myself a set plan on the trail. I wanted to be at Lake Marjorie by 2400.

I used the Hammer stuff again (No they still don't pay me and after this bailout I'm not even holding out for a free shaker bottle). I do use the perpetuem because it is much lighter than the gel, which has water in it. My pack weight at the start was 12 lbs and I had about 16k cals. It was a great pack to run with. I used a 1L bottle and a shaker ball stored in my pack with a hands free tube to drink from. It worked well, but I wish I also had my filter bottle to drink water freely from every stream. I do treat my water because I don't want to get sick. That could be seriously dangerous in the weakened condition that a JMT attempt creates.

On the bright side, I did meet Michael Popov at Trail Camp. He should be running for Yosemite right now with the help of his support team. He is very friendly and I wish him the best luck on his attempt. Also, the night on the summit of Whitney was fantastic.

Mark

PS: Thanks for providing this thread to post on

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: JMT Attempt on 08/05/2009 00:05:22 MDT Print View

Hopefully all these attempts are done by thursday night. They're calling for quite a storm out there.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Attempt on 08/05/2009 00:05:34 MDT Print View

Mark,
So is there a next time for you as well?

I know that if Michael and/ or Kilian don't take much time off the Supported record, I'll give it a go.

All those rocks with the weight do not go hand in hand with running. It becomes more of the fastest hiking pace you can go.
Take that weight off and I'll be sooooooo much happier.

Thank you for the update.
I'll be heading up there Wednesday night to help Michael out.
I also found out that his other pacer will not be able to run with him, so it will be the 2 of us from Reds Meadow to Yosimte.
Oh yeah, 57 miles in 18 hours. I can't wait.

I plan on helping Michael out as much as possible throught the night, taking as much weight and basicaly draining myself over the time so that by the time first light comes, I may be spent and have to have him go ahead, but in the end, as long as it gets him there faster it will all be worth it.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/05/2009 00:26:19 MDT.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Yosemite Finish on 08/05/2009 09:35:07 MDT Print View

Aaron:

I will be in Yosemite staying with a friend in Wawona on Friday. I gave Michael my cell phone number at Trail Camp. If your support crew has it call me when you have an idea of a finish time or if you need some shuttle help or even some supplies brough up. I would be glad to do what ever I can to help. Good luck and I hope the WX is not a problem.

jonathan lorenz
(punkture) - F

Locale: Northern California
jmt weather on 08/05/2009 09:39:22 MDT Print View

wheres the best place to get weather forecasts for the jmt?

Edited by punkture on 08/05/2009 09:39:59 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Attempt - Mark on 08/05/2009 10:01:03 MDT Print View

Mark
Great effort, sorry it did not work out.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:11:10 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/05/2009 10:03:23 MDT Print View

Brett, It isn't correct to call what you experienced a bonk (even in american English). A bonk results from depletion of you glycogen stores, and will be immediately corrected by ingestion of sugar. So, electrolyte or other imbalances are the likely cause.

Good discussions. I'm in the "record starts at the Portal" camp. It's car-to-car.

PB

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
WX on 08/05/2009 10:09:58 MDT Print View

The National Weather Service web site is the best place to get weather info.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/05/2009 11:49:55 MDT Print View

Oh Peter,
I didn't know you were on dark side.

So what is it about car to car?
Since it all started pretty much with you, you are the perfect person to ask.

Since it is supported any way, you can always have help getting acclimatized before you head out.

I completely understand the car to car thing, but it is not the JMT.
It is the JMT plus the trip from the Portal.
Again, not the JMT.

So if you were going for the JMT record, then shouldn't it be the JMT you are doing and not any additional mileage?

I would just like to know your opinion on this.

By the way, Michael Popov is on his 2nd day.
He left 45 minutes behind his 75:45 schedule.

He only got about 1 1/2 hours of sleep before his 12:00am start, so it's as good as expected.

I am heading off now to help him tonight.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 08/05/2009 12:24:09 MDT Print View

Mark--sorry to hear about the cramps, but if they were going to strike I guess it's better sooner than later (at least that's how I felt about my meltdown).

A lot of good posts. I'll write more tonight and finally try to get my abbreviated TR done. I've been busy ordering stuff (shoes, 50 lb bag of Maltodextrin, etc.) for the second attempt.

Brett

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/05/2009 20:23:00 MDT Print View

The jmt is arbitrary, but the route is not. John Muir hisself has nothing to do with it. Car-to-car is what makes sense. Hanging out on the summit before the start doesn't make sense.
P

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/05/2009 21:32:30 MDT Print View

Since the official JMT runs from the summit to the portal, why is there even a debate over what the official record would be? Adding on extra beyond the official trail is arbitrary.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT speed record Summit v.s. Portal on 08/06/2009 00:00:14 MDT Print View

1. Arbitrary :
I agree with Peter, the JMT is just an arbitrary course established by government bureacrats after John Muirs Death. The JMT is not even its own trail for much of the way, forced to share footsteps with the PCT. Everyone who does the JMT starts from or finishes at the Portal, they don't get a helicopter ride to the summit. John Muir himself would probably laugh at the idea of a summit start, asking "how do I get there to begin?".

2. Respect for the wilderness :
The Whitney Zone is a very sensitive over used environment. Out of respect to the land we race on, we should spend as little time there as possible.
Out of respect for the wilderness in general we should attempt to race on her terms not ours. Alpinists do things "car to car". This means the adventure starts when they leave the civilization of the paved road, and ends when they return to the paved road. Respect for the spirit of backcountry adventure implies a "car to car" race course.

Edited by asandh on 08/08/2009 10:16:16 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Failed JMT record attempt TR on 08/06/2009 00:55:16 MDT Print View

Here’s my trip report for the short unsupported JMT record attempt.

Problems began before I even started hiking. Although I spent considerable time planning the hike I spent no time planning acclimation. I camped in the Horseshoe Meadow area for the 3.5 days prior to the hike. I did not bring a tent and slept in my bivy sack. This really sucked and was uncomfortable. I also had no hope of altering my sleep schedule for the early morning start (I still don’t know how this could realistically be done in the wilderness). I awoke at midnight Wednesday morning with maybe an hour worth of sleep and started driving to the Portal. I was quite upset that I was starting the hike sleep deprived and estimated it would cost me 4 hours—and perhaps a lot more. Lessons learned.

I got to the trailhead about 1:10 AM and there was already a party forming. I enthusiastically headed toward the scale for the traditional pack weighing. I had done all my recon hikes with ~17k calories worth of heavy hammer gel and another ~2k worth of Perpetuem and estimated my pack weighed 28 lbs (pack contents discussed later). At the last minute I decided to swap 14k of those calories for denser snickers bars to save weight and added another 2k in nice fatty salty sausage. Now I was ready to see the fruits of my nutrition reconfiguration—27 lbs! I was quite depressed. I was expecting to see 25…ok strike 2…

I started hiking at 1:15 AM Wed. and sought to match Sue Johnston’s time of 4:09 to the summit but no faster (as this wasn’t part of the JMT right everyone? ;)). My stomach soon cramped—I gorged myself just before starting with chocolate chip cookies and hammer gel. I lost a lot of weight during the recon hikes and I doubt I had more than 5 lbs of body fat left to burn. I assumed I would be metabolizing muscle before the end and I figured consuming 1k calories now meant 1k calories worth of muscle saved. So I slowed a bit and the cramps went away. As I ascended Whitney the cooler temps encouraged me to go faster. If I’m not sweating it’s hard for me to hold myself back and inevitably I kept accelerating the higher I went and reached the summit in 3:50. Way faster than I wanted. I then spent 10 min unsuccessfully trying to call my wife from the summit (what the hell?!?), signed the register (first entry on 7/29) after nearly missing it, and left the summit at 5:17 AM.

I ran down towards guitar lake as the sun rose and made excellent time over this stretch. I refilled my 3L camel bag for the first time below guitar lake and planned to do so every 4-6 hours depending on temperature. Once I finished the quick descent down to the Crabtree Meadow junction I knew the real work was just beginning and I resolved to never relax over the remaining 200 miles. I was determined to push it all the way. Soon I became ravenously hungry. I was consuming a snickers every hour starting at guitar lake but they did nothing to quench the hunger (perhaps they weren’t being digested? Hmm…). The temptation to devour a handful of snickers was overwhelming but I resisted. I was bringing ~21k calories and felt I needed every calorie to make it to Yosemite. I felt I needed to stick to the rationing plan at all costs so as to not run out of food short of the finish and crash. In other words this was managed starvation. Anyway I eventually made it to Forester Pass in 5:47 (7 min ahead of schedule).
The section between Forester and Glen was fairly uneventful. I had a nice cold light rain during the initial steep rise out of the valley (I don’t remember that portion being so steep on the recon hike!) and nice cooling cloud cover for most of the remaining portion up to the pass. I began getting sleepy but felt I could still easily make it past Mather before sleeping the first time. I made it to Glen Pass in 3:37 (3 min ahead of schedule). The descent down to Woods Creek was uneventful. I did not run as much of the rocky sections as I could have and arrived at the bridge in 2:27 (27 min behind schedule—though I don’t think my 2:00 est. is practical).

At this point I did ~52 miles in 15:53 essentially exactly as I projected and felt pretty good, with no indications of the coming meltdown a few miles up the trail. Just below the plateau leading to Pinchot Pass I began getting tired. Within 10 minutes I could barely move. One step sent my pulse racing. I had no idea what was happening. When I stopped I felt sick, so I had to keep going. I consumed gel and snickers but they had no effect. I eventually stopped and decided to try and sleep and hope the problem would magically disappear in 4 hours. I awoke in 3 hours and ate more snickers and sausage. No improvement. I sat on a rock for 30 min and again with no improvement went to sleep with no alarm set. I awoke at dawn and still had no energy. I painfully slowly inched myself towards Pinchot Pass to exit via Taboose Pass and then hitch hike back to the car. Near the Taboose Pass trail junction I began feeling better. I was still in contention to break Popov’s record but I was hoping to do much better and had no desire to continue. Besides, at this point I still had no idea what was wrong.

By the time I got to Taboose Pass I was cured. My attention shifted to getting back to my car. I asked people as they were coming up how far ahead was the last group going down. I knew this was not a popular trail and was worried there would be no one to give me a ride back to my car—or at least to the 395. A guy I met near the pass said there was a group about an hour ahead. So…I started running down. 30 min pass and I meet another group and they say the same thing—another hour ahead. I run faster. About 30 min later the same story. “Crap, I might not catch them” I think to myself. Now I’m flying down the trail kamikaze style. I’m running towards the desert as fast as I can and it’s getting hot. I occasionally stop to make sure I don’t overheat. By the time I get to the trailhead I feel like I’m in a blast furnace. I get to the trailhead (1:46—may be a record! Ha!) and there are cars but no people. Bummer. I get water from the creek and can’t wait for Aqua Mira to do its magic and drink ~2L immediately. I refilled my camel bag and walked the 5 miles to the 395. I need to practice hitchhiking I guess cause no one would pick me up! After ~1.5 hours of dehydrating next to the highway I was getting desperate and started flashing a $20 as enticement for someone to give me a ride (it never worked!). After another 30 min my savior arrived and I was on my way to Lone Pine…

A note about pace. When I learned of the record I was surprised the average speed was less than 3mph (this is when I was totally clueless about such things). At the time I felt humans should be capable of averaging 3 mph indefinitely. What I didn’t realize then is that achieving this pace roughly requires averaging 3.5 mph when conscious, and 4 mph when actually moving. Given that 3 mph is effectively an upper bound when ascending passes this puts a lower limit on the speed of doing the flats/downhill. Although I’m still convinced someone will eventually do the JMT unsupported in less than 3 days (3mph) I have 'begun' to realize how truly difficult this is to do in practice. Using my recon hikes and Sue’s and others’ times, I spent considerable effort on trying to estimate my times during the actual record attempt. This analysis suggested a time not much over 3 days was possible. Now, I’m not crazy. I know it’s impossible to predict with any confidence fatigue and so forth in the latter half of the trail. I completely agree with Aaron’s comments. The record is set in the second 100 miles. The first 100 is just a qualifier. With a large pile of hope, I set my pace to achieve the time I thought I theoretically could if I somehow defied the odds and managed a perfect run. Well, I didn’t, but that’s why I was going so fast before the meltdown. My real goal was to crush Sue’s time. Now, if Michael doesn’t knock the record below a certain level I will still feel compelled to try and break the new supported record again, even though it will greatly increase the probability of total failure and of not even completing the hike, but that’s how it goes…


Notable pack contents:
4lbs hammer gel 4.6k cal
6lbs 50 snickers bars 14k cal
1lb sausage 2.2k cal
6.6lbs 3L camel bag (given my setup and that I was treating the water I felt carrying more water saved time)

total pack weighed 27lbs so I guess base weight was about 9lbs

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT summit vs. portal on 08/06/2009 01:05:37 MDT Print View

Everything I ever want to say concerning this issue is at the beginning of the thread, but I just want to reiterate some things. I'm totally cool with there being something called "supported JMT record" being defined by convention to start at the portal. FKT JMT is purely a function of where someone believes the JMT starts/ends. Clearly there's a difference of opinion on this, but everyone who cares about this knows the circumstances. No one on either side will be convinced so don't even try. FKT JMT will inevitably mean different things to different people.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Nutrition and pack weight on 08/06/2009 01:48:16 MDT Print View

Tom and Mark, I'm going to reevaluate Perpetuem. I'm using a GoLite Jam pack and tried using Perpetuem with bottles in the side compartments. I found that my arms would hit the bottles when I ran and occasionally they would fly out. This made me very unhappy...I may try the paste idea and may mix my own concoction with Maltodextrin and emergen-C (recommended by someone) + snickers on the side

Mark—12 lbs!!! My food almost weighed that much! Was your base weight only ~2 lbs? Clearly I am not ‘backpacking light’. I don’t mind carrying more calories and water but I’m really concerned about the other 9 lbs. I have a couple items that could be lighter but those may trim at most 2lbs. I’m carrying a bivy sack, sleeping bag, pad etc.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
JMT speed record attempt on 08/06/2009 02:12:28 MDT Print View

Dunno what's in your pack but 27 pounds when you are trying to break a speed record in three days sounds absolutely nuts (no offense!). That's using up a huge amount of energy right there. I'd be aiming for base weight (without food/water) of 5 pounds *max*... and probably more like 2-3 pounds.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Failed JMT record attempt TR on 08/06/2009 02:43:50 MDT Print View

Did you ever read Al Shaver's account of his failed JMT attempt in 2006? Interesting read.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:13:13 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
semantics R fun. on 08/06/2009 10:03:32 MDT Print View

"I agree with Peter, the JMT is just an arbitrary course established by government bureacrats after John Muirs Death. The JMT is not even its own trail for much of the way, forced to share footsteps with the PCT. Everyone who does the JMT starts from or finishes at the Portal, they don't get a helicopter ride to the summit. John Muir himself would probably laugh at the idea of a summit start, asking "how do I get there to begin?"."


Arbitrary? Well, it's a trail that was made. If that's "arbitrary" so be it. But the JMT goes from Yosemite to the summit of Whitney. So if you do the JMT (hiking, ultra-running, whatever) it kinda seems like that's the route. Whitney Portal is simply the nearest trailhead. Most people end at Whitney, not start. So to talk about the comedy of a "summit start" might be the wrong way around, perhaps serving the needs of "record-seekers"? If Muir was going to laugh at anything (or cry), I would imagine it would be the existence of roads up in the Sierra, other development, over-logging, Hetch-Hetchy, bark beetles, disputed "records" for a "fast hike", or something more than then patent ridiculousness "summit start."

I dunno what "it's not even it's own trail" means. The OG JMT is really "forced to share footsteps" with the NKOTB PCT... so it's the other way around.


"The Whitney Zone is a very sensitive over-used environment. Out of respect to the land we race on, we should spend as little time there as possible.
Out of respect for the wilderness in general we should attempt to race on her terms not ours. Alpinists do things "car to car". This means the adventure starts when they leave the civilization of the paved road, and ends when they return to the paved road. Respect for the spirit of backcountry adventure implies a "car to car" race course."

Boy that seems to be heading towards specious-justification land. The "record" route should be from the Portal due to respect for the wilderness and "car-to-car" racing? I'm not sure where to even start with that.

Anyway, I really don't care one way or the other. It just seems like if you want to talk about racing, enduro-speed-crawling, or even hiking the JMT, adding a bit on the end (or start) of the JMT seems silly and contrived.

Also, as a tiny, tiny aside, does anyone ever do anything that's not a competition any more? Records, records, records. I'm faster than you. You tried, but you're not as fast as me. I know, it's human nature. (However... I bet right now... someone, somewhere, is doing something spectactular that isn't even planning on making a web page about it.)

Carry on.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
JMT pack weight on 08/06/2009 16:55:49 MDT Print View

Hi Brett

It is very impressive that you went so far and so fast with a 28 lb pack. You should give us some idea of your athletic background before your triple-crown feat.

If you want some beta on my planning here it is. Last year my base wt was 8 lbs with 10 lbs of food. I was 5 nights on the trail and came out with about 3 lbs of extra food. I use the term "food" but I mean sport drink powder. I was very happy with the outcome of my hike as I simply wanted to finish the JMT as a fastpack and did not try to set any record. I finished a whole day behind Michael's record. I did think that if I was to focus on a record attempt I might have some success.

Part of this effort was to reduce the weight of my pack. This is the intent of this web site and a great place to get ideas. The end result was a very light pack that had everything I needed or wanted except for a camera. Most of the gear I used was not unreasonably expensive and I will use all of it on trips other than a JMT run.

As far as "food" and total calories, you should get the Hammer booklet from their web site and read it carefully even if you don't use their products. The one thing to learn from it is that it doesn't matter how many calories you consume, what matters is how many calories you can digest, use, and finally remove from your system. Also, you can't replace all the calories that you use while you are working hard. We have entered into the realm of extreme endurance athletes, and I think it's a great place to go.

Here's my gear list to give you my ideas.

On me
Go-lite stride shorts (4oz)
Nike dri-fit shirt (2oz)
Nike cap (1oz)
Brooks Cascadia w/sole insert (23oz)
Dirty Girl gaiter (1oz)
4 Injinji mini crew socks treated with Blister Shield
Smith glasses
Carbonfiber XC sking poles w/ rubber tips(I would go back to the metal tips next time) (4oz)

In Pack
Go-lite Ion pack w/belt-pockets sewed on (10oz)
MSR E-Wing (6oz)
0.75 mm x 3' x 7' plastic painters tarp (1oz)
Bug head net (1oz)
Go-lite Ultra 20 sleeping bag (19oz)
Evazote pad (5oz)
New Balance running pants (4oz)
MB wind jacket (3oz)
Under Armour Shirt (4oz)
Fleece hat (1oz)
Camelbak 1L bottle w/ handsfree & shaker ball (4oz)
Steripen (3.5oz) plus extra batteries
Aquamira tablets
Toothbrush w/ cut handle to fit in pack better
3 Deet wipes
6 Quickstik
6 baby wipes and ziplock bag for carry out
mini lighter
very mini Swiss Army knife
Benzoin in tiny dropper
Credit Card, Drivers Lic, Cash & cell phone

In belt pockets
Notebook
pencil
permit
watch
Blackdiamond headlamp (3oz)
Sunscreen stick
Bandana

My "food" this year was again Perpetuem and Recoverite plus one caffinated gel for the morning and one power bar for a mid-day break. Also 4 fish oil caps per day. I had about 4 days of "food" leaving the summit of MT Whitney (and don't even think of dragging me into that subject!!! HYOH and I will respect it). This was the minimum needed to reach Yosemite.

The one thing that I did't have that I should have had was a filter bottle so that I could drink as much water as I wanted in addition to the sport drink. I think I needed both even though I mixed the Perpetuem to drink straight. It was very hot going over both Forester and Glen Pass and that probably lead to my cramps. Other than my cramps I felt great and had all the energy I needed.

I wish you greay success on you next atempt
Mark

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: JMT pack weight on 08/06/2009 20:22:21 MDT Print View

Mark,
Have you used the Hammer Endurolytes? Might help with the cramps.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT pack weight on 08/07/2009 03:44:44 MDT Print View

Mark,

Regarding fitness and preparation, I think I started getting in shape around late Jan/early Feb. I initially did not give the JMT record attempt much thought because I felt I did not have sufficient time to properly get in shape to have a chance. I knew I would have to push the training as fast as I could. There was no gradual ramp. I assumed I would develop an injury at some point and that would end it.

To make the most of my limited time during the week, I focused on increasing my maximum cardio output by running up a fire road with about 1400 feet of gain. I eventually worked up to doing this 4 days a week and ultimately ascended at a rate just below 4000 ft/hr—at the time of the Triple Crown I was probably in the 3300 ft/hr range. The weekends were reserved for the long hikes. I did Cactus to Clouds a couple times and random 2x mile hikes in the San Gabriel/Santa Monica Mountains with ~10k feet gain being typical. At the time of the Triple Crown I had done nothing more than about half of the gain and distance of that hike. Although I felt I could complete the hike (once the powerade problem was solved), I thought doing it under 24 hours would be close. After the hike was over I felt surprisingly good and at that point began to seriously consider the record attempt.

Soon after the Triple Crown I stopped the cardio work and just focused on piling on mileage. I started running about 1:15 4 days during the week (and am still doing this). The next weekend I tried day hiking the Santa Monica Backbone Trail but developed shin splints in the first 5 miles. At the time I thought the pain was due to an unrelated injury so I ignored it. I kept going and eventually did 26 miles that day, but by the end I was shouting from the pain with each step. I thought this was the end. The injury finally occurred. I took a week off, iced the shins, took ibuprofen, and hoped. I felt I had no choice but to resume training at full intensity because of the limited time. Miraculously, the shin splints mostly abated?!? They return occasionally but never become debilitating. I do worry though they will return with a vengeance at some point during an extended JMT record attempt though.

A few weeks later I started the 4 JMT recon hikes. The longest day hike I did before the JMT recon hikes was the 53 mile Silver Moccasin Trail. I was planning on doing longer day hikes at the end but I felt they wouldn’t be beneficial and may actually be counterproductive (especially with the specter of the shin splints returning).

Regarding gear,
Mark, I really appreciate you providing your gear list with weights. It has highlighted some defects with my gear. Unfortunately I don’t know how much everything weighs so some estimates need to be made. Ignoring the small stuff I think the important points are:

Pack—my go lite jam pack is (1 lb 10 oz), yuck, but I want to keep it
Sleeping bag—Western Mountaineering highlite (17oz)
Pad—3/8” thick evazote from gossamer—sounds like yours (5oz)
I had the 1/8” version but it fell off my pack during the Tuolumne/Donohue/Happy Isles recon hike and it’s been out of stock ever since. Same for the BPL DIAD pad…
Bivy sack--this is my worst item. It’s a giant sack from REI that I’ve had for years. I think it weighs as much as my bag. I have a (6oz) space blanket from AMK which I can swap it with.

Clothes:
The clothes I wear during the day are pretty light except for the hat but I don’t know how much they weigh.
Rain shell—golite virga jacket (8oz)
Long sleeve polyester shirt—this feels quite heavy
Fleece jacket—this also feels heavy

3L camel bag (8-16oz?)
life-link rainier trekking poles (1 lb 3 oz) OMG….

So it looks like I could trim my base by 2-3 lbs. I think there may be another 1 lb or so left unaccounted with food packaging. The hammer gel bottles surely weigh something…I could save a lot of weight by taking less calories buy I’m really concerned about exhausting all my body fat before the end. I don’t want to run out of food and want to take no less than 20k calories. I’m 6’ and (now) only 155 lbs.

Regarding cramps, I have also been taking Endurolytes. S!caps have also been recommended to me by an ultrarunner.

Thanks for the info,
Brett

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
JMT speed record attempt on 08/07/2009 04:06:54 MDT Print View

I can't stress strongly enough how much difference carrying extra weight will slow you down in an endurance race. You burn *a lot* of extra calories lugging weight around, and the difference is even more dramatic when you have significant elevation changes. IMHO before attempting the record again you should seriously cut down your base weight to under 5 pounds. A fleece jacket?!! =-)

Once you get to the last day of the trail you're not going to be carrying much food at all, just a bit of water. So then you are effectively down to pretty close to your base weight. Imagine then that you are racing to beat another guy who is only carrying 3 pounds while you are carrying 12. Who's gonna win? (Hint: not you!).

Shoes are a big thing too. Not sure what you are wearing but I'd be looking at getting something really light like some Inov8's.

Cheers, A

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 10:14:20 MDT Print View

Brett, you need a scale. The weights published in catalogs are not always correct and they are for only one size. As you go through your gear looking for light stuff it is hard to "feel" the weight difference between items, but that difference will add up. A good scale will help.

As for warm clothing while moving fast on the JMT in summer, I have never been cold. Rain, snow or wind can happen so a tight shell is needed, but they can be very light. Where I got cold was sleeping, so I got the 20 degree bag. I also switched from a bivy bag to a tarp so that I would be better protected in bad weather and have less condensation in my bag.

Shoes are a tough choice. I found if I go down to 10oz then I loose support and volume. I need the volume to fit a Sole insert, which keeps my feet in good shape and protects them from the hard rocks. My Cascadia's worked great and weighed 12oz, which is over an ounce less than the Salomons I used last year.

I do use E-Caps. They did help, but not enough. I think leg cramps occurred because of a lack of hot weather training. Central Oregon this year was very cool and wet. So my running did not prepare me for the Southern Sierras. My accamation backpack trip was also short and not as intense as last year. I did increase my daily run distance, but the heat and uphill training was not good enough.

I'm heading up to Yosemite today. I hope Michael does well.

Mark

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 11:12:46 MDT Print View

Wow, I had no idea how clueless I was regarding gear optimization. Once I got my WM high lite bag I thought I was doing pretty good but apparently not! I did buy a cheap bathroom scale to measure gear weight but it's totally useless for such purposes...

For shoes I'm using GoLite storm dragons with injiji socks. They were the first trail running shoes I ever bought and they were very comfortable--no hot spots even on the longest recon hikes (though my right pinky toe gets sore). I just wanted shoes which didn't give me blisters and I lucked out on the first try. I didn't think I had time to experiment with others so just keep using them. They fall apart pretty quickly though.

From the LOL comment I'm guessing my fleece jacket is not considered UL...any recommendations on a particular jacket with some insulation?

Mark, I'll probably get a long sleeve Under Armour Shirt and duplicate some other clothing items as well.

How about a particular trekking pole? I thought my poles were on the light side but apparently are 1 lb heavier than they need to be...

Thanks so much for the advice guys. This has been eye opening.

Brett

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 11:40:45 MDT Print View

I might be confused. You've done the Triple Crown? As in the AT, PCT, CDT? Did you hike those in boots or do them all in one year? I guess I assume that you either don't have a depth of experience because your first pair of trail runners were golites (which were released not long ago) or you've got a ton of experience (having done the triple crown in a year or two in trail runners).

Just curious.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
'SoCal' Triple Crown on 08/07/2009 11:57:40 MDT Print View

Mark was referring to my TR at the top of the thread. I did the 'SoCal' triple crown (Baldy, Gorgonio, Jacinto). I posted the TR because no one in this community knows who I am and I thought I should try to establish some credibility in the event I was successful.

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/515720/bear-flat-c2c-vivian-creek-socal-triple-crown-the-hard-way.html

No, I don't have much experience in UL trail/ultra running, but am trying to learn as much as fast as I can. I usually do more mountaineering type stuff. Many years ago I did double century cycling rides.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
record verification on 08/07/2009 12:12:00 MDT Print View

Speaking of credibility...For record verification purposes I was taking short video clips at all trail junctions including a shot of my watch. I thought this would be pretty convincing. On whitney I was going to ask someone to verify the time but no one was there predawn--i wasn't too concerned about this because one could judge the time of day by the twilight. i also wrote the time in the summit register. In the next attempt though i may leave the summit before twilight (with the later rising sun and possibly an earlier start) so there may be a glitch here, but realistically the time can be inferred from the next waypoint at crabtree meadow junction pretty accurately.

Angela Zukowski
(AngelaZ) - F

Locale: New England
Re: Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 12:16:13 MDT Print View

Brett: if you are looking for a warm layer, I can't say enough good things about my montbell thermawrap jacket. I know a lot of AT thru-hikers who wear them, too. It's actually too warm for me to hike while wearing it, except in the middle of New England winter and even then only if I'm moving slowly/stopping often.

The Leki's and REI poles I can think of offhand are about 14 or 15 oz. They definitely are not as light as these:

http://www.titaniumgoat.com/poles.html

which are awesome but I'm not sure if they are still selling them. The REI ones I got were cheap (on clearance for less than 60 bucks), weight 14 oz, and while they do have a tendency to occasionally collapse... they were so affordable that I don't care! If you can wait for their big sale... you may as well give them a shot.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
Poles on 08/07/2009 13:27:04 MDT Print View

A good carbon-fiber poles should be 4oz each or less. Used xc ski poles are a cheap way to get this. I used my wife's old xc poles and changed the tips and lenth. For more money collapsable poles are avilable. I almost bought some from this web-site that were on sale for a great price. I think they were about 4oz each. I tried rubber tips this year and they worked ok, but I think the metal tips do grip better in most conditions. I did'nt like the noise metal tips made or the little holes in the side of the trail.

This year for verification I made up tiny cards with an email address. It was fun handing these out and I have recieved several verifications already. Anytime someone would comment on how fast I was going or how little my pack was, I told them what I was doing and gave them a card. The cards had clear contact plastic sheet on the printed side to protect them from water. The backside could be writen on for time and location. I think this is about the best method of verification possible on a wilderness course. It was fun meeting people on the trail and I did meet some great people this way.

Well, I'm packed and off to Yosemite. It was very strange this week: one day on the JMT racing to Yosemite and the next on Zuma Beach laying in the sand watching my kids play in surf. Somehow I don't think I'm in the drivers seat!

Mark

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Zuma and Michael on 08/07/2009 15:45:41 MDT Print View

Mark,

I live/work near/in Malibu. Had I known you were near Zuma I would have tried catching you. It would have been great to talk in person.

Has anyone heard about Michael's progress? The suspense is getting to me...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 18:00:08 MDT Print View

"any recommendations on a particular jacket with some insulation?"

Brett,

Maybe take a look at the WM Flash vest. It weighs 3 1/2 oz and should be enough to keep your core warm on a summer effort, especially since you are on the move most of the time. Raingear: O2 Rainshield or Dri Ducks at around 5-5 1/2 oz, and they breathe extremely well and are fine for trail hiking; if no rain is expected, maybe consider a MB windshirt at 3 oz; For better breathability, consider the slightly heavier Patagonia Houdini. Poles: GG Lite Trek4's. A little over 4 oz each. Whatever long sleeve shirt you decide on, treat it with Permethrin and you won't have to worry about skeeters biting through it. Definitely experiment with the Recoverite that Mark mentioned and maybe also try Ultragen. It is analagous to Recoverite, but has a lot more electrolytes in it. You may find one or the other more palatable, an important issue in the stressful situation you will be facing.
A good bottle for mixing a Perpetuem paste might be something like one of those 16 oz Odwalla juice bottles. The mouth is wide enough to pour Perpetuem into, they weigh a little over an oz, and they are quite narrow, which means you could slot one into a side pocket and it wouldn't stick out enough to interfere with your swinging arms, and it would go into and out of the pocket with minimal effort.

Edited by ouzel on 08/07/2009 18:06:32 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/07/2009 19:40:44 MDT Print View

Folks - as far as verification (for what it's worth) a big step is announcing your intentions (in detail) in advance. I offer my site as a way to communicate this to the interested community:
http://pbakwin.home.comcast.net/FKT.html
PB

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Pack Weight on 08/07/2009 22:22:15 MDT Print View

Yep, what Tom said. The WM flash vest would be a great alternative, GG lightrek 4 poles are very light and well regarded.

Spend some time researching stuff on this site and asking questions, and you'll realise how much of an advantage you can gain by going UL without compromising comfort or safety. You should check out the "Community Gear Lists" section of the website and you'll be able to see what the guys who are "SUL" (super UL) are carrying. Also check Alan Dixon's website "Adventure Alan" to see a XUL (extreme UL) list with base weight of 2.4 pounds!

When you're running a race, all you need really is a bivy, a sleeping bag/quilt, and food/water plus a few minor essentials. Plus a small tarp if there is a chance of rain. So there is really no reason at all you can't get below 4 pounds baseweight in good weather, since you're not cooking and when you stop walking/running you are basically just going to lie down and sleep!

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
FKT on 08/08/2009 20:05:20 MDT Print View

YES
Peter Bakwin has provided us with a great website that keeps track of the Fastest Known Times for trail runs and other outdoor feats. This is a wonderful account of record for us off road racers (I loosley consider myself part of this group of great athletes). Anybody thinking of doing a trail run please post an anouncement on this site. Peter is an exterme athlete himself and has continued to provide us with a site to keep track of these wilderness race endeavors. Wish I could meet him too, seems like a nice guy. This sport has created a group of great people! This could expand to be somethind special.

Mark

PS: where is Michael?

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/08/2009 20:32:09 MDT Print View

Thanks for the kind words, Mark. I'm sorry that my site does not yet allow you to post. But, I will try to put things up quickly if people send me info. I created the site because there seemed to be sneed for a central location for this type of info. You may email me at the address indicated on the site.

Yes, where is Popov???

P

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
JMT speed record attempt where's Michael Popov on 08/09/2009 01:21:10 MDT Print View

So,
Michael's probably asleep right now in his bed for the next week recovering from what was his worst night in his life.

No, Michael did not make it to Yosemite, (again).
He had to bail at Tuolumne, (again).

We left Red's Meadow at 7:35pm, 63:35 hours in with 57.? miles left and 28:25 hours to do it in.

He had a plan to do the trail with 2 longer sleep periods and then do the last 86 miles with some naps.
He also had me pacing him so it should have been fine. He was trying to do as many segments at a sub 80 hour pace.
That didn't happen from the start, but the time lost was consistent.
He was actually right on pace as the past attempt. Pretty much within an hour the whole time.
If he had just slept for 2 to 3 hours at Reds, he would have been fine, but things don't always go as planed.

It started with stomach problems, leading to not wanting much food, leading to a slower pace and consistently getting worse.
Until the crash, he was having a blast, and flying while doing it.
There were other problems he said added to this, but it led to a crash that lasted well into the morning.

22 miles after Reds the record had slipped away.
It was that bad of a night, and it took 16.5 hours to do those 22 miles.
It was also 28 degrees that night, so the stoppage time was freezing.
We were even expecting snow and dressed to easily stay warm enough, (while on the move).

We both learned a lot about that night and realized what it will take to get through it in the future.
As for his attempt. He was moving at pace for the first few hours after Reds Meadow and even approaching the third day, he was hard to keep up with.

If Kilian doesn't take a huge chunk off the record, guess what's going to happen next year?
Unfinished business...
You know what they say; third times a charm.

Michael can give the rest of the story whenever he wakes up.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/09/2009 11:32:27 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt where's Michael Popov on 08/09/2009 15:02:49 MDT Print View

Glad to hear Michael is at least safe with no serious medical issues.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: JMT speed record attempt where's Michael Popov on 08/09/2009 16:23:56 MDT Print View

Sorry to hear about the failed attempt but glad to hear everyone is safe. I kept calling my wife while hiking this weekend to see if there was an update. Given nothing was posted immediately I feared the worst but thankfully it sounds everyone will be fine. Although we are competitors, I genuinely wished Michael (and Mark) would have succeeded in their efforts. I know how much time and energy goes into one of these things and hope everyone can have their "perfect run".

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
JMT again on 08/09/2009 16:46:59 MDT Print View

Hello, everyone! Thank you for your support for Brett and Mark in their valiant attempts at the trail! And for me as well.

I have finally woken up; the problems I have encountered in between Reds and Tuo were not entirely digestive, but also sleep-deprived. Unfortunately I have dislocated my shoulder the day before the run and ended up in the ER after running down the mountain to Portal to get the ride. After ER, of course, I threw away the required sling immediately (wear it for a month? pleease!), but the pain kept me from sleeping and I only got a little over an hour of sleep just before the start. That, I think, was a substantial part of the crash at Reds - not topping off the sleep tank with peaceful rest.

Hohestly, Reds to Tuo was the worst night of my life when I really did not care whether I'd live or die. I was not moving b/c of fatigue, and it was impossible to sleep b/c of freezing temps. Throat was extremely parched from the air of Evolution Valley and even gels were getting stuck midway through. I was falling backwards while trying to go, and have seen amazing things including "the tunnel" itself. At one point Aaron tried to hold my head, but dropped it against the ground hard by accident, and I don't even recall this happening. The whole night was the blur. Aaron, thank you for being there for me, friend.

That's the short recap of the bonk. I'm working on the full report and it should be out Monday.

I also have some input on the Portal-Top debate, but will hold off for a couple of days. I respect all the opinions, but would like to bring it to some formal final uniformity.

Edited by mpopov on 08/09/2009 16:55:55 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Pre-JMT pictures taken by Badwater Ben Jones on 08/09/2009 16:54:50 MDT Print View

http://sports.webshots.com/album/573885200IlcXef?vhost=sports

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT speed record attempt on 08/09/2009 16:55:23 MDT Print View

Micheal and Aaron--Congrats on the attempt to do the JMT and give yourself alot of credit for what you attempted to do..There is not that many people in your circle (HOBBIE-PASSION) Sounds like you need to go on a EASY backpacking trip to a local lake a just CHILL-OUT and fish, swim and drink a lot of beer!!!

Cheers-Jay

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/09/2009 17:02:57 MDT Print View

I think it's a GREAT idea, Jay! These types of events are done once a year at the best, and make great round-the-fire stories for the rest of the year. Until the next one... But seriously, I'm thinking the good come-down trip would be something like double Lost Coast in 3 days. I even volunteer to bring a bear can. The one with a Heinie logo on the side.

Edited by mpopov on 08/09/2009 17:04:47 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
JMT Record - Summit or Portal on 08/09/2009 21:00:38 MDT Print View

Some More Rules - Details
1. Where is the Northern terminus ? The sign or the stone bridge where the pavement begins?
2. Which trail do you follow in the Tuolumne area ? the original classic trail or the newer "official trail?
3. How do you pass thru Reds Meadow area? thru the Devils Postpile or up higher on the actual JMT?
4. When minutes start counting, these things matter. I'm sure there are others.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:15:11 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
JMT Speed Record Attempt on 08/09/2009 21:26:27 MDT Print View

I personally think Backpacking should never be a competition. Backpacking is a Hobby or Passion or something you do with the family and friends....I have much respect for Micheal and Aaron and even Andrew Skurka for all the things they have accomplished...There were no officials or referees when I did the JMT.. Hike your own Hike-Too each is there own....

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Ditto what jay said on 08/09/2009 21:34:34 MDT Print View

All I know is that if Jay was a fastpacker, the quality and quantity of JMT photos around here would seriously suffer.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT Record - Summit or Portal on 08/09/2009 21:58:48 MDT Print View

Art, I agree with everything you say here. Except that if someone wants to call it a JMT run, it should be run from terminus to terminus (where the northern terminus is is another good question). But if someone wants to run from the Portal, it should be called the "Whitney Trail - JMT bundle", as it is essentially two trails stacked together on top of each other.

I can't say much because of historic precedents, but if I were to choose, I'd choose the original historic John Muir Trail without any extra timed approaches. It's not that hard, really. I don't see what all the fuss is about. If one feels that it's "logistically easier" to go from car to car, then one probably should not undertake the trail in the first place when you're 25 miles away from the nearest civilization at the most times and with car access only at miles 163, 196, and finish.

This needs to be discussed with all previous record holders for the supported attempt, and see what they think.

Edited by mpopov on 08/09/2009 22:06:47 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
JMT pictures on 08/09/2009 23:43:05 MDT Print View

Mark Davis at Trail Camp on the evening bf the attempt

Michael Popov and Mark Davis at Trail Camp

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 00:08:36 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 01:16:04 MDT Print View

I agree that if there only a small handful of people who really want anything to do with or have the input that counts, then it is only those peoples opinions that matter.

In retrospect to the previous records, the JMT goes from Yosemite to Whitney.

It is however another 10,000' of climbing in that direction and is hard to justify taking away a record that has already been established.

Kilian is now going for the record at the end of Sept.
From what I have read on the post that talk about his attempt have the JMT stated as 211 miles and for all I know Kilian is or may go for the record on the actual JMT at that distance?
This is not what is currently and hence more reason the discussion needs to be brought up.

Just my two cents...

Edited by awsorensen on 08/10/2009 17:39:12 MDT.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
September attempt on 08/10/2009 08:53:21 MDT Print View

I have a strong suspicion that Kilian is going to scratch all the local ground rules, will have marshalls timing him from the top and along the route, and will actually start from the top for the supported attempt, because everywhere in Europe JMT is classified as a 211-mile trail. So much for Sue's record. Europeans know better than Americans how long the JMT is. It's really sad.

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 09:22:38 MDT.

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
JMT on 08/10/2009 11:46:51 MDT Print View

Hi Michael

Sorry to hear about your shoulder. That is unbelievably bad luck. I have to say you are one tough cookie to have gone ahead with your attempt with that kind of injury. Again I am glad you and Aaron made it to Tuolumne Meadows safely. I hope your shoulder is feeling better and recovers fully soon. I've helped a couple of people with dislocates in the past and I have seen how painful that is.
Get some rest.

Mark

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
PICS on 08/10/2009 11:52:02 MDT Print View

PS

I almost forgot, Thanks for the pictures!

MD

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 14:56:24 MDT Print View

Well, I said my piece on the summit vs. portal thing.
But, Aaron, there really is no support whatsoever for
the notion that the JMT is north to south! Most people
hike it that way, but so what. If people want to keep
NoBo and SoBo records that's fine, but let's not get
into this idea that the trail is from Yosemite to
Whitney. Nonsense.

Rumor is that Killian probably won't do the JMT this
year. So .... Sue's record appears safe for another
year! Hopefully today Sue is summiting Granite Peak,
MT, and thereby polishing off all the state highpoints
except 400 feet of Denali ("No, I'm not going back!"),
and leaving only a vacation to Hawaii! She's a tough
cookie & deserves that record.

Better luck next year Michael!

PB
JMT 2003 3d22h04m
JMT 2001 4d14h39m
(car-to-car)

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: JMT pictures on 08/10/2009 17:27:42 MDT Print View

Peter,
This is just my two cents.
I would just like to see some type of conformity on the matter. I really don't fell the need for a N-S and S-N record.
When ever you do see anything on the JMT, it is always N-S though. You do not see any thing saying it is from the other.

http://johnmuirtrail.org/trail.html#segment_one

http://www.onthetrail.org/OTT/jmt.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Muir_Trail

The list goes on and on.

If the supported record were to stay car to car and never been discussed again, that would be even better, but should be agreed upon because the Mount Whitney Trail is not part of the John Muir Trail.

I also love posting on BPL because I like to speak my mind and no one on this site really takes an offence to this.
It is just my opinion though and I never mean to do any harm or foul from it.
Besides, the JMT is such a tough trail that I could never even imagine averaging 60 miles a day on it.
You guys desirve all the praise you can get for being able to keep going and completed the trail in the times you, Sue and Michael did.

Yes, Sue is one tough cookie!!!
Her level of effort she laid down on the trail was amazing.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/10/2009 17:35:14 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
NoBo or SoBo on 08/10/2009 18:20:10 MDT Print View

Sure the JMT is usually described from north to south.
You have to describe it one way or the other, and
the convention has come to be north to south. This
makes sense, since most hikers are going to do it in
that direction. However, it does not mean that you
are not hiking the JMT if you hike south to north,
and for obvious reasons the fastest trips are going
to be done that way. Either direction is equally
valid.

When Buzz & I set out to set the Colorado Trail
record in 1999 (he succeeded, while I dropped out
with an injury) we elected to start in Denver mainly
because the majority of backpackers hike that
direction. We knew that starting in Durango would
be easier, but we felt better about starting going
the other direction. That was just the run we were
doing at the time. The current supported and
unsupported records were set by starting in Durango.

I agree this is a great forum to vet these issues
& it is super to have so many experieced folks
involved in the discussion. In the end, everyone
is going to do what makes the most sense to them,
and I believe that everyone will accept what others
do. I suppose there may come a time when different
people hold the Portal vs. Summit records (as there
was before Buzz & I did the JMT in 2000). OK, no
big deal.

Buzz & I felt strongly when we did the JMT in 2000
that one should stick to the current official route.
Hence, we used the gross horse trail into Happy Isles,
rather than the Mist Trail, and the official route
through Tuolumne. I did the same in 2003.

New records on the big trails (LT, CT, JMT, etc.)
are getting TOUGH! On that note, has anyone heard
anything about Scott Williamson on the PCT? He
should be finishing up before too long, no?

PB

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: NoBo or SoBo on 08/10/2009 18:22:59 MDT Print View

Peter,
Thank you for the insight.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
no NoBo and no SoBo on 08/10/2009 23:02:14 MDT Print View

Listen to us.. Arguing like a bunch of kids. Well, maybe there's a grain of truth somewhere beneath, we just need to dig it out.

Peter, I personally don't mind starting from the portal as long as this is the universal approach to the trail start. I was just voicing that this is not a true JMT trail, but two different trails run together. If you feel it's better this way, I'm ok with this, you've been longer at this game than I was :) Maybe some day we can see some sort of agreement on where to begin both formats.

Aaron, why is SoBo is the only true trail? That's not entirely correct. The majority of people hike SoBo and most guidebooks and websites are geared towards SoBo. But come on, you know that classic direction is NoBo, in conjunction with PCT. But then again, it's absolutely subjective. Both directions are legitimate. One of them will be faster, and it is NoBo. But heck, this is a great argument!

Sue IS one tough cookie, did someone mention her record was "soft"?

Edited by mpopov on 08/10/2009 23:05:27 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
classic direction? on 08/11/2009 00:22:47 MDT Print View

"But come on, you know that classic direction is NoBo, in conjunction with PCT."


Well, those people hiking the PCT typically traverse the shared section of the JMT north-bound, at least thru-hikers do (section hikers probably do whatever they feel like.) But I sure think the vast majority of JMT hikers do it southbound in the "classic direction", don't they? Starting low, acclimating, ending at the highest point, etc.?

I mean, the PCT overlap is a late-comer. The JMT has been around for a long time as a discrete trail, right?

(Also, this is whole records thing is very silly, IMO. But whatever floats your boat, strokes your ego, challenges your inner whatnot, brings you to the brink of whatever, etc. If someone sets a record and doesn't tell anyone on their blog/tweet/t-shirt/self-published-novella, maybe they don't have the record after all.)

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: classic direction? on 08/11/2009 11:19:27 MDT Print View

Yes and no. Yes, because there's majority of people hiking it SoBo, acclimatizing and culminating with Whitney. That is a traditional way to do it. But the classic way the JMT is done is NoBo.

The google search on the "classic direction" returned only one result, which is this:

From the review on the "John Muir Trail: The Essential Guide to Hiking America's Most Famous Trail":

"Backpackers trying to save space and weight have a couple of options. One is to simply tear out the sections of the book you will be using. You hardly need the classic South to North directions if you are hiking the other way."

I could not find anything on the SoBo direction being classic. If someone can, that'll be awesome. I'm curious in the matter.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Pre JMT album on 08/11/2009 12:53:58 MDT Print View

The girl named Rocket. Just finished JMT. Her real name!

Whitney Range. Clouds are starting to form and darken.

My home away from home

Dayhiking down to Consultation Lk. The Salomon backpack was the one used on JMT.

Trail Crest

Skypilots. Grow only at elevations of 10000-13000 feet.

Whatcha got for me there, human?

The storm is raging in the background.

Consultation Lake and Trail Camp Swamp as seen from Mt. Muir

Made it to the top of Mt. Muir. Much better views than from Whitney!

Morning at Trail Camp

Outlet of Consultation Lake. Lots of spooky trout.

Consultation Lake

Alpine tundra flowers

Au naturel ice bath!

More alpine tundra flowers

Trail Camp Swamp

View from the tent

Camp food, asian style stir-fry.

Little fishing in Lone Pine Lake using trekking poles

This happened one day before the run. It did set the tone for the whole run.

Coming down Forester Pass

Morning at the Mather Pass

Trail Crew at work on Muir Pass approach

Low flying clouds in Tully Hole. Got pelted by hail there.

Pet deer at Tuolumne Meadows

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Pre JMT album on 08/11/2009 13:28:25 MDT Print View

Michael
Great Photos !

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
classic jmt on 08/11/2009 14:22:21 MDT Print View

Well, if you can't trust Wikipedia who can you trust? (wry grin)

"The JMT is traditionally hiked north to south, from Yosemite Valley to Mt. Whitney. There are advantages to starting in Yosemite Valley and hiking south. Although there is a significant net altitude gain this way, starting at a lower altitude allows the hiker time to acclimate to the elevations of the trail rather than immediately having to tackle a 6,000-foot (1,800 m) climb to the summit of Mt. Whitney. In addition, there are several resupply points convenient to the JMT during its northern half (Tuolumne Meadows, Reds Meadow, Vermillion Valley Ranch, Muir Trail Ranch), allowing the hiker to carry a lighter food load early in the hike and also to exit the trail easily if problems arise. The southern half of the JMT is more remote and generally higher in elevation, thus making it more appropriate for the second half of the hike when maximum conditioning has been attained."

That all seems quite reasonable, and in line with what I've read in contemporary guide books and on the web. Also the OG Starr's Guide to the JMT/High Sierra implies a Yosemite start (at least from what my quick skim revealed). And, importantly, if I CANNOT trust the group-wiki'ed Wikipedia entry above, then how in the world can trust it's very next paragraph to be true, and not some figment of web vapor? (larger grin)

"The speed record for fastpacking the John Muir Trail without resupply (as of 2007) is held by Michael Popov, who completed the trail in 4 days, 5 hours, and 25 minutes. Popov carried all of his equipment and received no outside assistance."

I read it on the internet. It must be true.

(Also, great pictures!)

Edited by DaveT on 08/11/2009 14:24:01 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Golite Storm Dragons on 08/11/2009 15:19:38 MDT Print View

Does anyone know where I can get a pair of 11/11.5 Storm Dragons? Golite appears to be discontinuing the line and this is the shoe with which I've down all training hikes/failed attempt. I thought I secured a pair but apparently that has fallen through...My newest pair is already pretty beat up and I'd like to have a virgin pair for the second attempt if possible.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Brett

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
Storm Dragons on 08/11/2009 15:22:59 MDT Print View

Brett:
I just got a new pair from amazon.com... yeah, I couldn't believe it either! Good luck.

Peace, James.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: classic jmt on 08/11/2009 15:24:24 MDT Print View

Hey Dave,
I understand what you are saying.
I have been directly involved in a few newscasts where I was a first hand witness to everything that happened.

When I watched the news about both later on that day, they both did not even come close to what really happened and the way they explained the story did not go in context with what really happened.

But hey, if you would like to join Michael for his attempt next year so you could verify it first hand, we could certainly use another person???

Michael, great pictures. Thanks for posting them.

Edited by awsorensen on 08/11/2009 15:25:11 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 15:29:53 MDT Print View

They don't have my size (11/11.5). No one does....

James Patsalides
(james@patsalides.com) - MLife

Locale: New England
Big Feet on 08/11/2009 15:34:49 MDT Print View

LOL. I guess your feet are just too big... have you tried, like, Marshalls or TJ Maxx???

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 16:11:02 MDT Print View

Just did. No luck. GoLite themselves couldn't locate a pair...

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 16:46:08 MDT Print View

your shoe anxiety sounds like you are going for another attempt in the next 30 days. I can understand not wanting to change shoes.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:09:27 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 16:53:25 MDT Print View

Sept 2 is the planned day for the second attempt.

I had absolutely no blister issues at all with those and will use my old pair if need be. I must have my Storm Dragons! I plan to order my wife a pair (i can find her size!) so I at least have new ankle gaitors.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Sep 2 Attempt on 08/11/2009 17:01:03 MDT Print View

Good luck with your 2nd attempt.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:15:44 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 17:16:59 MDT Print View

Hey Brett,
Have you read my story on the JMT Unsupported about the use of the Storm Dragons on the trail?
I had a huge round black deep bruise on each foot in that location when I got off the trail...


"Here are the important parts of it you should know."


While climbing up Pinchot I got into a rhythm that I kept the rest of the time. Climbing just became so easy and without much more effort than it would have been at sea level.

What did start hurting were the rocks over the passes. I don’t know if it was just the shoes, but the front pads on my feet were hurting bad. My feet are pretty tough too. After inspection, it looked as if the suspension cleats on my Golite Sundragons were not dispersing the force of the rocks evenly over my pads and the cleat located in the center of my front pads were pounding the area just under it.
Going up Mather was a piece of cake. Going up Muir was easy as well. It wasn’t the climbing that was killing me it was just the rocky areas at the top.

Other than the front pads on my feet, I was still at 100%

On top of Muir pass I did not like what I saw. Evolution was just ugly. Big jagged rocks and the pain just kept coming. The bad part was that I just had to keep pushing. I could run the flats easy enough but the rocks were another thing all together. Every step hurt. I always knew were I was in relation to Michael. I would just need to ask and what I found out is that I was loosing over 2 hours to him over each pass.

Getting to the top of Selden was slow and confusing. The top seemed to take forever and the rocks were relentless.

By first light the next morning I was wonder if I could go on. Every step hurt.

Heading down Selden and down the Golden Staircase was still bad on each and every step. At the end of day 3, I had done 33 more miles and 115 total. Reinholds record was slipping away and so was the ability to run on my feet. When I reached the cutoff to Lake Thomas Edison, I was at mile 120 and was 2 hours and 15 minutes behind Reinholds pace. I diced I have had enough.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Sep 2nd attempt on 08/11/2009 17:19:27 MDT Print View

As much as I don't want to do this, I'm thinking of redoing my timesheet to reflect a 5%, perhaps 10%, slower pace. I'm partly justifying this to myself with the hypothesis that if I 'could have' gone faster then, this will show up as little/no slowing later in the hike. This is probably the smart thing to do all things considering...

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Storm Dragon on 08/11/2009 17:24:48 MDT Print View

Yeah I read your account. I thought the Sun Dragons had less support than the Storm Dragons? Jeez I hope so because that's why I tried the Storm in the first place! On my longest recon hike weekend my feet began to hurt. This happened after nearly 90 miles. I'm hoping this means the pain wouldn't become debilitating before the end. That aspect is definitely uncharted territory for me...

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
join in. on 08/11/2009 23:57:05 MDT Print View

"But hey, if you would like to join Michael for his attempt next year so you could verify it first hand, we could certainly use another person??"


Nah, y'all are too fit and fast and whatnot for me.

My point is not that I don't believe the record is verified and all that. My point, instead (and it's apparently a minor one), is that I continue to wonder (especially in this day and age) what would happen if someone did something amazing, incredible, at the edge of human fitness and endurance, and didn't tell anyone. No one. I am sure those people exist, and are doing those amazing things all the time. But we don't know. Maybe they seek purity and inward knowledge and self-satisfaction. Rather than the external. The ego stroking. The "look at me... I mean, seriously, look at me." Or whatever.

Anyway, carry on.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: join in. on 08/12/2009 00:16:19 MDT Print View

"My point, instead (and it's apparently a minor one), is that I continue to wonder (especially in this day and age) what would happen if someone did something amazing, incredible, at the edge of human fitness and endurance, and didn't tell anyone."


Nothing would happen.
And we'd all have nothing to read about, wonder about, dream about, compare notes about...

What's wrong with saying "Hey, check out what I just did!" anyway? I'm certainly interested in this JMT record thread. I may never aspire to setting a public record but I'm certainly interested in personal ones.
Reading about what people have done is how you learn.

So let's not talk about our accomplishments? It's all ego and vanity?
Maybe artists should stop showing their work, musicians stop playing, writers stop writing...or at least never show anyone else the fruit of their labor...too much ego, too much approval-seeking, right?

Maybe (out of humility) Ernest Shackleton should've never bothered telling anyone he went south...That would make for some exciting history, eh?

Right on to all of you out there pushing it on the JMT. And thanks for telling me about it.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: join in. on 08/12/2009 00:47:43 MDT Print View

Thank you, Craig Wisner! The report is in the works...

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: join in. on 08/12/2009 06:34:33 MDT Print View

Andrew Skurka's article on the Alaska Wilderness Mountain Classic is a good example of "just doing it" without a lot of fanfare.

It's been going on since 1982. I've never heard of it. But what an inspiring "non-event"!

Thanks Andrew for participating and reporting (with trepidation).

Thanks to all who take the time to share.

Write on Michael!

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Perpetuem and Elmo vs Cookie Monster on 08/13/2009 11:49:38 MDT Print View

Mark, Tom, (and others)

I'm currently planning on taking 18k worth of Perpetuem and 3k of Recoverite for the second attempt. I was worried about the volume, but two of the large Perpetuem jugs fit in the Jam pack nicely. In an effort to solve the 'bottle problem' I searched the local Target store for bottles that were ~12oz, had a large opening, and squeezable. I had surprising difficulty finding such a bottle and resorted looking at random food bottles for the perfect match until I stumbled upon the mother lode--baby bottles! These things are great! They match all the criteria and are even spill proof! ;) Now the difficulty is in choosing between an Elmo and Cookie Monster bottle. I think I prefer Elmo, cause Cookie Monster sets a bad example by consuming primarily fat. He should know that's not gonna work well for a JMT record attempt...

Seriously though, I plan on using a 10 oz bottle (or 2) to mix 3 (or 6) servings of Perpetuem in a highly concentrated syrup. My tests with the orange and caffe latte flavors did not go well. The taste is so strong I want to gag. I've got unflavored Perpetuem on the way and will experiment with adding emergen-c to it for flavoring. I will only have one chance--this weekend--to test it in the field so I need to make the most of it.

How does this new strategy sound?

Mark--I got my kitchen scale and I find weighing gear to be fun. Most absurd find so far is that my fleece jacket weighs more than the sleeping bag. Also, I bought some e2 lithium AAA batteries for the headlamps and they appear to be 0.15 oz vs 0.25 oz for alkaline.

Brett

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Perpetuem and Elmo vs Cookie Monster on 08/13/2009 12:04:59 MDT Print View

Brett,
I don't know it you caught it in the Hammer Nutrition documents, but be aware that your gut can only process 300 to 400 calories an hour. (The rest has to come from reserves.) If you get "ahead of yourself" nothing will leave your stomach until your gut processes what it can, or you stick a finger down your throat.

You have to find that balance between "My legs feel like lead" and "I'm bloating". If the latter, you can keep moving, just don't eating for a while, and then start again, slowly.

Good Luck.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Perpetuem and Elmo vs Cookie Monster on 08/13/2009 12:25:18 MDT Print View

what do you mean by 18k and 3k. you're gonna take in 5000 calories a day? I kind of agree with Greg above.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:17:30 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Moved to New Thread - Carbs v.s. Fats on 08/13/2009 13:03:11 MDT Print View

deleted, started new thread

JMT Record Pace and Carbs v.s. Fats

Edited by asandh on 08/13/2009 13:40:35 MDT.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Record Attempt Pace and Carbs v.s. Fats on 08/13/2009 13:39:21 MDT Print View

Moved to here.

Edited by greg23 on 08/13/2009 14:21:28 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Record Attempt Pace and Carbs v.s. Fats on 08/13/2009 13:44:20 MDT Print View

Greg thanks, I moved this idea to its own thread so as not to detract from the current one.
art

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report. on 08/14/2009 05:57:14 MDT Print View

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Speed dating with John Muir Trail.

Home is not a physical reference to a specific three-dimensional place on the certain spot of land, home is never ending expansion of one’s self-awareness. Home is where you are. And in my case – my home at the time was there, on a John Muir Trail, being one with the trail and summoning powers of it to help me but at the same time burning out for too much knowledge of it. Everything speaks out aloud and all you can do is listening. Rocks, steps, elevation gain, whispering dark, dry tainted air, crystal dirty water, bad weather, more rocks, thick fatigue, vicious cold, unbearable heat, horsecrap-laced dust… You feel like a speck in the universe against the overwhelming tsunami of the elements knowledge, but still… this is your home for now. And you try to adjust. This is all you can do for now in a place with no air conditioning, news channels, room service, and caramel macchiato. You adjust and try to summon the knowledge. The knowledge of the TRAIL. Because you are at home, in your supposed place of comfort where there’s a rock to sit on and a patch of grass to sleep on. Only by knowing you can find comfort that will carry you through.

The first few days at Whitney were supposed to be the acclimatization days. And they were. As soon as I got to the Portal I sorted my gear, left some for my crew member Alex Grabovetsky to bring up to the Crest from the Portal, and took off for Lone Pine Lake with 76 lbs pack. 76 lbs, you ask? Yes, I had mostly food in there, and mostly veggies and fruits, which took up a lot of weigh and space. I thought - if I’m living it up high, might as well make it healthy. Well, all the food has made it through, except for an encounter with a Whitney ranger named Nathan, which kept cool and friendly throughout the incident when the excess food was left out for marmots to harvest on. This was my genuine mistake, and I had no intentions to give away my hard earned food to marmots, so clearly there was some misunderstanding about the regulations on my part. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Almost gone! What to do now?

The first day after making Trail Camp I decided to hike up to Mt. Muir. The morning was beautiful and I set out late knowing that Muir is close and roundtrip will not take long. By the time I got to Trail Crest it started to get cloudy and there was a storm closing in. Great! I felt like making Mt. Muir would be the good sign for the upcoming trip, so I proceeded to the approach and started going up. I hoped there would be other climbers, but there were none. The approach to Muir is very easy until you get to the last section of 100 yards or so. At first I was a little wary about climbing class 3 rocks alone. But then I found a good line and made it to the top. There was a metal box to sign in to. I have to say, Whitney views fade tremendously compared to Muir views. You can see 360 from the perch of 4x7 at Muir. You can see the Hitchcock lakes, Lone Pine, all the 99 switchbacks, Glacier Lake, Consultation Lake, every single needle. Beats the ubiquitous Whitney top by tenfold. I have to wonder why not a lot of people try Mt. Muir for the views. Whitney just does not deliver much, except for the elevation prize.

final 150 ft of class 3 scrabling on Mt.Muir

While hiking back, I have met a group of people who recognized me. Why, of course! These guys, Tom Bracken and Brook, helped me out last year on JMT, when they gave me the knife to cut out the part of the shoe out at Donahue Pass. What a random encounter! With them were Rita and Janet Bracken and we exchanged a few words along the way.

Second day I decided to dayhike down to the Consultation Lake. It was beautiful, there was some spooky trout at the lake outlet and the possible campsites outshined the swampiness of Trail Camp. I had some good time there at the lake, and soaked myself in the icy waters of the glacier meltdown. All natural ice bath, so to say. While soaking I got circled by the hummingbird which looked a little out of place there. The tropical bird in an alpine tundra setting. Wonderful contrast.

Consultation Lake and Hummingbirds

I knew I’d have to commit to this beautiful trail totally, almost reverentially. I’d either make it in chunks of 62, 72, 87 miles respectively, or completely break down and retreat before it’s too dangerous to go on. And dangerous it was. There is no room for mistakes. Any mistake you make early on would have you paying dearly in the later stages.

The day before the start I wanted to go down to Lone Pine Lake, clean up, shave and spend the night there before rendezvous with Alex Grabovetsky, my crew member. The pack was considerably lighter, most of the food was eaten at Trail Camp. Walking down was literally a walk in the park with a pack now weighting 45 pounds. I came down and set up sleeping quarters. This is where the “bad” has happened. After a little fishing using a trekking pole, line, hook and some bread for bait, I got tired from easy fishing and decided to go for a swim. Diving in, I started to do the freestyle stroke and suddenly… CRRR-shhh… The slurping sound of the shoulder bone being sucked under the shoulder blade… The shoulder dislocation! Just what I needed before the start! One handedly I swam out to the shore and yelled out to a couple of day hikers, who just happened to come by the lake. The guy was German, named Aaron, and his friend, Christina, became a little sick when she saw the gaping hole in the side of the shoulder. I tried to show them how to make the readjustment in the field, but it just was not happening and the shoulder area started to stiffen. Pain emerged. The only solution was to hike down and hitch a ride to the ER. Aaron and Christina offered to carry down the essentials in my backpack, and I started running down the Whitney Trail. On the way down I called Badwater Ben Jones and he was on his way to the Portal immediately. Thank you!

Eventually, almost 4 hours later, after the friendly chat and pictures with the doctor and the nurse, I got the shoulder fixed back without any anesthesia. The doctor was that good. Ben was around taking pictures and was a little concerned about my not starting the trail now. But I assured him that it’s just a minor inconvenience and wait…what? Wearing the sling for a month now? Ha! I threw it away immediately.

I spent the evening in the Jones residence, enjoying some great time with such wonderful people like Ben and Denise. We shared stories, talked shop, and Denise gave me a couple of blister lessons. Who else to go to for these lessons, but to “Blister Queen” Denise? Thinking back, if it were not for the accident, I would have just spent the night at Lone Pine Lake instead of a cool den at Joneses. A little word about the den. When I walked in, I not only got bombarded by the array of Badwater 135 posters on the walls, but also by 95 degree temperature inside. Sure, it had an AC, but Ben joked, in his typical manner, that if I wished, there was a wooden stove in case 95 degrees feel too cold. Good training for Badwater, he said.

I took a shower and went to bed, but the night was restless due to the shoulder pain.

Early in the morning, we drove up back to Portal and I hiked up to Lone Pine Lake again to meet Alex in the afternoon. Alex came and suddenly the place became mayhem, he was too energetic and excited about the project. Took pictures of the discharge papers from the hospital and posted them online immediately. But everything went well, we sorted out gear and he started up to the Crest, and I started down to the Portal. I needed to sleep there before the midnight start.

The most sleep I got was a little over an hour in the back seat of Alex’s car. That was not nearly enough, but the pain was there and that was something I just had to deal with. Badwater Ben came in around 8 pm and slept in the back of his brand new Colorado truck. By the start, I knew I nearly had not enough sleep in my reserves, and wondered what it would mean 2 days later. Little did know about the upcoming brush with death.

I started just past midnight, Ben was there taking pictures and sending me off. My pack weight at the start was less than 1.5 lbs, including water. The way I did it was pre-stashing the little 10 oz flasks with plain water in strategic locations along the main Whitney trail. By the time I got to Trail Crest, Alex was waiting there for me with some extra water and the main pack for the rest of the trail. I made my way to the summit, in 4hrs 6mns, going conservatively slow compared to last year. This way I hoped to save energy and go a little faster on the rest of the trail. Temperatures on the summit were below freezing and wind blew quite strong. I still feel that midnight start is the most balanced in terms of where and when you travel across the hottest parts of days later on. And the coldest parts. And the parts where it’s easy to misnavigate the trail at night. The midnight start allows for passing these obscure areas at daylight when you can see the trail up ahead.

Summit Hut, 04:06

Coming back to Trail Crest I grabbed my Salomon XT Wings 5 pack, which weighted around 11 lbs with water and started on the switchbacks down to Guitar Lake. Shortly before Guitar, the sun slowly rose and colored the mountain range up front in the rosy glow. A brand new day! Except I was already 6 hours into the run and closing in on Crabtree Meadows. At Crabtree I took off extra clothing and proceeded for the long 13 mile approach to Forester Pass.

Crabtree Meadows, 06:41

Forester Pass, 11:10

The area between the Crabtree and Forester is possibly my favorite part of the trail. The grade is very forgiving and the area around Diamond Mesa is just stark and beautiful with open vistas and old growth, separately standing pines. The wind felt good against the skin, sometimes picking up to little gusts, skittering across the landscape of rocks and open areas under an enormous blue sky across which sailed gray-bottomed clouds. I tried to eat gels every half-hour and it was working out fine until the start of Glen Pass, which seemed to be extremely steep and never ending. I don’t remember it being that steep!!! Somebody added steps there too, for sure. Must be the trail crew, I just know it. One of the harder passes on JMT when not fresh, when rested – it’s really smooth. The hard part is the initial approach until “4 corners” junction; after that it’s rocky and steep, but short enough to have some energy left for a quick descend on the north side to Rae Lakes.

Lower Vidette, 13:36

Four Corners, 14:31

Glen Pass, 15:33

Woods Creek Bridge, 18:27

I crossed the Woods Creek Bridge with a few daylight hours to spare. By this point I averaged 3.3 mph and felt great. Thinking that it’s best to make use of daylight as much as possible I attacked Pinchot approach immediately. It was going on and on and on along the canyon and I started to question the trail. “Is it the right trail I am on? Don’t remember any spurs off of it. Hmm... Oh, it’s finally getting dark. My goodness, where did all these mosquitoes come from? They are everywhere!! So, wait, it’s coming up and over the ridge. Now I remember!” It got dark and I passed a backpacker’s camp, they played the guitar softly and sang. I enjoyed the sounds for as much as could hear them in the growing distance and went for Pinchot. The pass was not easy to tackle, but I made it to the top around 9pm and knew that there was Alex somewhere down there by Taboose Pass junction. Only an hour away, my last hour of the day, I thought. 62 miles done.

Pinchot Pass, 21:44

After crewing at Trail Crest, Alex rushed down to the Portal and drove to the Taboose trailhead to make his way to JMT from there. It’s not an easy approach, with over 6,000 ft elevation gain in an exposed area and in only 6 miles. The feat in itself. Well, backcountry crewing is, err, painful, but this is JMT and there’s no easy approach from either side. Needless to say that he made it there at the same time I did, and was frantically yelling out for me thinking I had just passed. We’ve located each other and the sigh of relief could be heard from both sides. His backpack was just leaning against the tree, untapped. I sat down on the ground and let him do his preparations.

Taboose Pass Junction, 22:44

Unfortunately, the yells attracted the nearby young ranger, who happened to be a little grumpy and paranoid in general and attacked us about the noise pollution, legality of permits and presence of bear canisters. He did not seem to grasp the concept of running from point to point on the trail and covering that much ground in a day and kept pestering us, being quite rude. At one point he let out that he does not care for the trail runners in general and does not understand why run when you can walk. “If I hear you again, I’ll be back”. Well, sometimes to stay alive you yell, and sometimes you use a whistle. I used both. Unfortunate incident that cost us 20 minutes of staying in the cold and not getting the hot food in immediately. Finally I fell asleep and slept until after 2am.

After parting with Alex in the morning I started the second leg of the run, 72 miles to Lake Thomas E. Edison, where I’d be met by Aaron Sorensen. The going was smooth, and I have witnessed the most beautiful sunrise on the top of Mather Pass at 6 am. The whole pass was to myself and I lingered for a minute there, taking a panoramic picture of the sunrise. Coming down I have met my first backpackers for the day, a young couple who were pretty excited about their long, 16-mile day. I did not tell them how long my day was going to be and wished them luck. It’s better not to tell not to ruin mood, in certain instances.

Mather Pass, 06:08

Going down the Golden Staircase I decided to pull over and eat a ham avocado sandwich that Alex made for the road. The lack of sleep started to show already and I napped for 30 minutes, hiding from the trail view in a sunny spot.

Middle Fork Trail Junction, 09:43


While going up Muir Pass, I encountered a trail crew at work and marveled at the amount of time and energy it takes to build and maintain such a corridor as John Muir Trail. Really astonishing, when you think about it. Of course, I inquired about additional steps on the Glen Pass and was rebuffed by smiles and jokes. Now, that’s the spirit!

At the top of Muir Pass it got cold and windy and there were several little snowfields to cross. I hurried up to the hut, in hopes of someone being there to take a picture since there was a never ending procession of backpackers coming down the pass my way. No such luck. I snapped myself with my camera and started down the Evolution Basin. Of course, soon enough I met people just approaching the pass.

Muir Pass, 14:08

The air and water of Evolution Basin is horrible. The air is so dry that it turns your lungs into beef jerky and your throat gets extremely parched in the process. Add to it the harsh quality of water that has all the minerals leeching into it from all the rocks of the Basin, and you know that it does not only look prehistoric, it feels this way. I could never get rid of the parched throat syndrome from that point, and pretty soon started to develop the so called “JMT cough”. Most runners who tried running JMT developed this cough at some point on the trail, which is when your lungs become contaminated with some sort of a greenish mass, and you just cough out solid chunks of it out of your trachea. It can get rather violent in the later stages of the run, especially when aggravated by the dust of Reds Meadow and often it keeps you from getting sleep at crew stops.

Your self being becomes oversimplified, all the emotions are there, but the thoughts are reduced to the – “Where’s the next water?” “Where do I place the next step?” “Do I have enough food? This does not taste good anymore.” “I know I need to drink, but is the water here bad?” “I see people. They can take a picture.” There are very little multi-dimensional philosophical thoughts there, these come days after. Most of the thinking is spot-on practical bullet-points.

By the Evolution Creek crossing I started to feel the fatigue coming on pretty strong. There were no logs to cross on, and I hesitated for a second walking up and down the creekside. The mosquitoes must have felt the sweat and hesitation and started attacking in swarms while I was taking my shoes off for a creek forge. Mile 102 - no blisters. The trick was the Injinji toe socks with Blister Shield powder inside. But after I got my feet wet I knew it was not going to last longer this way.

Hurriedly, I put the shoes back on and started down to the Piute Creek Bridge. I knew after I would have made the bridge, the terrain would become mellower.

Piute Creek Bridge, 19:46

I started to climb the Selden Pass in the dark already. Not very technical, which was nice for a change, but by this point I became seriously tired.

I saw no one. I pressed on, moving swiftly through the forested area of Selden approach, following the beam of the headlamp. The discomfort was offset by the sight of the moon creeping across the sky, suffusing the rugged mountain landscape with an ethereal light. Eventually the moon became obstructed by the trees and only certain spots stood out like silver-colored alien bulges fueled by the inner fluorescent color. Here’s the silver log… Here’s the silver boulder. The collection of silver spots was painting an eerie picture around me and soon there were silver figures in the trees and in open spots. They were just silently observing my movement and I knew better not to talk to them at that point. Just one more pass and I’m there. Just hold on for one more pass.

Selden Pass, 23:34

Finally I made over the pass and started on the downhill section to the Bear Creek. This is when it got cold and mild hypothermia started to set in. Somehow, I started to break down at that point. I was shivering and fatigued, with no means of survival and more than 10 miles to go in the dark. Eyes started to close themselves along the Bear Creek traverse and I groaned aloud just to keep from falling asleep. All I had on was short tights and a thin windbreaker. Soon the trees started to whisper. I could hear them saying things which were drowned out by the sound of the Bear Creek. I soon realized what they were saying. The bark, the leaves, the foliage and dry pine needles on the ground. I could use those things to pile on top of me and get some rest in a makeshift shelter. The trees were offering help and I really was considering it at that point. But somehow I did not want to stop just to be found in the morning by hikers. And besides I had less than 10 miles to go.

Along Bear Creek


The dance of silver bulges continued. They have become bigger and more defined. Pretty soon I made out a silver Toyota Prius right by the trail but knew it was a vision. It was not going to give me a ride and I knew it. So I kept going right past it, and somehow it was not morphing back into a boulder. It was really a car. Silver shining car, right by the trail. And somebody was inside it. I turned away and picked the pace. That was not very good what I saw inside. I’m still unsure what and why it was there, but still hope it was the figment of my imagination. I just needed some sleep.

Finally I made it to the everlasting switchbacks going down to Lake Edison. Still falling asleep, but knowing that the end of the running day is close. Somehow, while running down the switchbacks, I registered in my mind that I need to “dig a cat hole”. Next thing I remember - I woke up squatting.

Finally arrived at Edison Trail Bridge. Aaron was there and tended to me right away, serving a wonderful home-made soup with chunks of sausages and homemade sandwiches on top of that. I quickly wiped down my feet and spaced out immediately for a 3 hour sleep inside the warm sleeping bag and on the comfy Thermarest. Sometimes all you need is very little.

I blacked out completely for the next 3 hours, and when I opened my eyes it was daylight. Panicking that I slept for too long I yelled out to Aaron and started to wiggle my way out of the sleeping bag confines. No, he assured, it was 8:30 in the morning and I was still on 85 hour pace. Food was heavenly, I ate some more and prepared to head out for a 9 hour stretch between Lake Edison and Reds Meadow.

Lake Edison, 09:02

There were only two considerable bumps along the way, Silver Pass and climb out of the Tully Hole. Having rested, the Silver Pass was not an enemy at all, but merely a morning warm-up.

Silver Pass, 11:29

On top of Silver Pass I noticed the low flying clouds above Tully Hole and remembered the weather warning: snow as low as 9000 feet. That did not sound right when I heard it the day before, but soon enough, climbing out of Tully Hole I got pelted by hail. Actually, it felt refreshing and somewhat exciting. You don’t get wet - the hail just rolls down on the ground, and the air is suddenly so fresh. The area around the lakes was cold, but comfortable.

Purple Lake Outlet, 13:56

I stopped eating on a regular basis due to parched throat syndrome and even gels were painful to swallow.

The rest of the way into Reds was non-eventful; it follows the ridge line before dropping into the Meadows itself. I refilled my bottles in a Duck Creek, the last reliable source of water for the next 12 miles. There are more water crossings as you approach to Reds, but the water quality is a hit or miss due to lots of horse traffic. The running is good, this is a gradual descent into the Reds Meadows. Area around Reds Meadows has volcanic origins and there’s plenty of molten lava along the trail. Also, the trail converts from rocky to dusty, and it’s this deep volcanic dust mixed with vaporized horse manure that makes me shudder just thinking about it. Every time you make a step, it’s a mini explosion of a horsecrap-laced dust that has a very specific sour nauseating smell to it. And it tries to make its way deep into your lungs and settles down on your sweaty body and even your eyelashes. It settles inside your sunglass lenses and obstructs the view. The closer to the Red Meadow buildings, the worse it gets. I accidentally slipped on one of the stones while crossing a stream in a “Dead Forest” and submerged my foot ankle-deep. Instantly, the shoe was covered in a thick layer of wet dust and fine sand. Not a whole lot of fun. I think the hospital mouth cover might help for this section. No, it’s not SARS. It’s REDS.

Reds Meadows, 18:44

In Reds Meadows I have met up with Aaron, who got there shortly after me, around 7 pm. He had to drive from Lake Thomas E. Edison to Reds Meadows and catch the last bus into the rendezvous point. Good timing, but alas, I needed dry socks, club soda to freshen up and maybe even something hot to eat. The little nap would have been beneficial as well, but it was not happening. Aaron brought some warm clothing and himself. Reds is not a very convenient point of access logistically, but a crucial one before the last push. I worked on my newly formed blisters and we took off almost immediately. Along the way we have met a group of backpackers, staying on the other side of the bridge. Wonderful people, very considerate and helpful. They knew we were coming through and even set up a mini aid station right by the trail from their own reserves. We rummaged through and picked a bag of goji berries trail mix, somehow it seemed like the least irritable option for my throat. Thanks, Matthew! Hope your journey was fun!

Aaron was pacing me for this section and kept the conversation going from the very beginning. It was nice to talk for the first couple of hours of brisk walking uphill, but then around 9:30 pm I started to feel it again. The heaviness and fatigue set in and from now on it spiraled downward hard into a complete irreversible meltdown. This section, Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows was the worst night of my life when I really did not care whether I'd live or die. I was not moving because of fatigue, and it was impossible to sleep because of freezing temps. Throat was extremely parched from the air of Evolution Valley and even gels were getting stuck midway through. I was falling backwards while trying to go, and have seen amazing things including "the tunnel" itself. I don’t remember much of the night, there are blank spots everywhere. I remember looking around aimlessly for a flat spot to crash. I remember frost on the ground and shivering. I vaguely remember posing for a picture at Garnet Lake Outlet.

Garnet Lake Outlet, 02:56

I do remember that at one point, lying on the ground, I stopped fighting fatigue and 28 degree cold and suddenly there were waves of warmth flowing through every cell of my body. I relaxed and prepared to get carried away.

At this point, from Aaron’s account, he tried to hold my head in his hand and shined light into my face. Somehow, by accident, he dropped my head and it slammed into the ground. I don’t remember all of this happening. He then started shaking me and yelling that he’s freezing and I better to wake up if we are to make it. That helped. Sudden shaking forces and muffled voice from far away brought me back. I got up on my knees first, straightened out and started to move, but still barely making 1 mph and falling backwards. The whole night was a blur. The sunrise that came soon after warmed the air a little and conscience came back, but the crash was certainly beyond recall. There was still time to get under the record time, but not at this rate of movement. I felt like laying down most the time, not to sleep, but just to lay motionless in the sun. Three miles before Donahue Pass we sat down and I had to decide to withdraw from the chase. The dream would have to wait. There was a long walk-out to Tuolumne Meadows up ahead.

Donahue Pass, 11:23

The inner struggle with doubt and fear and desire was lost to external forces of nature and unfortunate accident before the start, which essentially is also a force of nature. If you ask me, would I do it all over again after what I went through, I’d say – what does not kill us makes us stronger! I did have to sleep for a few days, 14 hours a day afterwards, but I emerge with a little more knowledge and appreciation for the trail. It beckons, and I must go find my home again.

Aaron Sorensen and myself at Tuolumne Meadows, around 4 pm.

-Michael Popov

Edited by mpopov on 08/17/2009 17:33:25 MDT.

Thom Darrah
(thomdarrah) - MLife

Locale: Southern Oregon
JMT speed record attempt on 08/14/2009 08:02:19 MDT Print View

Very well written and honestly insightful, great job.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/14/2009 09:50:53 MDT Print View

Michael,
Excelent story.
I am willing to bet it took you longer to write and put the story together than it did to hike the trail?

So who was driving the Prius?


Here is the link to the videos on the trail from Lake Edison to Tuolumne.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=23338&skip_to_post=188599#188599

Edited by awsorensen on 08/14/2009 11:16:37 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: JMT speed record attempt on 08/14/2009 10:56:51 MDT Print View

Great write-up, I enjoyed it.
Well done and better fortune on the next one!

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Final Edit on 08/14/2009 13:08:03 MDT Print View

The snapshot of GPS readout before I turned it off three miles before Donahue Pass. The pictures were taken later, so time of day and current elevation are irrelevant. What's relevant is attained elevation gain and loss (interesting that it is the same for until that point, after Donahue it's all downhill). Also relevant is the mileage and speed, and total time and time off the trail.
Elevation gain and lossspeed and time stats

The little bump in the first third of elevation profile is an Island Pass. Was it even a pass?

Edited by mpopov on 08/17/2009 16:23:33 MDT.

Richard Nisley
(richard295) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Final Edit on 08/14/2009 13:15:54 MDT Print View

Michael,

Your report was like a window into the soul of a warrior... well done!

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report. on 08/14/2009 14:32:07 MDT Print View

Michael
an amazing story of an amazing journey.
very entertaining and insightful.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report on 08/14/2009 15:44:00 MDT Print View

Awesome TR and attempt Michael! The hardship you endured is very inspiring and motivational. I hope I will be able to push myself as hard as you did on my next attempt. In the future I'd be happy to help you on another supported attempt if you need it.

Brett

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Michael's Pace Question on 08/15/2009 09:23:25 MDT Print View

I don't understand why you felt the need to push so fast. Was this totally because of Killian coming in Spetember?

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:24:54 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Michael's Pace Question on 08/15/2009 18:59:22 MDT Print View

Hey Art
Yes, it was because of the Kilian factor.

Just to let you know I am the one who made the time sheet up.
He did not like what I gave him at first so we took an hour of sleep a day off.
Then in order to make up the time he really wanted it had to be done in 3 chunks.
It was suppose to be the 3 chucks with the added hour of sleep each day, but when he fell short each day of the 80 hour time, he didn't get the recommended amount of sleep.

Hey a push at the end is supposed to be just that, right?


On the other hand, while doing the calculations for him each time, you will like what you see here.

Last year the times were tallied of what I thought he could do.
Instead Michael just tried to beat Sue's times on each segment.
This year I calculated his times and put together the 1st spread-sheet that he didn't like based off last years pace.

I then noticed this year that his hiking pace was almost spot on as last years, so just now I made up another sheet for next year.

I only used his times and did not add up the "Total Time" until the end.

All 3 times, (last years, this years and next years), came up with a time of 87:45.

So if he just does his pace, sleeps the time he should and gets to Yosemite, this is what we are looking at.
if he tries to change it for next year, I quit...Ha ha...

Edited by awsorensen on 08/18/2009 11:13:13 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Michael's Pace Question on 08/15/2009 21:11:32 MDT Print View

Kilian is not going to run the jmt. His crew got bogged down with the permit thing.
PB

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Michael's Pace Question on 08/17/2009 16:32:29 MDT Print View

"Kilian is not going to run the jmt. His crew got bogged down with the permit thing."

After reading that Kilian had a helicopter flying along on his awesome GR20 attempt,

http://home.comcast.net/~pbakwin/fkt/gr20.html

I vaguely suspect that National Park Service did not like the idea of his crew of 2500 indians (chinese, russians) lining along the JMT and removing the rocks from it as he goes.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – Michael's Pace Question on 08/17/2009 16:43:42 MDT Print View

"I don't understand why you felt the need to push so fast. Was this totally because of Killian coming in Spetember?
By my calculations you could have averaged under 60 miles a day and beat Sue's time.
What time were you shooting for?"

Art, the Kilian factor was negligible. While running JMT I never thought of him as a contender on this trail judging by the problems he encountered on GR20 (sleepiness and fatigue on the first night, inability to carry loads, longest non-stop run is 110 miles), and was just trying to get the best time I could. I was shooting for 80 hours, but knew that was a far-fetched goal and that's why my pace chart had 3 different paces, 80hrs, 85hrs and 87:45 hrs. I was pretty much spot-on 85 hour pace at Reds Meadow and content with it.

As for Kilian, I would like to see him on JMT and wish him genuine luck, he's a good kid and talented as well. He's got a big future as long as Salomon sticks around.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report on 08/17/2009 16:48:54 MDT Print View

"Awesome TR and attempt Michael! The hardship you endured is very inspiring and motivational. I hope I will be able to push myself as hard as you did on my next attempt. In the future I'd be happy to help you on another supported attempt if you need it."

Thank you, Brett! I will definitely keep your help in mind for the future. I hope you found your Storm Dragons for the trail. It'll be colder in September, bring some extra layers! I wish you luck and all the best! Go for the kill!

And thank you everyone for the kind words, I really appreciate your interest and support!

-MP

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report on 08/18/2009 11:13:56 MDT Print View

Okay, so it was at first, and that's where the 2 sleeping areas came into play, but once on the trail it is just the best you can do.
If it wasn't for Kilian, I think you would or at least should have stuck to the 3 sleeping areas that worked before.
I'm pretty sure it was Brian Robinson who got to Tuluomne with about 45 minutes of sleep. That's impressive!

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
sleep amount on 08/18/2009 14:09:28 MDT Print View

Michael and Aaron, how much total sleep did you plan for? I'm planning (hoping) to sleep twice 4 hours each time but probably will need at least some naps for the final ~1.5 day push. should be fun...

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Sep, 2nd Effort on 08/18/2009 17:27:35 MDT Print View

you're not going for both the supported and unsupported times simultaneously on your 2nd effort are you?

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:26:13 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/19/2009 08:34:16 MDT Print View

Jeff will be making a supported record attempt starting Aug 27 from Happy Isles.

Edited by asandh on 07/13/2010 01:27:02 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Sep, 2nd Effort on 08/19/2009 10:27:29 MDT Print View

Art, yeah I'm planning to try and break both again. I redid my time sheet and slowed the pace 10%. Hopefully this will increase the margin of error and be a sustainable pace. This time though I plan to still complete the JMT even if another meltdown occurs. At the very least I want to experience what it's like to do the full thing as fast as one can. I'm looking forward to the sleep deprivation part.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Sep, 2nd Effort on 08/19/2009 19:44:28 MDT Print View

Brett,
The plan was for to be off 2 times for 5.5 hours each, and then it went down to 4.5.

He got an average of just over 3 each stop. The crash was more from the shoulder than anything.

Good luck with your 2nd attempt.
That last day and a half is a loooonnngggg way without sleep. Make sure you keep your calorie and water intake up during that period. Nothing goes down good by then.
You are also coughing up some nasty JMT crud that has been non stop making everything going down that much harder.


It really is better unsupported when you can just go until you are realizing that stopping would be more beneficial and to just be able to stop right there.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/19/2009 22:23:41 MDT Print View

Kozak has excellent ultra credentials, but I don't know that he has any experience with the obscure discipline of multiday trail records. There's a lot more to this stuff than just being a good runner. Brett is "looking forward" to the sleep deprivation ???? OK...
PB

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/20/2009 23:26:03 MDT Print View

If anyone hears how Jeff's attempt turns out please post it here. I will be acclimating when he finishes and would really like to know if he breaks the record before I start!

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/21/2009 15:09:41 MDT Print View

Brett,
Jeff Kozak is starting in Yosemite and going SoBo. There is a chance you two will cross paths either on the trail or in Whitney area.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: join in. on 08/21/2009 17:06:13 MDT Print View

"I continue to wonder (especially in this day and age) what would happen if someone did something amazing, incredible, at the edge of human fitness and endurance, and didn't tell anyone. No one. I am sure those people exist, and are doing those amazing things all the time. But we don't know. Maybe they seek purity and inward knowledge and self-satisfaction."

Dave,

Probably. Others do, and have done, such things just to stay alive, or be free. One such adventure is laconically recounted by one Slavomir Rawicz in "The Long Walk". The JMT, or even the Arctic1000, pales by comparison(heresy, I know). I highly recommend it as an antidote to your lament. He didn't write the book for recognition, for sure. I doubt it sold more than a few hundred copies-Joseph Conrad he ain't.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY – John Muir Trail speed attempt report. on 08/23/2009 15:33:24 MDT Print View

Thanks for posting your attempt Michael. I'd enjoy meeting you some day. It's a tough trail and there are many ways to approach it. Information about your plan, techniques and support make it easier for others to have a better experience. I learned a lot from Brian Robinson's experience prior to my record in 2004. For me getting 5-6 hours of sleep each night was critical to keeping up a good pace and motivation--his problems with sleep deprivation, hallucinations and slowing pace pushed me in this direction.

I'd like to respond to several of the comments earlier in this post. I've kept a bit of distance as fast JMT attempts are very personal.

1. If there is an official "record" it needs to be from an agreed upon point to an agreed upon point. The prior three record holders and others going for the record have established the route as Portal to Valley--or Valley to Portal. You can argue about what constitutes the JMT but road to road makes sense and is what has been agreed upon.

The minor variations of the trail through Red's and Tuolumne are also open to interpretation--I chose to take the original trail by Devil's postpile and Soda Springs (crossing the road twice in Tuolumne) because the intention of the trail is to see as many "wild country features" as possible. The re-routes around these areas are Park Service choices to limit traffic to popular features. This is rather like the re-route of the PCT away from Crater Lake--it just doesn't make any sense.

2. If I were to attempt the record again I would use poles, pre-tape my feet to avoid blisters and have better support so I wouldn't have to carry an overnight pack (I carried a sleeping bag, bivy, stove for about 1/3 of the trail--Charlotte Lk. Junction to Blaney Meadows). Acclimation to elevation (longer the better) is also something I'd have to work out.

3. There are many ways to get the calories, fluid and salt you need for the trail but variety is very important. Even my much beloved Molasses Chew cookies didn't taste so good on the third day. You've got to try what you'll eat on the trail when training to find what works for you. Bret may have "bonked"--sometimes your stomach shuts down and just can't absorb the calories you need. He may also have had dehydration or electrolyte problems.

Good-luck to those going for the record later this year and in subsequent years.

Kevin Sawchuk
JMT record 2004-2008 3d,21h,5m

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
JMT: entering the fray on 08/24/2009 19:15:48 MDT Print View

Not so abstract a question: I plan an early September speed record attempt, so what criteria is there for a legitimate record POINT to POINT (Mt. Whitney to Happy Isles)? What sort of verification is considered legitimate? I run this race for my satisfaction, but recognition of an accomplished feat seems worthwhile to me in addition, so I submit this query, my unburdened colleagues.

Jeff Kozak
(Kozak) - F
Re: Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/24/2009 20:12:38 MDT Print View

Peter's assessment of my background is dead on: decent ultra-distance trail racing background, virgin multi-day trail speed attempter! Not for much longer though. A big part of me really wanted to keep my attempt on the downlow since I feel a bit sheepish about even saying I'm attempting to break a record since this is my maiden voyage but in the name of respect for others who have blazed the way and set the standards and in keeping true to an "open book" policy here it is for those who care about such things. I will try to post info about what happens or does not happen(!) as soon as I can muster the energy to type upon finishing or bailing.
Cheers,
Jeff Kozak

My JMT "Plan":
*camping in Upper Pines Cpgd./Yosemite Valley WED 8/26
Happy Isles 0.0mi 3am TH 8/27
*my girlfriend is starting the pre-dawn hike with me past the falls

Tuolumne Mdws 24mi 9-10am TH 8/27
*breakfast(real food!) at café/re-supply with my GF

Reds Mdw 61.7mi 8-10pm TH 8/27
*truck camping either at Rainbow Falls T/H parking or in nearest cpgd.
Being re-supplied by friend who will also hike with me in dark to Upper Crater Mdws

6hr eat/sleep/re-supply break 2-4am FR 8/28

Piute Creek 113.8mi 9-11pm FR 8/28
*a friend is setting up a full camp and will be hanging out from about 3pm FR to 8am SA, I will have hot food and coffee

5hr eat/sleep/re-supply break 2-4am SA 8/29

LeConte Cyn 137.6mi
*will have trail companion from Piute Ck to LeConte with another friend joining up where Lamarck Col trail meets JMT with a mini re-supply

Kearsarge Pass tr jcn 179.5mi 2am-6am SU 8/30
*friends will be setting up a full camp here and will be hanging out from about 6pm SA to 9am SU, I will have pizza and coffee!

4hr eat/sleep/re-supply break 6am-10am SU 8/30

Mt. Whitney 210.7mi 6-8pm SU 8/30

Portal 221.7mi 10pm-who knows when SU 8/30

*A note about the planned “sleep” breaks. They make up most of the difference between Sue’s 92 hour record and a non-stop 74hr 3mph pace for 222mi…obviously not an option for sleep-needing creatures. I hope to be able to “tweak” the actual length of these breaks based on how off pace I am. Also, if things are going magically and I’m anywhere near Sue’s pace late in the game I’m hoping that will be sufficient motivation to push harder and break for less time. Of course at some point no matter what I will simply most likely be in survival mode with sleep deprivation being factor #1. It seems this becomes paramount for just about everyone and I expect it will be no different for me. There will probably be unplanned daytime naps in random meadows…

Random but important additional info:
A big question by many has obviously been: why the hell would you go North to South? Well, I did the entire trail in training over the course of 8 scattered days in July-August of this summer. The logistics of car shuttle help from friends found me in Happy Isles for the first training run and since I wanted to do the sections in order I went with it. I feel the rhythm of the trail in the N to S direction is lodged firmly in my consciousness right now and to suddenly switch directions for the actual attempt would feel "against the grain" to me. That is the main reason but I also feel like the first 2 days N to S to Piute Creek contain some very runnable sections that are also at lower elevation. I'm hoping that by hitting these sections while "fresh" I will actually be able to do a lot of running. As we all know the southern half contains a lot of thin air, relentless climbs, and I think, much rougher trail overall- a lot of stuff that I would be hiking even if "fresh" coming from the S. By days 3 and 4 I figure fatigue, hammered feet and legs and sleep deprivation will have me doing mostly hiking anyway regardless of the terrain. We'll see how well this theory pans out. I certainly am not psyched about the climb to Whitney at mile 203!
Because I have plenty of re-supply/bivy set-up help I will be travelling as light as when I do, say, the 56 mile "Evolution loop" as a 1 day training run...4-6# max on my back (using Nathan mesh vest pack minus bladder, carrying 2 20oz handhelds). Last weather check shows a forecast as good as it can get. I should be able to minimize even further the foul weather survival gear I plan to carry.

I will not be taking a camera. This is a tough one for me but I took hundreds of photos on my training runs, know how much time I can eat up with a camera in hand and am hoping that my "support" will get some "action" shots along the way. I know there will be some spectacular "Range Of Light moments" where I will regret this. It simply is not a part of the going as fast as possible equation.

I plan to carry enough food between re-supply points to be able to eat something EVERY HOUR whether it be a gel, energy/electrolyte chews, energy bar, pop tarts (Nature's Path Organic! they are a magic food to me in the BC). More food weight to start each section than most would carry I'm guessing but I am convinced from my 3 day 100+ mile fastpack earlier this month that it is not possible to maintain consistent energy levels for such sustained periods by eating any less frequently. For fluids I plan to drink 20oz every hour mixing water with either Accelerade(protein content) or GU2O. I do not bother to filter in the Sierra. I'm fairly discreet about my water sources however this adventure may cause me to get a little more reckless (I will have a straw for desperate moments...great idea Buzz!). I will be ravenously consuming pizza and coffee at each of my 3 main re-supply points, courtesy of a support crew open to my requests!

I plan to take an Endurolyte cap every hour, a glucosamine/chondroitin cap every 2 hours (while on the move), a multivitamin/multimineral supp each morning and night, and 600 mg ibuprofen before each planned sleep break (i find more than anything it helps to calm the "jimmy legs" syndrome caused by trying to be motionless after 15-20 hours of continuous motion, which at least allows for the possibility of sleep!)

I will have an iPod shuffle with about 7 hours of battery life to be judiciously spread out for use when I need more than the sounds of nature.

No maps will be carried. I feel I know the trail so well and it is so heavily signed (except in the Reds to Crater Mdws area where it need it the most which is simply baffling to me!) that no map is detailed enough to be of any help where I might have issues. For instance the upper south side of Muir Pass where the trail crosses/recrosses/becomes one with the creek numerous times in a desolate rock bowl always has me looking around even in the daylight...could be weird at night when dead tired.

Hopefully I'll end up having some trail company for more of the journey but the only sections I know I will for sure are a few miles at the start, the "Bermuda Triangle" zone in the dark on morning 2 from Reds and from Piute Creek to LeConte Canyon on the morning of Day 3.

I will probably not set foot on a single patch of snow. There will be some stretches where water sources are more limited than normal, at least by Sierra standards which are very generous!

And last but definitely not least: I care far more about experiencing the intertwining of the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of this journey in a magnificent setting than I do about what the stopwatch reads at the Portal BUT it is fun to see how you stack up against others and you do need some sort of timetable so why not go for it!

That's about it. All's that left is to start putting one foot in front of the other and see just how much of this plan goes out the window!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/24/2009 20:36:32 MDT Print View

Jeff,
Most off all, have fun!

A patch of snow might set on you though.

You have sleep breaks startin between 2-4 am.
What do you plan on using for protection while sleeping?
I doesn't look like you will be at anyone of your helps locations for the sleeping periods?

You are going just a little late in the season.
Michael hit 28* on the last night. You could get down into the low 20's. Brrr.

Will you be able to have your friends that are helping you keep us posted as soon as they get back to civilization?

Edited by awsorensen on 08/24/2009 20:37:02 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT: entering the fray on 08/24/2009 23:46:57 MDT Print View

Ian
Are you attempting a "supported" or "unsupported-unresupplied" record?
Are you starting the time from Whitney Portal or Whitney Summit?

If travelling solo, then Mark Davis' method of passing out small laminted cards with your name and email address requesting they email you is a good way to prove you were there. But as far as the unsupported & unresupplied part, it seems to be the honor system.

Edited by asandh on 08/24/2009 23:48:10 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/24/2009 23:50:44 MDT Print View

Jeff
best of luck.
so far this summer a fast start has tended to end in disaster.
watch your pace.

Jeff Kozak
(Kozak) - F
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Another JMT Record Attempt - Jeff Kozak on 08/25/2009 12:15:50 MDT Print View

Aaron,

The way I wrote out that itinerary is misleading I suppose. The times listed (2-4am, etc..)to the right of a planned sleep break indicate when I plan to get moving again AFTER a rest period at a re-supply point.
At Red's Mdw I will be cozy in the back of a styled-out Tacoma, at Piute Ck I will be in a bivy sack/40 degree rated 1.1lb Marmot sleeping bag with a 3/4 length 1/2" thermarest underneath, at Kearsarge Pass zone I will be in a tent with my girlfriend (I haven't decided if this is a really good or potentially bad idea!).
Latest forecast calls for 100 degree temps in the Owens Valley this weekend. Yes, the nights are longer this late in the summer but I think it's going to be as warm as it gets in the upper elevations this time of year. In the event that I'm freezing my ass off trying to sleep at night I will just get up and get moving.
I was able to catch a bit of sleep in between waking up shivering episodes during a mid-October bivy at 11000' in the Palisade Lakes Basin with the same bivy sack and a 30 degree rated sleeping bag on a low teens night. It was miserable but do-able! I'm more concerned about tweaking an ankle above timberline on a pass and the potential consequences of that than being cold during a planned bivy.
I'll mention to my support this site as a place to post updates on my progress. Whether they take the time to do this or not is up to them. They are already sacrificing so much of their free time in the name of my adventure that I'm not going to expect it of them.

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
good luck on 08/26/2009 10:56:20 MDT Print View

Good Luck Brett and Jeff... this should be fun!

Edited by CRAZY8s on 08/26/2009 19:24:20 MDT.

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
JMT on 08/26/2009 11:06:12 MDT Print View

Hi Art, thanks for sharing the idea re: contact cards... I may not laminate but it's a useful idea. I'm going for the unsupported record from Whitney Hut to the Happy Isles sign... at the risk of opening a can of worms, I dare say that TRAIL CAMP wasn't even on the original path to Mt. Whitney from Lone Pine historically when the local fishermen named it FISHERMAN PEAK (if i'm not mistaken about the name) it took a dubious act of california legislation to give crusty old Whitney the christening; if you look at any current map you'll see Whitney Pass climbing from Consultation Lake... this is probably the original path anyways, I have been a little busy though to confirm this suspicion... and I don't really have any hangups about the great Portal debate.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
honour on 08/27/2009 09:53:32 MDT Print View

It seems to me that most of the folks worried about "proof" and the various methods used to attain it are coming from the armchair. There's a long history of this sort of thing being purely on the honour system. Given the lack of fame/money/recognition to be had, I think that's the only sensible and sustainable way to go about it.

Good luck everyone.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: honour on 08/27/2009 10:10:58 MDT Print View

Dave
writing this from an arm(less) chair, I can say its actually just the opposite. those going through all the agony simply want to insure that their sometimes life threatening efforts are not questioned after the fact.

the honor system is a great plan when nobody really cares, but when the sponsored athletes from Europe start showing up (and yes I'm sure they are compensated in some fashion), well ... show us the proof :-)

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
here we go again! on 08/29/2009 00:04:02 MDT Print View

i will be heading to the sierras in a few hours to begin acclimating for the second attempt and hope to start on wed. sep 2. hopefully this attempt will last longer than the last!

my wife will be monitoring this thread for news on jeff's attempt so please someone post any info ASAP. i couldn't imagine starting without knowing that outcome...

ian, i'll try to post as soon as possible as well. if timing will be critical you can get in contact with my wife with this thread. i will try calling her when i get to reds. if you plan on starting before me i'd like to know! :)

good luck!

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Kozak bailed at Kearsarge on 08/31/2009 21:37:48 MDT Print View

Apparently Kozak bailed at Kearsarge Pass.
That's all I know. Check his blog:
www.sagetosummit.blogspot.com

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Kozak bailed at Kearsarge on 09/01/2009 13:01:13 MDT Print View

Nothing on the blog so far. The last entry is from Le Conte Canyon. What happened? Does anyone know?

Jeff Kozak
(Kozak) - F
Re: Re: Kozak bailed at Kearsarge on 09/01/2009 14:56:48 MDT Print View

Sue's amazing record stands...I bailed at Kearsarge Pass 180 miles in. I will post a detailed trip report on Peter's FKT site once I have sorted through the rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts I've been experiencing.
Quick synopsis:
3:10 am start Thursday the 26th
9pm arrival Reds Mdw
3:45am FR 27th start Reds
8:30pm arrival Piute Creek
2:10am SA 28th start Piute Creek
8am SU 29th arrival Bullfrog Lake
Based on how recovered and desirous I feel to run and ride again already after a 12 hour death-like sleep back at home in Bishop I am absolutely convinced that I succumbed primarily to sleep deprivation. The 30+ hour non-stop push from Piute Creek after already having 3 nights in a row of only 2-3 hours actual sleep left me a complete wreck as we stumbled over Glen Pass in the early morning hours of Sunday. In the 3 miles from Glen Pass to camp I experienced completely random emotional breakdowns with uncontrollable crying episodes. By early afternoon in camp I still hadn't slept much and I couldn't get my head around continuing knowing it would be dark again soon. The lack of sleep had a lot of irrational fears blown way out of proportion and I felt like I had lost the ability to think logically.
Despite leaving unfinished business out there it has been one of the greatest experiences of my life.
Good luck Brett!!! It would be great if at least one of the myriad attempts this summer is at least completed! Be ready for longer stretches than normal for the Sierra without water.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re: Kozak bailed at Kearsarge on 09/01/2009 15:03:51 MDT Print View

Jeff, sorry you had to stop. Thanks for the very honest recount of your challenges on the attempt.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: Re: Kozak bailed at Kearsarge on 09/01/2009 16:35:05 MDT Print View

I had the opportunity to discuss the JMT extensively with
Flyin' Brian recently, during a 5-day backpack in SEKI.
It's clear that most failures are due to lack of sleep.
Brian was way ahead of my time years ago, but simply
couldn't follow the trail into Yoseimte due to sleep
deprivation. His pacer was telling him the right way,
but he just wouldn't believe it. I also crashed and
burned at Tuolumne, with a complete physical and
emotional melt-down due to lack of sleep. I was able
to continue after an hour or two, but it sure wasn't
pretty. I was so whacked that next night that I completely
forgot to take caffeine. John Stamstad's unsupported
attempt (quoted extensively on my site) is classic for
the delerium & halucinations. Not fun. There are other
examples -- Popov knows this well, I think. On the other
hand, the 2 fastest times have (Sue J. & Kevin Sawchuk)
have been set with probably the most sleep. They had
great support, knew the route & had the confidence to
sleep enough. If I was doing the JMT again I would pay
very close attention to the sleep plan. I would have
enough gear to sleep comfortably at the coldest times
of night (wee hours), when you really need it. I argued
with Brian that doing the trail in late July - early Aug
is best becasue the nights are warmer, so you can carry
less stuff and still sleep well, while he feels the days
are too hot then. Of course if you have people setting
up camps for you then the equation of carrying enough
gear to sleep is moot, but you better be sure the camps
are where/when you need them (again, in the wee hours).
Being forced to sleep when you don't really need it is a
waste. This was a problem in some of the early attempts,
when we had to guess where we would be when.
Nowadays, folks have the benefit of everyone's splits to
know pretty much exactly where they will be. It's
fun to see how the approach has evolved & the various
things people are trying.

Just some thoughts. Looking forward to Kozak's report -
Jeff I'll definitely post it as soon as you send it to me.

PB

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re Jeff Kozak JMT Effort on 09/01/2009 18:08:39 MDT Print View

Great effort Jeff.
Sounds as if there will be a "next time" for you.

Peter
Great analysis regarding the sleep issue.

Edited by asandh on 09/01/2009 18:09:31 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: join in. on 09/01/2009 18:47:35 MDT Print View

> One such adventure is laconically recounted by one Slavomir Rawicz in "The Long Walk".

However, ... the veracity of the book was challenged after it was published. I don't know either way.

As to how many copies he sold - a bit more than a few hundred imho. It does seem to have got a fair bit of international recognition and discussion. My copy was given to me in the mid-60s.

Cheers

hareem maune
(hmaune) - F
Thanks on 09/01/2009 20:20:29 MDT Print View

Thanks Peter for posting the first report on Jeff's JMT attempt. I was able to convey it to Brett this morning.

Good work on the trail Jeff. Thanks for updating this thread so quickly afterward.

If all goes well, Brett will be starting his JMT attempt tonight. I will update the thread as soon as I hear from him again, which most probably would be from Reds Meadow.

hareem maune
(hmaune) - F
quick update on 09/02/2009 11:48:36 MDT Print View

Brett decided not to start yesterday night. He is now planning to start tonight.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re Jeff Kozak JMT Effort on 09/02/2009 12:59:59 MDT Print View

Thanks, Jeff, for the quick recap. It looks like you had a good time, but sleep deprivation caught up with you. I slept even less. I think 3-5 solid hours a day is a ticket. There's also an idle time, before you go to bed and after you wake up. That needs to be taken into consideration too.

I'd also change shirts and gloves in the later stages for the fresh ones. Every time you move your arms or take a sip from the bottle, you get this sour whiff of dust, sweat, wet leather and spilled liquids.

How was Evolution crossing? You'll probably mention it in your report anyway.

Looking forward to the full report!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re Jeff Kozak JMT Effort on 09/02/2009 21:03:59 MDT Print View

We need to start being called the JMT Vampires as we only come out on a full moon.

Great job Jeff.
I sure is hard breaking that 200 mile zone on such little sleep or more like the hardest 4th day you'll ever have on a trail.
Can't wait for a report. Hope your comatosed state of recovery is going well.

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
JMT Werewolves on 09/03/2009 00:43:46 MDT Print View

Aaron,

Don't want to freak you out, but vampires are active any night and every night. Werewolves are the beasties that only come out on a full moon.....you boys hairy, by any chance?

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: JMT Werewolves on 09/04/2009 21:56:07 MDT Print View

We sure are, Nate, you don't want to know.

I don't know what it is though, the moon or the moonshine. Both grow hair on your chest.

hareem maune
(hmaune) - F
Update on Brett on 09/05/2009 23:23:37 MDT Print View

Brett was able to call today from Crater meadows. He started his hike Thursday 12:45AM from Whitney portal. He reached Crater meadows today, took a nap, and restarted the hike at 4:00 PM.

If all goes well, I will meet him tomorrow at Happy Isles trail. He or I will update once we get web access again.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Update on Brett on 09/06/2009 10:52:17 MDT Print View

Thanks for the update, Hareem!

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
BRETT IS AHEAD OF THE RECORD!!! on 09/06/2009 10:57:53 MDT Print View

Okay,
So what the above means is Brett left Crater Meadows, mile 162.2 in 63:15.
This is an average speed of 2.56 mph.

He just got some sleep with 60 miles to go and has 28:45 to do it in.
This means he only has to average 2.1 mph to get under the record.

Brett is flying!!!

Even if he averages only 2.25 mph, he will beat the record by over 2 hours.
This is over the supported record too, but Brett is doing this Unsupported.
The U/S record is 101 hours 25 mins.
Thanks for the update...

Edited by awsorensen on 09/06/2009 20:00:59 MDT.

hareem maune
(hmaune) - F
Brett has broken both supported and unspported records :) on 09/06/2009 21:40:08 MDT Print View

I am writing from a motel where Brett's resting now. I met with him at the first bridge on the Happy Isle trail and walked to the terminus with him. He was emotional, delirious, and in pain. YAE!!! I will let him tell the final time :)

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
JMT speed record attempt on 09/06/2009 22:09:48 MDT Print View

Awesome !

That is a tremendous accomplishment, I can't wait to read more about his run.

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
JMT speed record attempt on 09/06/2009 22:19:39 MDT Print View

Wow!

CONGRATULATIONS!

Eagerly await the story...

Elena Sherman
(ElenaSherman) - F
JMT speed record attempt on 09/06/2009 22:42:08 MDT Print View

Congratulations!!! Awesome accomplishment!!!
I can't wait to hear your story.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Brett has broken both supported and unspported records :) on 09/06/2009 23:02:56 MDT Print View

Just some quick stuff for now I still haven't slept.

First, thanks to all for the heartfelt advice given through this forum. They dramatically improved the probability of success (from 0!). Even if I didn't use someone's advice on the actual run, everything was still part of the learning process.

The times: I don't trust myself with math right now so I'll also give starting times.
I started thursday at 12:45 AM from portal and left the summit at 5AM.
I reached the trail marker sign today @ 2:58(~35 seconds) PM
So I think that makes:
time from portal: 3 days 14 hours 13 min
time from summit: 3 days 9 hours 58 min (IMHO real FKT JMT)

some other things:
Aaron--i think you mentioned the JMT cough in a previous posting. What is this disgusting yellow crap I'm coughing up? Should I be concerned? My knees are also 'very' tight and painful. I can't really walk at the moment.

As I suspected/feared, I think I burned up 'all' of my body fat at the end of the second day. Is this really bad? Funny I didn't examine the consequences of this beforehand.

Coincidentally, Ian was acclimating in the Whitney hut when I reached it!!! He was planning on starting an hour later--at 6 AM. Anyone hear anything?

The TR may take a while. I'll try to get it finished this week. I still need my car. Highway 120 is closed! :(

Brett

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
New JMT Record on 09/06/2009 23:05:37 MDT Print View

Great job Brett!

Can't wait to read your report. I hope you enjoy your well deserved rest.

Mark

Kent C.
(kent) - M

Locale: High Sierra
need car...120 closed on 09/07/2009 00:54:09 MDT Print View

Brett if you or your wife are still following posts...

120 is NOT completely closed..you CAN get to your car!

There is a detour set up, it's much longer, but do-able. Should be signs up. FWIW read on:

Hwy 140, west, out of park. Get onto 49 and go north. Switch to 120 east. You can then get back into and through the park all the way to the east. (These are directions posted on YNP website)

Good Luck, Rest up!

Congratulations!

Edited by kent on 09/07/2009 00:55:40 MDT.

Peter Bakwin
(pbakwin) - F
Re: Re: Brett has broken both supported and unspported records :) on 09/07/2009 08:07:47 MDT Print View

I LOVE it! Some unknown kid comes out and puts his heart
and soul into this thing for the whole summer. His first
attempt he crashes & burns on Day 1, as everyone expects.
Learning his lessons, and steeling his resolve, he comes
back a month later and CRUSHES it in classic style.
Great job Brett! I look forward to the full report.
PB
(who now has the FOURTH fastest JMT time...)

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Brett has broken both supported and unspported records :) on 09/07/2009 08:41:53 MDT Print View

Brett
Very amazing feat.
Still trying to rap my head around it.
Congratulations on a great job.

Sue Johnston
(SueJohnston) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT records on 09/07/2009 10:06:41 MDT Print View

Huge congratulations for breaking both the supported and UNsupported (wow) JMT records! After you've rested up a bit, would love to read your trip report. Wouldn't worry about the cough & knee pain; both should go away in a few days. (To say, of course your knees hurt!!) :)

I think it's cool how both the PCT (Adam Bradley & Scott Williamson) and JMT overall records are now owned by people who did the trails self- or unsupported.

Sue Johnston
2nd fastest JMT time
1st fastest chick time :p

Brian Robinson
(BrianRobinson) - F - M

Locale: California central coast
Congratulations Brett on 09/07/2009 10:54:41 MDT Print View

Wow. A new combined record by over 5 hours!! Sue's mark was already amazing, but you killed it!

The yellow stuff you're coughing up is "normal." Can Anything like this be described as normal? :-) Not sure exactly what it is, but probably dust and/or your body's defense against breathing so much dry air.

You've earned a long rest. Make sure you give your body lots of time to recover. Easy walking is fine, but no long hard runs for several months, at least.

Congratulations!
Brian

Jeff Borne
(borneoutthere) - F

Locale: Central Oregon
inspiring to say the least on 09/07/2009 10:58:48 MDT Print View

Brett -
Nice job staying diligent and not giving in the fears of failure out there.
Your efforts have raised the dial to 11!
Rest, Digest and enjoy the memories of the JMT...the pain will soon be a distant memory.
Borne

Ed Croke
(crokee) - F
Re: Re: Brett has broken both supported and unspported records :) on 09/07/2009 12:32:56 MDT Print View

Way to go Brett!! I knew you could do it! See you tomorrow.

Ed

catra Corbett
(DirtDiva) - F
awesome Job!! on 09/08/2009 00:58:53 MDT Print View

Dude! You F*cking ROCK!!!!
Congrats.

Catra
2nd fastest girls time on the JMT
Yo Yo record 12 days 4 hours and 57 min.

http://trailgirl.blogspot.com

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
And that's how it's done! on 09/08/2009 03:44:18 MDT Print View

Amazing effort and time! Brett, you deserve this trail!

Do you have the splits for the route? Would be nice to analyze those.

Looking forward to the report!

The yellow chunky stuff you're coughing up (JMT cough) is normal for this level of excertion and the conditions on the trail. It's dust/dry air/cold air, and apparently human body rejects these things in such a disgusting manner.

Get some very well deserved rest now!

-Michael

Edited by mpopov on 09/08/2009 03:57:22 MDT.

Jeff Kozak
(Kozak) - F
Awesome Brett! on 09/08/2009 12:01:25 MDT Print View

Congratulations Brett! Truly amazing. Word of your success trickled into Bishop yesterday as I was lounging around being really tired after an 8 mile run! Enjoy the moment and good luck with the recovery process. Knowing what I felt I can't imagine what you're feeling!
I'm really curious as to the air quality you dealt with. Two of the days you were out there we had some of the worst, stagnant air pollution of the summer down in the Owens Valley due to smoke from the Yosemite and Angeles NF fires and I couldn't help but wonder how that was affecting your attempt. Apparantly, not at all! Or maybe you would have been under 3 1/2 days! Again congrats man!
I've been too busy to get a report posted on my attempt but now I'm more psyched to read about yours!

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 09/08/2009 21:41:34 MDT Print View

Test

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Time Sheet and TR on 09/08/2009 23:20:13 MDT Print View

Hello everyone,

I've been really busy getting back to LA and dealing with the injury aftermath from the run. I will be working as fast as I can on the TR but unfortunately won't have much time until next week to work on it. I'm going to try my best to get it finished before next weekend. There's a lot to write about--a lot happened! The TR is really my only way of giving back to the community which has given me so much so I want to make it as good as possible.

I've completed the time sheet and it will hopefully appear below as a legible picture. Part of my JMT 'research' entailed transcribing all time sheets from past record breaking runs into a common excel sheet so I could do a side-by-side comparison. In the end I used Sue's (naturally!) as a template to construct my own and so I've included her times in it as well.JMT Time Sheet

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
More info needed on 09/09/2009 00:02:25 MDT Print View

Great spreadsheet, Brett!

What was your gear list? Please post.

Do you have verifiers for the trail?

-Mike

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Recent JMT records & attempts on 09/09/2009 17:03:56 MDT Print View

Holy Toledo Brett!!!......21,000 calories a day.....that is more calories a day than I consumed during any of my entire JMT fastpacks.

A 3 day, 9 hr, 58 minute unsupported JMT....wow!!!...that is really smoking.

You boys have taken this JMT thing to a whole new level.
When I first hiked the the JMT with the Scouts in 1996 I wore waffle stomper boots hauling a 85 lb pack and cooking
oat meal and freeze dries on a wisper lite stove.

On my JMT fastpacks I always had trouble with the question
of food & sleep vs speed.
More food equals more weight which equals reduced speed.
However, More food equals more energy which equals increased speed.
Same with sleep....sleep to a speed hiker is wasted time.
On the other hand more sleep equals more energy which in turn equals increased speed.
The question is where do you draw the line?
Where is the happy medium for maximum performance?
It appears Brett has found that happy medium that works for him.

I have the same problem with this age issue.....when are you to old for this extreme stuff?
My wife insists that at one month shy of 69 I have gotten
to old for this extreme stuff loong ago and I should instead consider taking up crocheting & knitting.

Yup, you boys have taken this speed hiking to an entirely new level and I can't congratulate each and everyone of you enough.

JMT Reinhold

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Holy Toledo Again on 09/09/2009 17:44:19 MDT Print View

I have been watching this thread from the beginning. Truly stunning what Brett has done.

I want to post right behind Reinhold. I just finished my first JMT thruhike in 14 days. Plenty fast for me. However, I was able to hike with Reinhold and his wife for a number of those days. I have to think that if Reinhold was only 10 years younger he'd be out there trying to beat that record. He can still move along at a great pace even while carrying a 55 lb. pack so his wife could enjoy her trip more. He truly was a trailblazer in the speed dept. I know he could do me in at any moment and I'm not quite 50 yet.

Congratulations Brett! I hope you recuperate soon.

Scott

Ryan Teale
(monstertruck) - F

Locale: Almost Yosemite
JMT speed record attempt on 09/09/2009 18:50:38 MDT Print View

First of all congratulations Brett!! Truly an awesome accomplishment. Having just finished the trail on Saturday myself and returning to work today with a few aches and pains I was thinking of how you must be feeling after this remarkable feat.

Sorry to be off topic a little...

Being out on the trail and hearing some chatter from people about Jeff and Reinhold being out there was fun. I heard a few stories about Reinhold punching his food into the bear canister at VVR and packing and repacking his big pack.

Jeff: I believe your pacer may have passed me on the way up to Forrester pass on Friday the 4th on her long day out over Whitney Portal. It gave me a good laugh as she went by with her camelbak and said "It's a beautiful morning" as I huffed and puffed as a light drizzle and some hail came down. I did 23 miles that day to Guitar Lake and that was plenty for me.

This has been a great thread and thanks for sharing here on BPL.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 09/09/2009 19:00:30 MDT Print View

Outstanding job Brett. Just an amazing effort.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: More info needed on 09/09/2009 19:28:54 MDT Print View

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

I am starting the TR after this post. I will finish it ASAP but can't work on it from Fri-Mon. I want to make it complete as possible as a thank you to everyone who has helped. I can literally point to virtually every piece of gear and run strategy element and trace it back to either one of the previous record attempt runs, related threads, or this thread. Just two examples to illustrate. 1) I tried (used) Storm Dragons because Aaron had padding issues with the lighter Sun Dragons. 2) I never could find a new pair for the second attempt, and decided to use Dirty Girl gaitors (as mentioned in Sue's TR) to replace the torn ones I had. Literally EVERYTHING I know/used pertaining to this run came from scouring the previous posts during this past year.

Here's the gear list:
I changed a few items since the first attempt (e.g. trekking poles) and outright removed the following:
Clip on sunglasses (my glasses block UV)
Toothbrush and toothpaste (I knew I wouldn’t take the time to use these anyway)


Gear List
EQUIPMENT
GoLite Jam pack
Titanium goat trekking poles
Belt loop clip watch
1 fl oz DEET (never used in September!)
small compass (as if I would need this!)
two head lamps with 6 AAA lithium batteries (I needed both as it turns out)
small bottle of sunscreen
maps/splits/permits
chapstick
3L camelback
Powerade bottle (for water)
~44 Aqua Mira tablets with small scissors to cut packaging
Camera
Athletic tape
Tp
Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag
3/8” thick evazote from gossamer
AMK blister kit and space blanket

FOOD
~8k calories of Hammer raspberry gel, with 2 5.5 serving squeeze bottles
~10k calories of cliff bars (21 chocolate brownie, 21 chocolate chip cookie)
~1.5k calories of Recoverite (in a nearly full powerade bottle)
~400 calories of sausage leftover from first attempt (for efficient tasty salt ingestion)
Pills/supplements: ~22 ibuprofen, full bottle (120 capsules) of endurolytes, ~8 S!caps, 8 caffeine pills (used 2), ~6 vitamins, 2 emergen-C packets (didn’t use)


CLOTHING
GoLite Storm Dragons
Dirty Girl Gaitors (purple flame design)
Injiji socks (2 pair)
Paper thin black pants with zip-off legs (I’ve had for years)
Polyester underwear
Capilene shirt
Thin long-sleeve Patagonia polyester shirt
Montbell ThermaWrap Jacket
GoLite Virga rain shell (I needed this!)
Cutoff finger bicycle gloves
Full finger fleece insulated gloves
OR white, light hat
Fleece hat

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: More info needed on 09/09/2009 19:42:14 MDT Print View

Mike,

About verifiers, primary verification is through pictures and videos I took at all major junctions and passes. I liked your method of taking pictures of yourself at each pass. It really showed the progression of exhaustion. I did the same for this attempt but didn't think to include the trail pass signs in the background of the pics until Selden Pass (oops!). The videos are clear though so I'll probably post more of those. I'll probably include a pic or vid from each pass in the TR and others important to the story. I can make all ~400 MB of data available to people who want it.

Other than that, Ian (anyone hear from him?!?) was at the summit of whitney when I signed in. I mentioned to a few hikers along the way what I was doing but random hikers aren't that useful for this purpose. I did speak to a man (who was hiking with someone else) just below the mini-pass above virginia lake. he mentioned he knew of two friends(?) who were trying to break the JMT record the previous week! I asked "you mean Jeff?". He said no and said their two names. One of which may be Alex, but that could very easily be wrong. I was very sleep deprived at this point and I think the guy even said I looked like a mess.

Also, there was a lovely thunderstorm at Muir Pass mid-day Friday. Many people saw me as I quickly walked by them down towards evolution valley, as they hunkered down alongside the trail. I have videos of this.

Brett

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: More info needed on 09/09/2009 20:12:36 MDT Print View

It's after the fact and moot now,
but Mark Davis seemed to have the best method at attempting verification for solo efforts.

Mark passed out small cards with his name and email address to people he passed on the trail, and asked them to send him an email describing their encounter.
Third party contact is always best.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: More info needed on 09/09/2009 20:28:02 MDT Print View

Congrats Brett. I wonder if the coughing up yellow is due to dry air causing mild bronchitis. That could be true if there is definitely an associated cough and not just a feeling of needing to get rid of phlegm. Maybe Doc Sawchuk has a better idea of what it is.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Ian Alloway, 101hrs 5 min ? ? on 09/10/2009 10:17:08 MDT Print View

There is an unsubstantiated report, on the Whitney Portal Message Board, that the "other" mystery guy, Ian Alloway, just did an unsupported JMT of 101 hrs 5 min. That would also beat Michael Popov's 2007 Unsupported Record by 20 minutes if it is correct.

What's in the water this summer?

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=67989&page=1&PHPSESSID=
8764ce691fe54fea2ccf7a9237dd3fb9#Post67989

Edited by asandh on 09/10/2009 11:14:30 MDT.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Gear list on 09/10/2009 11:33:11 MDT Print View

Say Brett,
Looking at your gear list I don't see any type of shelter,
tarp or ground cloth for rain or snow protection.
Did you go without and just plan on bayling if caught in a rain or snow storm, or did I overlook it?

Again, I can't congratulate you enough on your tremendous achievement.....this will be a hard one to break.

JMT Reinhold

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Gear list on 09/10/2009 15:53:00 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments Reinhold,

I had an AMK emergency space blanket for shelter against bad weather (last entry on equipment). It turns out I didn't need it but I did need the GoLite rain shell when I got caught in the thunderstorm near Muir Pass.

Brett

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Gear list on 09/10/2009 17:10:12 MDT Print View

Thanks Brett,
I see it now, it's part of the blister kit.
Were you actually able to consume 20,000 calories per day
or did you have a lot left over?
Did you loose any weight or were you able to maintain your weight due to the heavy calorie consumption?......I mean actual body weight, not weight loss from fluid loss due to dehydration which is usually recovered within a day or so
upon return.
I always lost 10 lb or so on my JMT speed hikes, but then again I only consumed about 4,000-4500 calories a day.
You were setting a very fast pace...I assume you were doing a fair amount of running especially on the straights and downs....can you elaborate?

I am still in awe of your accomplishment.
Like I said, You have taken this JMT thing to a entirely
higher level.

JMT Reinhold

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Gear list on 09/10/2009 18:44:48 MDT Print View

Reinhold,

I had about 20k calories total and consumed about 250 cal/hr for 6k/day. I'm not sure how much weight I lost because I think my electrolytes are still out of whack. As of yesterday I was 151 lbs and started with 155 lb, but this is after I've eaten A LOT. An ultrarunner coworker estimated I had 2% body fat (3 lbs) before I started and I think I burned through all of that by the end of the second day. I think my performance really suffered later in the trail because I was metabolizing muscle as my main energy source. I'll have much more to say about this in the trip report and am really interested to hear what people (who are far more knowledgeable than I about this) have to say. I think the key piece of evidence for this are my times immediately after the Crater Meadow rest. Presumably I ran off of glycogen initially after the rest and you can see that my time to Garnet Lake Junction is quite fast and then I fall apart going up Donohue when the glycogen runs low and I return to metabolizing muscle.

Regarding running, I don't consider myself to be a runner. I think my specialty is climbing to be honest. Generally in the beginning I ran the down hills which weren't rocky and walked the flats as fast as I could. I didn't do much running in the latter half for various reasons such as blisters or insufficient energy.

Brett

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: .
Re: Fat on 09/10/2009 19:05:52 MDT Print View

An ultrarunner coworker estimated I had 2% body fat (3 lbs) before I started and I think I burned through all of that by the end of the second day.

If that were true, you'd be dead. Just for comparison purposes body builders are 2-4% at competition time. They only get that low for a comp and it's not really maintainable. Just don't want people getting bad info out of that statement.

Jeff Borne
(borneoutthere) - F

Locale: Central Oregon
Thoughts on verification on 09/10/2009 20:39:43 MDT Print View

Anyone thought of using a "Spot"? It would let's the outside world in on the current haps. Drawback: is still weight. It seems to work really well for Andrew Skurka and his adventures.
I really like the picture at passes or major points of interest combined with Mark's idea of cards, let's other hikers participate in super human acts of self discovery.
Borne

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Gear list on 09/10/2009 22:44:55 MDT Print View

Geeee.....Im glad we got that cleared up....I must have misread one of your earlier posts when you were talking about burning 20,000 calories a day and was under the impression your 20,000 calorie menue was per day instead for the whole trail.
I could not understand how you could consume so many calories.
Six thousand calories a day, I can understand that.
Brett, how much did your pack weigh at the start with food but without water and how much water did you carry?

JMT Reinhold

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Fat on 09/10/2009 22:50:28 MDT Print View

Chris, I don't know and there's apparently a lot of implied info in your post. It was only a guess. My personal guess is that I had at most 5 lbs. I started my recon hikes at 165 lbs (and was quite skinny then) and steadily lost weight. I really struggled to maintain 155 lbs, and only did so when it became an obvious strategic priority to do so.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Gear list on 09/10/2009 22:53:11 MDT Print View

first attempt: 27 lbs including 3 L of water
second attempt: 27 lbs including 2 L of water
so I guess about 23 lbs without water

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Holy Toledo and JMT & PCT records on 09/11/2009 03:11:05 MDT Print View

Hey Scott,
Nice to see you on this list.
My wife and I made to Whitney in 15 days, 6 hrs, 45 minutes including the 1 day lay over at Virmillion.

Karen caught Pneumonia somewhere along the way after Virmillion and we had to stretch 3 days of food into five.
I lost 10 lb hauling that 55 lb pack, but it was worth it to keep Karen UL...after all, this was Karen's JMT and I wanted her to enjoy it...so I kept her light and let her set the pace.
This JMT was not for me, I have been cruising around in the Sierra for 30+ years now, usually winding up on the JMT somewhere and this was my 10th JMT Thru-hike....this one was for Karen.

Did you say I would try to beat that record if I was 10 yrs younger?...Why heck, I would go for it if I was
65 again.
I have no elusions that I could beat Brett's speed, not any more, he is to fast for me the only chance I would have would be to hike harder & smarter.
By that I mean, I know the trail....I know where all the water is where the hard sections and the easy sections are.
For instance, on the hike with Karen I seldom carried more
than 1.5 liter of water for the two of us because I always knew where the next water was.

Knowing the trail has it's advantages.
That is one of the big advantages Scott Williamson had when
he and Adam Bradley broke David Horton's all around "PCT RECORD" last month.
He knew the trail....he has hiked it 12 times including two
yo-yo's.

And yes "RYAN", you heard right...I was punching my food into the bear canister and packing & repacking my pack to cram as much as possible into them to keep Karen as UL as possible....I TREAT MY WOMEN RIGHT.....that is why Karen still hikes with me even though she is pushing 68...psssst
don't tell her I told you.

Some of my buddies strap their wifes or girl friends down like mules and then they wonder why they don't like backpacking.

JMT Reinhold

Stephen Becker
(srbecker) - F
Re: Re: Fat on 09/11/2009 14:39:23 MDT Print View

Wikipedia agrees with the 2-4% body fat stat (maybe that's your source?). I remember reading a profile in Sports Illustrated of a NFL guy who had 2% body fat, according to the article. I think the 2% range is only possible if you have enough muscle mass (e.g. bodybuilders, football players). For those of us under 250 lbs, it's probably not possible to get those kind of ratios, since there must be a minimum amount of fat needed for a human, regardless of size/weight.

For verification of times, I always thought that we could learn from those Columbian drug lords who take pictures of kidnap victims with a newspaper. You start your trip as soon as the first copies of a major newspaper start to arrive, then take your picture with the front page at every major trailhead. This proves that you didn't start before you say you did. To prove your finishing time is probably easier -- just immediately upload the pictures to a public forum like this. Of course, since you don't have access to newspapers or a computer at trailheads, there is some time delay involved, so there's a limit to the time resolution of this method.

And, if you decide to take anyone ransom, you already have the newspaper there! Talk about efficiency...

Brett, looking forward to the TR. Congrats again

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
We broke David's PCT record by "Scott Williamson" on 09/11/2009 22:38:05 MDT Print View

Hi gang,
If you are interested in reading about Scott Williamson's
and Adam Bradley's PCT record hike go to "We broke David's
PCT record by "Scott Williamson" in the forum index under
"General Light Weight Backpacking Discussions"

JMT Reinhold

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
hypertext link question on 09/16/2009 22:55:22 MDT Print View

Everyone,

I hope to post the TR tomorrow. There's going to be a lot of videos. How do I embed hypertext links within the thread text? I'm trying to avoid having people copy/paste links endlessly.

Thanks,
Brett

test:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pQQtRmFe8I

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: hypertext link question on 09/16/2009 23:00:08 MDT Print View

How to post a link on BPL

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
TR Coming Soon (Hopefully) on 09/17/2009 22:05:41 MDT Print View

I will hopefully have the TR posted soon. I'll need to embed many video links and upload many pictures and will be shocked if this works on the first try. Hopefully I'll get it figured out tonight.

Regarding the TR, I have ~40 vids and ~10 pics. I was thinking of posting all the footage in a separate thread but since I've learned how to embed video links in text I'm going to try and post everything together. The majority of the videos are not interesting and are merely me reciting times at major points along the trail for verification. For these the links are simply the names of the place where I took the videos (e.g. Glen Pass). For the more interesting videos I've added little descriptors in the links (e.g. xxxx Pass Discussion) or something similar. I can't guarantee I followed this convention perfectly, but I tried my best. This was meant to make it easier for people to extract what they wanted from the TR more efficiently.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: TR Coming Soon (Hopefully) on 09/17/2009 22:52:24 MDT Print View

Hey Brett,
Your video's have been a great!
It makes you feel like you are there because you just kept going while taking them.

I say, post them all, I would really like to see them.
can't wait for the TR as well.
From what I've heard I'm pretty sure Ian's TR will be right behind yours.

I came up with a new name for you by the way.

SUPERMAUNE

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT 2009 Record Breaking Run TR on 09/17/2009 23:13:04 MDT Print View

Planning for 2nd Attempt
As many of you know my first attempt at the JMT record ended with a meltdown near Pinchot Pass, which I believe was due to the 11th hour change towards a Snickers dominated diet in order to save a few pounds. My first priority was to fix the diet. I once again tried a variant of Mark Davis’ Perpetuem based diet, but the experiment went very badly. The experiment was conducted on a day hike from Bishop Pass trailhead, to LeConte Canyon, Mather Pass and back. The equipment I ordered based on Mark’s recommendations hadn’t arrived yet and I lacked an effective means to mix the concentrated Perpetuem and ended up consuming ‘Perpetuem balls’--goopy on the outside and powdery on the inside. It was so repulsive. I starved myself that day and ate the absolute least possible required to make it back to my car after 22 horrendous hours. I still think Mark’s Perpetuem diet may be optimal, I just required more experimentation with it.

I still needed a diet but ran out of time for testing a new one! I never had a problem with the Hammer gel products on any of my reconnaissance hikes so I decided to use the gel with an appropriate amount of cliff bars to approximate the protein and fat concentration in Perpetuem. Eventually I settled on a gel/cliff bar caloric ratio of 4:5, to help save a bit of weight by using more cliff bars. At the expense of adding a few pounds I felt this diet had the best chance of success without testing it in the field.

After my first attempt, the BPL community was kind enough to suggest alternatives to my not-quite-so-UL equipment. I followed all of them and now had a completely pimped out rig. This was nice because the weight savings in gear mostly offset the increased food weight from the higher carb based diet.

Acclimation and Preparation
I learned a lot from the acclimation fiasco on the first attempt—like bring a tent…and a chair! Don’t sleep in a bivy sack. I again acclimated at Horseshoe Meadows. That place is great—elevation on demand.

After Michael’s recent failure report—later echoed by Jeff—the point was finally hit home that sleep deprivation was serious! I started the last attempt with perhaps an hour of sleep and that was not acceptable this time around. I vowed to start after a full night’s rest. I hoped to start Wednesday, Sept. 2 from 12AM-2AM and so needed to sleep starting in the afternoon on Tuesday. I brought eye covers so I could sleep during the day but I never could really sleep. At night military jets flew over every 15 min or so which further prohibited sleep. Mission aborted.

The next morning I decided to rent a motel room in Lone Pine. I felt the benefit of a decent sleep outweighed the cost of lost acclimation. I started trying to sleep at around 2PM but couldn’t. I noticed my pulse was elevated and eventually concluded it must have been due to the anticipation of the run! Wow, this didn’t happen last time…At 4PM I was still wide awake in bed and the situation was becoming critical and so I decided to seek the aid of some drugs. But what? Ah, Nyquil! I may not be coughing now but I suspect I would be soon…I headed to the store two blocks away and bought a bottle. The clerk said “Boy you look like you need this. Just got down from the mountain?” “Um, actually I’m about to start,” I replied. Geez, I know I was wearing my hiking outfit but do I normally look like a mess??? Anyway, I got back to the motel and took an adult dose. I felt my pulse slowing. 30 min later I took another. Now there was a kid incessantly riding a scooter back and forth outside my window. Gulp. Another half dose on the way…The Nyquil worked. I was awakened by my alarm at 11PM. I felt I could sleep more so I did. May as well, it was going to be the last decent sleep for half a week. I awoke at 12 AM and was out the door and headed for Whitney Portal in less than 5 min.

First Period of Consciousness
Again I started with the traditional pack weighing—27 lbs—same as last time and exactly what I expected. It turned out that the pack was really 2 lbs heavier than in my previous attempt, I cheated by removing a liter of water. The increase in food weight was not offset by the weight savings from the expensive new UL gear. I did not take well to the idea that after spending even more money on the second attempt (50 lb bag of Maltodextrin anyone?) that my starting pack would be HEAVIER. So, I decided to fudge it by using a Powerade bottle for hydration in conjunction with the 3L camelback. This way I was able to start with 2L—one in each the camelback and the Powerade bottle. The Powerade bottle also enabled rapid hydration turnaround between frequent water sources, whereas the camelback was still used for long haul sections as well as at night when I did not want to stop for water anyway. I originally only intended to use the bottle during the first day to save a couple pounds here and there but it turns out I used it extensively for the whole hike—and the use of this little bottle alone saved the entire trip, but more on that later [ Whitney Portal Pack Weighing].
Whitney portal

I began hiking from the scale precisely at 12:45 AM, Thursday Sept. 3 and made steady progress up Whitney. Eventually I needed to fill the bottle for the first time. I dunked it in a stream, put an Aqua Mira tablet in it and was done. The whole process took about a minute vs ~8-9 min for my camelback. So I saved about 5 min/per 3L. That was about an hour savings for the full trip! Cool. In my excitement with the increased efficiency I raced off without my new UL Titanium Goat trekking poles! I soon realized my error but lost about 5 min. This happened ~5 times during the entire trip with a total time loss of ~15 min. Not Cool [ Start From WP Scale].

Like last time, as I ascended toward the switchbacks the air became progressively cooler. This time, however, I started with the intention of adhering to my revised time sheet and resisted the urge to accelerate with the falling temp. I noticed my pulse increased as I reached the upper switchbacks. I think the 12 hours spent in Lone Pine immediately before starting had a fairly significant detrimental effect on the acclimation. Oh well. At least I was wide awake...for now!

I reached the summit after 4:09—exactly on target and matching Sue’s time on her record breaking run. As I approached the hut I saw there was a light inside. Someone stepped out right as I began signing the register. “This is really fortunate,” I thought to myself. During my last attempt (as well as this one) I passed everyone on the way to the summit and had no one to verify my starting time from Mount Whitney. “I have a favor to ask…,” I started saying when the man asked “Are you Brett?” “Um…Yeah” “Hi, I’m Ian.” It was Ian—another crazy guy from the BPL forum about to start an unsupported attempt! He said he was starting at 6 AM which momentarily confused me as I was writing the time in the register (I wrote 5:54 AM instead of 4:54 AM. Oops!) Fortunately the mistake was caught and corrected in the register. Ian was gracious and offered the following as verification of my summit departure [ Whitney Summit Wrong Time!, Whitney Summit Verification With Ian, Whitney Summit Start].
Whitney Summit

In the mad rush to have all the ‘business’ taken care of before 5AM (an obviously convenient time to start from the summit) I forgot I never actually tagged the summit. I realized this with about a minute to spare and ran the few steps to the actual summit. The clock struck 5 AM and I was off! I jokingly shouted “No offense, but I hope I don’t see you again Ian!” as I started jogging away.

Returning along the ridge on the way to Trail Crest I was treated to a spectacular blood red moonset caused by distant forest fires to the west. I started running down the steep descent towards Guitar Lake in total darkness and passed no one all the way to Crabtree Meadow, and reached there at 6:57 AM (~4 mph). This is where the trail turns towards Forester to the north. I soon settled into a steady pace with the goal of trying to match the pace on my revised timesheet. Since the last attempt, I increased all times by ~10% which produced an overall trip time of 84 hours (3.5 days). This adjustment was implemented to increase the margin of error by encouraging me to operate at a lower overall intensity. I had mixed feelings about this adjustment. On one hand, given all the time and energy spent preparing for the JMT record attempt, I certainly would not have liked to experience another trip ending meltdown on day 1. On the other hand, I did not want to do a run significantly slower than my fitness enabled. On my way over to Forester I grew increasingly frustrated at what I felt to be an artificially slow pace. I reached the pass in 6:04 from Whitney (16 min ahead of ‘schedule’) [ Forester Pass].
toward forester
forester

During the long march towards Forester I kept mulling whether or not I should adhere to the timesheet. When I reached the pass I decided to completely abandon it. I did not want to complete a JMT run haunted with the feeling that I could have done it much faster. If I were to fail so be it, but I would fail on my terms. On the way to Glen, the throttle was pushed to the floor. In some ways I felt I needed to make up for the ‘lost time’ from the Portal to Forester. I aggressively climbed out of the valley towards the pass. Last time I was blessed with a cold light rain during this part. No such luck this time. I had the mid-day sun blazing down on me and I was hot. I refused to slow down though. At every stream crossing I dunked my hat in the water and poured the cold water on top of me. My entire shirt was soaked with a combination of water and sweat. As I approached the first junction above Vidette Meadow some hikers were resting at the side. They saw me approaching and one of them suggested I stop and rest. I could not muster a decent response and sort of grunted as I passed by them. I eventually topped out in a blazing 3:30—32 min ahead of the abandoned timesheet, and 12 min ahead of my first attempt with the cold rain [ Glen Pass].
glen

The trip down to Wood’s Creek was uneventful [ Woods Creek Bridge]. This long descent always seems to take longer than it should, but the terrain is pretty rocky and largely un-runnable. The ascent up towards Pinchot started fine as the sun began to set. I passed the spot where I stopped from last attempt’s meltdown and felt relieved that I at least made it farther this time. In some sense a monkey had been on my back until this point. Unfortunately, though the pleasant feelings did not last long. As I headed towards the pass I noticed I lost the desire to eat and my stomach was bulging. “Crap. What does this mean?!?” I immediately suspected an electrolyte imbalance. Did I drink too much with too little salt? Or was it the opposite? Argh!!! This needed to be corrected NOW! I eventually convinced myself my hydration and electrolytes were probably fine and that the problem was…how should we say…a food/waste flux imbalance. I had eaten a lot over the past couple days but not much had come out. Once I reached Pinchot Pass in good time, I tried to fix the situation but to no avail. I probably spent a total of 45 min on this ‘wasted’ effort before the end of the day [ Pinchot Pass].
pinchot

I did not know what to do. It was still too early to stop but my condition was steadily worsening. I felt I had to continue towards Mather. So, I probably did the worst thing possible. I stopped eating. My energy began to wane as I passed the Taboose Pass Trail junction and descended into the valley. The climb out towards the pass was not so bad, but it is when you have stopped eating a couple hours ago. My pace slowed and I finally made it to the base of the final climb to the pass at 12:15 AM and decided to camp the first of two planned times. Before going to sleep I ate my sausage and drank some Recoverite. The food would stay down only if I lay on my back, not on either side. I went to sleep knowing that I was on the ropes and comforted myself by thinking that I may still be able to hang on to contend Mike’s unsupported record if a miraculous recovery wasn’t imminent. In the morning I expected what would still be possible to be clear.

Second Period of Consciousness
As anticipated, I slept through my dinky watch alarm (I neglected to set my louder cell phone one) and awoke at first light—2 hours late. I immediately felt a heavenly urge to finally correct the matter ingestion/expulsion flux imbalance and was a new man after the business was done. Life was good again and I soon headed off for Mather Pass. I reached the top at about 30 hours from the start. I was very annoyed by this because oversleeping and the digestion issues annihilated all the fast hiking from the previous day. I estimated the loss to be three hours [ Mather Pass Annoyance].
mather

My annoyance quickly dissipated though as I started running down towards LeConte Canyon with dawn illuminating the enormous valley below. I was having a blast at this point and felt as fresh as when I started. I eventually reached Middle Fork Junction and began heading up canyon towards Muir Pass [ Middle Fork Junction]. Everything was going great in the warm sunny canyon. As I began rounding the left hook in the canyon after the ranger station, I glanced back and was caught completely by surprise by what I saw. Dark storm clouds were forming at the southern end of the canyon! I immediately realized the danger this posed, as I was still quite far from the pass. I quickened my pace and kept an eye on the sky. Soon storm clouds began forming everywhere around me and I feared the situation was becoming hopeless. To make matters worse, Muir Pass is like no other pass on the JMT. Instead of being steep and abrupt, it is very flat and exposed—which is probably why the protective Muir Hut is at the pass. Coming from the south, the approach has an endless series of short hills followed by long flat stretches. By the time I reached these short hills the situation was dire. The entire sky was dark grey with clouds. At this point I turned on the afterburners. I even went anaerobic on the short hill sections and then recovered on the flat stretches. I absolutely could not go any faster at this point. All of this exertion was taking its toll. I had run out of water a long time ago and was in desperate need of a drink. I quickly dipped my bottle in a stream, dropped an Aqua Mira pill in it, and resumed hiking in about a minute. Finally, the hut came into view and the storm clouds still had not started releasing their energy yet—I did not know what they were waiting on but I wasn’t about to complain [ Muir Pass (MP), MP-Wind, MP-Storm Discussion, MP-Blister Discussion]!
muir

I reached the hut and decided to keep going based on the lack of precipitation and, more importantly, the absence of thunder. I knew that soon the trail would start its descent into the safe confines of Evolution Valley. About five minutes later the hail started. At first the hail was refreshing. I was hot. It was cold and dry. Life was great…until the hail downpour started. The hail pounding started to hurt my exposed arms and so I put on my rain shell. I was nearing the edge of the first plunge into the lower canyons as the thunder started. Given the aspect ratio of the canyon, I thought it was safe to continue onward and so I did. After all, why would lighting strike me instead of the much closer mountain peaks to my sides (Though passing groups of hikers huddling under boulders etc. did not boost my confidence—I was the only person hiking through the storm)? To counter my increased feeling of safety as I descended into the canyons, the storm continued to intensify. As I lost elevation, the hail turned to slush, and eventually into a hard, cold rain. I was soaked waist down and was doing a 4.5-5 mph hybrid walk/run to maintain warmth. I suspected (hoped!) sunny warm safety was to be found in Evolution Valley and was encouraged with the lightening sky around the distant bend in the canyon in that direction. Eventually after two hours of soaking, freezing, somewhat scary, hell, I left the storm behind and entered Evolution Valley. This was the second bullet I dodged in two days which nearly ended the run. The minutes I saved with my 1L Powerade bottle when getting water ended up being crucial. Had I stuck with the camelback I almost certainly would have lost the race to Muir Pass with the thunderstorm and would have either stayed in the hut (for many hours as it turns out) or would have turned back before even reaching the pass [ MP-Hail Begins, MP-More Hail, MP-Still More Hail].

While walking along Evolution Valley my soaked pants and shoes eventually took their toll and I was no longer able to maintain my body temperature and began uncontrollable shivering. Once I was convinced I was passed the rain I put on my cozy Thermawrap jacket and wore it nearly all the way to the stream crossing. What a contrast with Michael’s trip! For him Evolution Valley had been oppressively hot. For me I had to wear my insulated jacket to avoid hypothermia!

At the Evolution Creek ford I took the opportunity to briefly examine my feet and to change socks. This was the second and last time I ever looked at my feet during the run. About 55 miles into the run I noticed tiny rocks were steadily getting into my shoes-and even in my beloved Injiji socks (I guess I have skinny man legs cause the Dirty Girl gaiters didn’t form a nice seal around my ankles)! By the time I thought it worthwhile to empty my shoes of the tiny rocks, considerable damage had already been done (Oops!). The rocks chewed up a lot of skin and generally primed my feet for blisters. I had numerous hotspots already after only 55 miles! At the Evolution Creek stream crossing I briefly surveyed my feet and noticed some blisters had already formed on the outside perimeter of my feet. I decided not to use my blister kit and instead chose to just endure the pain. I know this may seem odd to some people, but I know how high my pain tolerance is. I figured I could withstand quite a bit of blister related pain and that the pain would have to become severe before it started impacting my speed. If the pain ever rose to this level I would then treat the blisters and likely reduce it back to a manageable level. It turns out for this run this reactive approach was optimal. All total I estimate I lost about 15 min to blister pain but would have likely spent more trying to manage them. When I put my fresh pair of socks on they were damp. That was quite an unpleasant surprise! I then realized that all of my pack contents got moderately wet (except the Thermawrap jacket thankfully) from the thunderstorm. I thought my pack was quasi-waterproof but apparently it was not!

I made it to Piute Creek at 6:52 PM (42:07 after I started), and just a few minutes behind a 3.5 day pace [ Piute Creek (PC), PC Progress Discussion]. At this point I was halfway and thought my chances of breaking 3.5 days was pretty good given that the second half of the JMT had much less gain than the first. I started up Selden Pass as the sun set and soon had to turn on my headlamp to see the trail in the dark forest. I was having trouble navigating even with the headlamp and quickly realized that was because the batteries were almost dead! Luckily, I brought a backup headlamp and batteries. The first headlamp died after only ONE full night of use but I had TWO nights left. I had no choice but to hope the second would last until the end. I considered conserving the batteries by using the light of the full moon to illuminate the trail but quickly overruled this idea due to injury concerns from stumbling over rocks.

The ascent up Selden Pass was pretty uneventful but I began getting pretty sleepy as I topped out at 10:39 PM [ Selden Pass]. The descent down Bear Canyon went by quick and I was pleasantly surprised by not needing to ford Bear Creek--unlike during my recon hike! Although the trail was very runnable in this area, I decided against running due to fairly intense pain in my toes (toenails were being mashed and were separating). I partly justified not running to myself though by not wanting to trigger a chase reflex in a mountain lion or something. Instead, I walked very fast and I think the time lost due to this was rather minimal.
selden

Early in the ascent up Bear Ridge I was forced to come to a halt at one point when the trail suddenly steepened. I did not slow enough to compensate and had to stop and wait for my pulse to drop. This moment stood out for a couple reasons. First, I was surprised I needed to stop in the first place. After training for many months and paying close attention to the progression of my fitness, I had a pretty good idea of what my body could and could not do. I was surprised I needed a rest. Second, this was the first time in the hike I ‘needed’ to rest due to exertion. All the other times I stopped were because of satisfying hydration needs, taking videos, etc. At the time, I dismissed this event as simple fatigue and thought nothing more about it. Now, after reflecting upon the latter part of the run I think this was the beginning of my declining performance due to the metabolizing of the last of my remaining body fat.

I eventually arrived at the Lake Edison Junction at 3:21 AM and was now feeling the full effects of sleep deprivation. This was where Michael spent his second night and I so badly wanted to stop and rest here but I knew I could not. Mike and Jeff’s recent failures due to sleep deprivation highlighted the difficulty of the last push, and in particular the last night. To maximize my chances of pulling through to the end (keep in mind I had no support to help keep me awake—or to awake me from naps) I wanted to frontload the run as much as possible to make the last day comparatively easy. My original plan was to sleep after Mather Pass on the first day, but while hiking I decided I should push as hard as possible and changed the first rest to Muir Pass. Well, I never made it to Muir—hell, I did not even make it to Mather the first day which meant the extra miles would have to be dumped onto the end of the second day. I wanted to make it as close as possible to Red’s for the final ~60 mile push which meant I needed to hike another ~27 miles, for a grand total of 90 miles. This meant I would be hiking 30+ continuous hours. Needless to say, when I arrived at the Lake Edison Junction I was not happy about the situation. I already hiked 60 miles and was very tired and exhausted and now I needed to hike 50% more. I had to go on though. I knew as bad as I felt—as bad as it was about to get—it would be far worse to save these miles for the final push. So I kept hiking [ Lake Edison Junction].
edison

Silver Pass was total hell [ Silver Pass Baaad]. Sleep deprivation had completely taken hold at this point and I virtually ‘slept walked’ up to the pass. I drifted from side-to-side, stumbled over countless rocks, and missed painfully obvious switchbacks. I did not see how I could possibly make it to Red’s but latched onto the hope that things would improve once the sun rose the next morning. I slowly trudged up the steep trail and eventually reached the pass at 6:32 AM. I had hiked just over 24 hours at this point, but still had about 20 miles left.
silver

Fortunately from this point the trail was predominantly downhill to Red’s with only a few minor climbs. I could more or less stumble all the way to Red’s which was kinda sorta what I did. During this stretch my lungs started to really deteriorate. I guess the endless hours of breathing dust along the JMT eventually took its toll and I developed a nasty cough accompanied by wheezing and fluid buildup deep within the lungs. When going up Tully Hole and toward Duck Pass Junction my maximum power output really started to plummet [ Duck Lake Junction]. At the time I thought the problem was my lungs. I figured they were becoming less efficient with the irritation, fluid, and stuff, and that they simply could no longer provide enough oxygen. This situation was especially frustrating whenever I had to ascend a hill. I felt I was moving at a snail’s pace and knew I was steadily losing time to Sue’s pace. Even though I was far ahead of the record pace at this point I was very alarmed and concerned I would ultimately fall behind before reaching Happy Isles. Eventually, I reached Upper Crater Meadows at about 1:15 PM (90 miles, 31 hours from last rest). I consumed ~750 calories of Recoverite, set the alarm for 5:15 PM, and tried sleeping. I awoke frequently and ultimately decided to resume hiking at ~4:15 PM. I figured the extra hour would be better utilized hiking rather than getting more restless sleep.

During this time I was suffering tremendously from sleep deprivation and hallucinating. While at ‘camp’ I thought there was a group of Indians who were helping me with setting up camp. They watched over me while I slept and I would chat with them briefly every time I awoke. They were very considerate and even helped me pack everything when I was ready to resume hiking. I hope this does not count as support!

Third Period of Consciousness
My legs, knees, and feet were incredibly stiff when I awoke and they hurt tremendously for a while until they warmed up after I resumed hiking. I started hiking at 4:15 PM and soon was able to call my wife [ Upper Crater Meadow]. I told her I felt relatively good (all things considering) and gave her my best estimate for arrival at Happy Isles. She was to drive from the Bay Area early the next morning and arrive in Yosemite in time to meet me. I told her I expected the coming night to be absolutely brutal and that the record would probably be mine if I were able to stay awake.

By the numbers, this third section of the trail was much easier than the other two. It was only ~63 miles (versus 70 and 90) and had much less gain as well. Unfortunately, by this point fatigue and sleep deprivation conspired together and more than compensated for the decreased difficulty of this section. Mike’s recent attempt ended when sleep deprivation overwhelmed him and he fell asleep while ascending Donohue—now merely 25 miles away. Although sleep deprivation was really the enemy, it was hard to boost my motivation by vilifying something without a tangible, physical form. So instead I focused my attention on Donohue. I wanted to destroy Donohue. Furthermore, I mentally broke the hike from Red’s into five (unequal) parts: Garnet Lake Jct., Garnet Lake, Thousand Island Lake, Island Pass, and then finally Donohue itself. Donohue did not stand a chance.

I hiked the easy downhill stretch from Upper Crater Meadow down to Red’s and arrived at 5:32 PM [ Red’s Meadow]. I still had a couple hours of daylight and was determined to make the most of it [ Sleep Deprivation-Wheezing, More Sleep Deprivation Discussion]. The long ascent and onslaught of Donohue now began and I was flying. The rest apparently did wonders for me because I felt as fresh as when I started. I obliterated this section of trail and arrived at Garnet Lake Junction in 3:48—over an hour ahead of schedule on a segment with only 13 miles! Donohue was going down [ Garnet Lake Junction]!

Clearly my body was still capable of sustaining a high power output at this point. Even so, shortly after continuing onto Garnet Lake my power output totally collapsed. The mysterious performance limiter returned and again I was reduced to virtually crawling uphill. I am very interested to hear what others have to say about this, but my guess is that this can be explained with the ‘exhaustion of body fat hypothesis’. After consuming Recoverite and resting, my body had a fresh source of glycogen available which roughly lasted until the Garnet Lake Junction. After that was exhausted my body returned to metabolizing body fat for its main energy source. Unfortunately (I suspect) my body fat was largely consumed by this point and the energy derived from fat steadily decreased and was then only partially supplemented by metabolizing muscle.

The ~10 hours of darkness that night were the longest of my life. The effects of sleep deprivation were amplified by my ‘energy deprivation’. Staying awake became a never-ending continuous battle. During the worst ‘sleepy waves’ I started having to force my eye lids open after each blink. Time stopped, or so it seemed. To make matters worse, this stretch of trail was among the rockiest of the entire JMT. At one point I even cursed the seemingly endless rocks, which were causing my blistered feet much pain at this point. My pace continued to slow. Time slowed further. I even thought I got off-route at one point because of my slow pace. “Surely I would have passed Marie Lake junction by now,” I thought only to encounter the junction another half mile up the trail. Finally I began ascending Donohue itself and breathe by breathe, step by step, I slowly ‘conquered it’—or rather fought it to a draw. I reached the pass at 2:30 AM and was a total mess. On a positive note, the slow ascent gave me much time to try and admire the spectacular surreal full moon lit scenery [ Donohue Pass Discussion, Donohue Pass Time].
donohue

The descent down Lyell Canyon went slowly but was uneventful. I arrived at Tuolumne Meadow at 7:00 AM [ Tuolumne Meadow]. Soon I found myself ascending Cathedral Pass, a secondary pass as far as the JMT is concerned. My maximum power output continued to fall and I recorded a movie here in which I estimate I was ascending the pass at only 500 ft/hr. In hindsight I was probably going 750, or perhaps even 1000 ft/hr. Given how much slower I was going than I would have liked, I probably underestimated my true climbing rate.

A couple of miles before Sunrise H.S.C. I finally had the revelation that the source of my declining power output was possibly due to the exhaustion of most of my body fat. I recorded a video of this and began to dwell on the topic [ Sunrise HSC Body Fat Exhaustion Revelation]. I soon realized that I had been hiking more than 60 miles with a declining power output and became horrified at the thought that I had been cannibalizing my body for such a long period of time. Paranoia set in and I feared that I had finally ‘done it’—after all my crazy pursuits I had finally pushed myself too far and would now have serious consequences as a result. I became terrified and convinced that my body was on the verge of some sort of catastrophic collapse. On top of all this I naturally began to think that failure was a distinct possibility. Despite my large lead over the existing record I had serious doubts about whether I could maintain a record pace or even finish. The realization that I was now burning muscle for energy meant my condition would not improve and would continue to deteriorate. Even if I did not collapse, I still had to stay awake to finish. I felt that my will power was sufficient such that if I could stay awake I would, but at that point I did not know if it were even possible. All the months of meticulous training, preparation, and previous failure(!) came down to this moment—or rather 15 miles. The convergence of all these thoughts and emotions were too much for me to handle in that state and I brokedown. Tears began streaming down my face.

An internal debate about whether I should film my breakdown then ensued. On one hand I was not exactly excited about seeing me breakdown on video, but on the other hand one of the reasons why I was doing the hike was to assemble ‘life experiences’. I grudgingly decided to film a short clip [ Sunrise HSC Emotional Breakdown, (see youtube description for translation)]. I then pulled myself together, but continued dwelling on everything. A couple minutes later I brokedown again. This time, however, I noticed that crying elevated my pulse and was wasting my precious energy—The crying stopped.

In Buzz Burrell’s JMT record TR, he talks about ‘The Perfect Race’ in which the racer is pushed to his absolute limit and is still able to finish strong. Well, at this point finishing strong was definitely out of the question. Just plain finishing would have to do.

I was 15 miles from the end and the trail was essentially down hill all the way to Happy Isles [ Sunrise HSC ]. I just needed to stay awake—just stay awake! Again time slowed to a crawl. Now I had extended stretches where I literally had to force my eye lids open after blinking. Sleep deprivation caused massive hallucinations. I saw people, animals, buildings, etc. everywhere. Inanimate objects morphed into common, everyday things. My malfunctioning brain was creating its own reality in response to its inability to function properly. In return, I was losing my own grip on reality and did not know how much longer I could hang onto it. My power output kept dropping. I now had to go slow even when descending! Otherwise, the energy expenditure in my leg muscles required to stop me from ‘falling’ down hill was more than my body could extract from cannibalizing itself.

Step by step, minute by minute, I continued and eventually made it to the Half Dome trail junction [ Half Dome Trail Junction ]. It was Labor Day weekend on the Half Dome trail—now the circus began. The park service must have recently reworked that trail. It was no where near as rocky as I remembered (thank god). My descent to Nevada Falls was hot, slow, but uneventful. The switchbacks were packed with people but I made no effort to pass anyone except the slowest ones. I could not go that fast myself because of the steep descent. I eventually reached the bridge and immediately spotted my wife. She did not think I saw her as I gave no indication of acknowledgement. I was in total energy conservation mode at this point and did not want to expend the energy to wave a hand or nod. I walked past her as she recorded a video of my arrival and I asked her to follow—I still needed to get to the stupid sign [ Arrival at Vernal Falls ]! The short but steep hill after the bridge caused me to slow down and again I was reminded of my fragile state. I started crying again. My wife thought I was upset because of my time (I was a couple hours behind my timesheet) and tried to comfort me but at the moment I could not have cared less about the time or any stupid record. I wanted to tell her I was sorry. I was sorry for all the imagined health problems I just inflicted upon myself and by extension her, but could not bring myself to say it. We eventually made it to the sign and I felt little elation. I forced a smile for the camera out of obligation and was relieved to still be standing. I was alive [ Arrival at Happy Isles , Belated Happy Isles Clock Vid, Spouse Interrogation of Emotional Breakdown]!sign

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: TR Coming Soon (Hopefully) on 09/18/2009 00:04:20 MDT Print View

Thanks for the comments Aaron and I'm glad you like the videos. Despite the (minuscule) weight I would strongly encourage everyone to take a camera during their record attempts. I'd say the pics and vids are well worth the weight.

I'll try to post the remaining videos during the weekend. I think most are additional splits at minor junctions. There might be a couple (especially at the end) which may be more interesting though.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
JMT speed record attempt on 09/18/2009 00:17:05 MDT Print View

That was a great read, thank you for writing up a trip report. I'm saving the videos for tomorrow when I have a better internet connect.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 09/18/2009 00:50:28 MDT Print View

Yep! I also enjoyed the report and videos. Nicely done sir.

chris henwood
(chenwood) - F
JMT Record on 09/18/2009 01:18:42 MDT Print View

Congrats on your impressive record!
Thanks for the TR, I enjoyed this thread since your first failed attempt ;p

Ed Croke
(crokee) - F
Re: JMT 2009 Record Breaking Run TR on 09/18/2009 15:29:41 MDT Print View

Nice job! Way to go!

Jeff Borne
(borneoutthere) - F

Locale: Central Oregon
Re: JMT 2009 Record Breaking Run TR on 09/18/2009 17:17:29 MDT Print View

Brett-

Amazing!!!
Congrats on the entire project!
Borne

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
JMT Record on 09/19/2009 09:42:01 MDT Print View

Hi Brett

Your report, just like your run, is excellent. It's obvious that you like to maintain high standards. Your right about the camera. On my second JMT hike I thought I would be just taking the same pictures, but there were many different pictures I wanted to take and couldn't.

I have a question about the Aqua Mira. Can you drink treated water immediately? I assume you did not get sick from the water, but the instructions specify a 4 hour wait. Maybe I'm too paranoid about getting sick. There is an on going debate about the water quality in the Sierras and many dynamic factors are at play. One change that I have noticed is the reduction of pack animals on the trail (OK by me).

I'm amazed you could power through your sleep deprivation without a complete shutdown. Your sleep/rest time seemed to be less than 2.5 hrs per 24 hr period. How did your recovery go? Have you experienced any on going health issues?

If you are still interested, the best way I have found to deal with the Perpetuem balls is to use a "Blender Bottle". These have a wire ball inside that acts like a whisk and breaks up the balls when shaken. I use it at home or on the trail and it works great.

By the way, what do you do at the lab?

Mark

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
JMT speed record attempt on 09/19/2009 10:39:26 MDT Print View

The videos are awesome, thanks for taking and sharing them.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: JMT Record on 09/19/2009 12:39:21 MDT Print View

Mark, thanks for the nice comments.

All I know about Aqua Mira I learned from the BPL forums. I believe only the protozoa require the 4 hours to be killed. Everything else dies much quicker. I generally waited at least 40 min after treating, 30 if I were in a bind. One of the unexpected benefits of the bottle + camelback system is that I could drink from one source while the other was sterilizing. I was more cautious around high traffic areas like Whitney/Crabtree. I tried doubling the dose when I filled the first time while ascending Whitney but it was like drinking from a swimming pool.

I think sleep deprivation is such an important and fascinating topic that it deserves its own thread. It's hard to describe in words what severe deprivation is like. It's one of those things one has to experience to really know. I had never done anything like this before and tried to simulate it as best I could on the recon hikes by driving through the night on Friday up to the Sierras and starting the hikes immediately Sat morning. Unfortunately (I now know) the severe effects don't start until the second night so these tests weren't really valid. As far as dealing with it on the hike, I had goals I wanted to meet (like making the last day as easy as possible) and I was totally committed to achieving those. I did everything in my power to stay awake and keep moving. Fortunately this was barely enough. BTW, based on Brian Robinson's TR it sounds like he had something like one hour of sleep until Sunrise HSC. THAT is mindblowing.

Recovery has been slow. For the first week since the run I couldn't sleep more than 7 hours. My legs and feet hurt when lying down. When I awoke I was soaked with sweat (not sure why). I would nearly pass out when standing stationary for a few minutes. I had pain in my lower back which may have been associated with my kidneys--I took ibuprofen during the run which is apparently bad. I also wasn't drinking enough afterward so the kidneys may have been stressed dealing with all the waste products. My condition improved dramatically during the second week. I may start light athletic activity next week. Then, I'll probably realize the full extent of the muscle loss.

It's clear to me now that there are serious risks involved in trying to break these sorts of records. People with ultrarunning backgrounds would be aware of this but those without this background may not realize it. It's not just a long fast hike.

I ordered one of your blender bottles you recommended but it didn't arrive in time for the experiment :(

In the lab I work on developing new electronic devices.

Brett

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Recovery Question on 09/19/2009 12:51:21 MDT Print View

Thinking of my post-run symptoms reminded me I wanted to ask the community something. After my recon hikes my leg muscles were sore. After the failed attempt my muscles were very sore. After the successful attempt my muscles were not sore at all. Has anyone experienced something like this or have a possible explanation? The only thing I could think of is that beyond a certain level of stress the body begins to respond in ways to minimize pain--like as it switches into survival mode or something?

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Supplemental Videos on 09/19/2009 15:10:48 MDT Print View

Aaron and others, I've posted my remaining videos and the links are below.

Running Toward Crabtree

Crabtree Meadow Jct

Wallace Creek

Tyndall Creek

Vidette Meadow

Woods Creek-Pinchot Pass Trail Jct

Selden Pass

I don't remember taking the next video. I was pretty sleep deprived at this point and I think it is at Mono Creek. It's strange because I'm speaking as if I just ascended Selden Pass.
Mono Creek

Silver Pass Looking Towards Reds and Mount Ritter

This was taken on the way to Garnet Lake Jct after leaving Red's. I initially tried to hike without a headlamp to conserve batteries but the darkness exacerbated the sleep deprivation.
Towards Garnet Lake Jct

Wife talking to me after Vernal Falls Bridge. Near the end I'm upset when I encounter one last small unexpected hill.
After Vernal Falls Bridge 1

I'm crying again and my wife is trying to comfort me and thinks I'm crying because I'm ~2 hours behind my timesheet. I'm really crying because I think I pushed myself too hard on the hike and will have long term health consequences as a result.
After Vernal Falls Bridge 2

Another video taken at Happy Isles sign. I'm unable to calculate the total trip time due to sleep deprivation.
Happy Isles Sign

While waiting for my wife to unsuccessfully drive her car to the trailhead, I'm sitting on the Happy Isles Bridge staring at fallen leaves on the ground. Sleep deprivation enabled me to see people in all the leaf formations and I filmed this to see if I could see anything after I slept. I see nothing now. My funky voice is due to me trying to hold back another round of coughing.
Happy Isles Bridge

I took this video after returning home to record the blisters and other damage to my feet. I wanted to record this and use it to minimize blister formation and the other damage in a possible future run.
Home With Blisters

John Fors
(johnifors) - F

Locale: Nor Cal
Winter JMT Record? on 09/25/2009 09:07:51 MDT Print View

Does anyone have information of speed record (FKT) for JMT in winter (snow) conditions? Any winter trip reports available?

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Speed records for JMT in winter on 09/26/2009 17:54:09 MDT Print View

John,
The following book might be of interest to you.

"HIGH ODYSSEY" by Eugene A. Rose..Howell-North-Books 1974

The first solo winter assault of Mt. Whitney and the John Muir Trail area, from the diaries of Orland Bartholomew.

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
JMT 2009... TRUE TALES OF A DIRTY MAN on 09/28/2009 18:38:45 MDT Print View

Acclimation is the name of the game…

Photobucket
211 MILES--80,000 FEET of elevation change

Acclimation means so much more than altitude. Acclimation is the ability to see a snake run across the trail in front of you and greet it by saying "Hey you fat snake." rather than "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! …. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH AHHHHHHHHHHUHUHUH AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!" The state of acclimation is to be a part of the mountains. I know that I am acclimated when my mind follows the same flow of productivity as my lungs. Acclimation is comfort. On a trek the wilderness will be your home for a few days (only a FEW, sadly), and if you can't be comfortable in your home, where can you be comfortable?

Photobucket
ACCLIMATING AT 12,2ISH... LOOKING UP AT MT. MUIR FROM WOTAN'S THRONE |||T-MINUS 2 DAYS|||

I became acquainted with the JMT speed record when an orange and indefatigable flash passed my family and I on our way into the Whitney Zone in August 2007… WAS THAT A MACHINE? No. That was Michael Popov in full stride… minutes later Aaron Sorenson flew up the same slope… was it a race? A chase? A bet? Whatever those people were doing, it looked fun.

Photobucket
A STORM OVER MT. WHITNEY SUMMIT 14,500 THE NIGHT BEFORE THE RACE... SNOW FLURRIES AND THUNDER



I found out exactly what they were doing at 6am on Sept. 3 2009.

Photobucket
ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE MOMENTS BEFORE IT BEGAN




MT. WHITNEY TO PINCHOT

The crowd gathered on the MT. WHITNEY SUMMIT (((6:00 9/3/9 000:00 000 MILES))) to watch the sunrise, but I had no time stare at our star, I only required its first light... SIX AM clicked, the trail was illuminated and I sped down towards TRAIL CREST. As I considered my pace, I half-heartedly lamented the lack of conventional aesthetics in my endeavor. If I was to know beauty on this journey it would not be through sightseeing or the visions of an alpine spectator--it would be through movement, through will, through decision, through focus. If I was to know beauty it would be only by honing myself against the brutal terrain and through my exposure to the wild elements of the range, it would only be by discovering the depths of my will and drowning my body in it. I had to control my excitement, and keep my speed in check as I danced down the shattered slabs. I was a machine now and that WAS the beauty I would know. I tried to remember exactly what terrain and slopes I had reserved my speed "gears" for. I couldn't believe that this was happening, I was running THE GREATEST RACE EVER: the sport of the canyon kings.

I hit TRAIL CREST in a flash and, peaking at 7.6mph, I dropped down the switchbacks to GUITAR LAKE (((7:10 9/3/9 001:10 005 MILES))) and refilled my 2L hydro bladder at the tarn above GUITAR. I descended further and followed the trail wrapped around the lake, mistakenly reasoning that the trail that split above the lake only lead to more campsites. I had, in fact, taken the the access trail around GUITAR and that trail soon vanished. I could see TIMBERLINE LAKE below so I descended the slabs Westward and paralleled the JMT/HST for several minutes until I could intersect the trail by crossing a damp meadow that laid between the two waypoints. I followed the trail West to TIMBERLINE LAKE and descended further to CRABTREE MEADOW JUNCTION (((8:00 9/3/9 002:00 007 MILES))).

I was satisfied with my pace and was reveling in the excitement of the event. I reflected how two years earlier, when I was in a completely different physical condition I had watched THE GREATEST RACE EVER pass me by. Now I was IN the race saying: "YOU WILL NOT PASS ME AGAIN", just as if I had been racing on that day.

Photobucket
THE FIRST PHOTO OF THE RACE



It was the discouraging words of some Venice Beach Ex-cop on MT. WHITNEY that pushed me quickly towards the drainage between FORESTER and GLEN... he said that there was a hurricane off Baja California and that I should I should actually abandon the race just minutes before it was to begin. He began analyzing my gear or lack thereof... NO TENT? NO GORETEX? USING GOOSE DOWN? Having no time for this negativity, especially from a lowlander, I cordially let the weighted door of the WHITNEY HUT shut between us after saying to him “THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT WORKS”. Not wanting to be a fool though, I did take his warning to heart... so I knew about the weather... great... but I had not actually designed an eject button in my shiny new Sierra jet, it only had a throttle and with a 'twist of the wrist' I powered over FORESTER PASS (((13:00 9/3/9 007:00 021 MILES))), summiting it with surprisingly small effort in the shade of the ex-cop's clouds. “THANKS FOR THAT OFFICER... IS THAT ONE DONUT-SHAPED?” I thought as I gazed at a cloud in the sky. At the top I chatted with REMY, an accomplished thru-hiker (JMT, PCT, AT, CDT). He and I had raced to the top, with me close on his swift heels. At the top we exchanged information and after photos I apologized for the rush that I was in I dropped down the slope heading Northwards. Gravity pulled me and I pushed, maxing out at 13.6 mph.

***MY APOLOGIES IF MY GPS IS WHACKED, IT'S A MAGELLAN TRITON THAT WILL BE RETURNED FOR VARIOUS INADEQUACIES, I'M ONLY REPORTING ITS PEAK MEASURED SPEED (WITHIN FRACTIONS OF A SECOND)-BY NO MEANS A SUSTAINED MPH, I CAN'T SPEAK INTELLIGENTLY ON IT'S ERROR MARGIN, PERHAPS IT'S THE SIZE OF THE GRAND CANYON?***

Photobucket
ON TOP OF FORESTER



“HIKER COMING!!!” I passed a large (20+ person) trail crew (I believe CCC was the logo on the shoulder patch) somewhere North of FORESTER PASS I told them that I envied their jobs, they might have been mildly amused if they'd had the time to think about it in between lifting boulders. After passing the detour and making a constant drop into the canyon, I hit the UPPER VIDETTE MEADOW BEAR BOX (((15:15 9/3/9 009:15 027 MILES))) and ate tortilla chips, summer sausage, wheat bread and drank a vanilla whey protein shake. I put my feet up and rested for an hour... I must have only gotten 5 minutes of semi-sleep total, but I did have my first vision/hallucination: a series of two-dimensional nude women moving suggestively on the back of my eyelids, they were made out of pink and purple geometric shapes, like MC ESCHER for adult fastpackers. It was awesome. “I COULD GET USED TO THIS”, I mused. My little kitchen timer beeped and the race resumed.

Photobucket
LOOKING DOWN INTO THE DRAINAGE BETWEEN FORRESTER AND VIDETTE... MT. COTTER AND CLARENCE KING SPIKE UP IN THE DISTANCE



After finishing off the balance of the descent to VIDETTE MEADOW (((16:40 9/3/9 010:40 029 MILES))), I climbed the shaded switchbacks to BULLFROG LAKE JUNCTION and finally CHARLOTTE LAKE JUNCTION. I regretted my choice by the UPPER VIDETTE MEADOW BEAR BOX to go for a second helping of the protein shake. The over-sugared eggy goo gummed my metabolism as I ascended towards GLEN PASS. I shiver now as I type this and remember that disgusting stink ruminating in my mouth and weighing in my stomach like a bag of rocks... it was frustrating to think that I had hurt myself as my engine was knocking and pinging on poor fuel.

Photobucket
THE SECOND PROTEIN SHAKE AND THE SWITCHBACK CLIMB DRAINING MY ENERGY NEAR CHARLOTTE LAKE JUNCTION



I finally summited GLEN PASS (((18:40 9/3/9 012:40 033 MILES))). The gusty vista raised concerns about the possibility of hypothermia; my whole body was covered in sweat from the ascent and the temperatures were dropping. My shoes were soaked as if I had stepped in a creek, but it was just sweat running down from my upper body and legs.

Photobucket
ON TOP OF GLEN PASS



Night fell near the RAE LAKES RANGER STATION as I continued North towards ARROWHEAD LAKE by headlamp. At the BAXTER PASS JUNCTION (((20:40 9/3/9 014:40 038 MILES))) I ate again (this time I threw an apple down the hatch, hoping that its nutritional authenticity would undo the 2nd vanilla shiver... err... I mean shake) and slept for 1 hour; this time it was real sleep. BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP... time to wake up the fastpacking turkey in the 0 degree goose down oven. I hit WOODS CREEK BRIDGE (((23:54 9/3/9 017:54 041 MILES))) soon afterwards and began the climb to Pinchot. This was the hardest ascent of the whole trip. I cannot explain it very well, except to say that in the middle of the night, when climbing the third pass for the day USGS mileages seem like utter bullsh|t, not to mention just plain cruel. I finally passed the SAWMILL PASS JUNCTION (((01:50 9/4/9 019:50 045 MILES))) and marveled again that I had not even gone 4 miles yet since the WOODS CREEK BRIDGE. “UPANDOVER” I told myself. I summited PINCHOT PASS (((03:45 9/4/9 021:45 049 MILES))) with my headlamp off, I had no need for it with those luxurious lunar lamp lumens lighting my path. I descended no more than 10 switchbacks on the North side and ate my dinner (the classic fare) and slept for 2:30 hours.

Photobucket
BY THE WOODS CREEK BRIDGE... IT'S ONLY THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT



PINCHOT TO MUIR PASS

Photobucket
BELOW BENCH LAKE... FLYING TWOARDS MATHER PASS... THAT WAY, SPECIFICALLY



I awoke with the sun out and dropped into BENCH LAKE. An early-rising South-bound couple wondered where I had come from the night before and were surprised to hear “PINCHOT PASS”. I hit MATHER PASS (((10:40 9/4/9 028:40 058 MILES))) at a nice time of the morning without much heat in the air. The clouds above concerned me greatly though. Even still, at the first spring that I came to I took a moment to wash my face and clean off the dried gooey honey patches in my beard. Honey was my running fuel. I felt like John The Baptist (gimmee some locusts!!!). I refilled my H2o bladder and continued North.

Photobucket
ON TOP OF MATHER PASS



While dropping down the switchbacks from LOWER PALLISADE LAKE towards DEER MEADOW the heavens opened (well they weren't really being heavenly at the time). The thunder crashed in sync with the flashes of light, it was simultaneous, and all the rage of Baja was above me! Soft chunks of ball-bearing hail pelted me and the booms pushed me hard down the trail; harder than I've ever been pushed before. My speed peaked at 14.8 MPH as I throttled full down into the canyon below.

Photobucket
BELOW THE LOWER PALISADE LAKE... MOMENTS BEFORE THE STORM BROKE OPEN



“IT REALLY SUCKS” I thought to myself moaning about the rest that I had promised myself to get in DEER MEADOW and now was not going to have because of the weather... moaning about the new tape job that I was going to have to give my feet with my thinning roll of duct tape... just moaning. I was pretty beat down in spirits, but when I finally hit DEER MEADOW there was a South-bound hiker who from a distance saw me and said “ARE YOU IAN?” That made me feel like a superstar! How does she know my name? It was Susan, BPL forum member who I had met 7 days before when I was training near MAMMOTH. I quickly cheered up and gave her a positive report on my status and conveyed my optimism about my pace. We parted ways and as the race continued I passed BISHOP PASS JUNCTION (((16:00 9/4/9 034:00 072 MILES))) and moved on through LE CONTE CANYON until the climb up MUIR PASS.

On this climb up MUIR PASS, I discovered new cunning deceptions in the path. One point at a creek crossing there is actually a parallel and redundant trail. I played its game for only a minute and realized that I was actually hiking back South down away from MUIR PASS instead of towards it. It seems like the original trailblazers were just as confused as the hiker victims that they trick daily on this “path”. Because I had missed the rest cycle in DEER MEADOW I found myself incredibly fatigued and grumpy, at several points I was on all fours crawling and cursing up the trail to the pass. Finally, I summited MUIR PASS as the sun displayed the last of its beautiful colors... its final aid of kindness to me, the weary fool on all fours. I ate and slept for 2 hours in the MUIR HUT (((19:48 9/4/9 037:48 080 MILES))) and then crunched across the 1 inch snow cover around the exposed lakes North of the hut.

Photobucket
CRAWLING UP TO MUIR



MUIR PASS TO SILVER PASS

I slept in COLBY MEADOW for 1 hour. It was in fact just as, if not more, cold as the high EVOLUTION LAKE region. I pressed on past the MCCLURE MEADOW RANGER STATION (((03:30 9/5/9 045:30 090 MILES))) and hit the famed EVOLUTION CREEK CROSSING (((04:28 9/5/9 046:28 093 MILES))), for some reason I didn't think that I was really going to have to wade through it. Dude was I wrong. I took my shoes and pants off so that I didn't create a hypothermia liability later and unfortunately (if you know what I mean) the icy water was just below the waist. “GOOOOOOOOD MORNING EHHHHHVOLUUUUUUUUTION, YES!!!” I drip-dried and tried to clear my feet of the tiny rocks by washing them off with the hose from my H2o bladder before returning them to the relative warmth of my socks and shoes. I crashed at GODDARD CREEK JUNCTION (((05:22 9/5/9 047:22 094 MILES))) for 45 minutes and then rose again pressing on to PIUTE CREEK JUNCTION (((07:55 9/5/9 049:55 097 MILES))). The hikers had begun to stir in their camps, some even began to hit the trail.

Photobucket
THE NATIONAL PARK/NATIONAL FOREST BOUNDARY NEAR MUIR TRAIL RANCH



JMT 09
SEEEEELDEN!!!



I passed a chubby hiker with an ankle dagger and a cute chubby brown Labrador on the way up SELDEN PASS (((11:38 9/5/9 053:38 107 MILES))) and dropped into the next drainage until the ROSE LAKE/SANDPIPER LAKE JUNCTION (((12:30 9/5/9 054:30 109 MILES))). I rested and ate there for approximately 15 minutes. Northwards I pressed to BEAR RIDGE JUNCTION (((15:55 9/5/9 057:55 116 MILES))) My right knee began to groan at me... it was a motorcycling injury from last year that liked to remind me that being on a public roadway is foolish and unnatural and that it is even more so stupid on a sportbike. I found an awesome stick name “STICKY” and told my knee that it could “fuc'k off” with its lectures. My new best buddy and I hobbled down the switchbacks to QUAIL MEADOWS (((17:26 9/5/9 059:26 120 MILES))).

Photobucket
BEAR CREEK JUNCTION... JUST BEFORE THE ENDLESS SWITCHBACK DESCENT



SILVER PASS TO DONAHUE PASS

Photobucket
ME AND "STICKY" HOLDING UP THE SIGN AT SILVER PASS



Near the summit of SILVER PASS a spot of my stomach lining finally thinned under the Ibuprofen beating of the past days and revealed an ulcer. I suddenly had an intense aversion to water. This was problematic considering the high percentage of my body that is actually made of it. I swished water in my mouth and summited SILVER PASS (((20:28 9/5/9 062:28 127 MILES))) “UPANDOVER” down towards TULLY HOLE JUNCTION I stepped deeply into a pool of crystal clear (but thoroughly evil) water in the middle of the trail. In my best attempt to be good-humored I laughed and STICKY and I headed towards TULLY HOLE JUNCTION. At some point STICKY slowed my descent too much and I threw him over the switchbacks, just like I do anyone who gets in between me and my goals in the backcountry. “GOOD TIMES STICKY. HOPE YOU LIKE YOUR NEW HOME! ARE THINGS GREENER ON THIS SIDE?”

Photobucket
DRAINED NEAR RED'S... ENJOYING THE BEGINNING STAGES OF DEHYDRATION



Just below LAKE VIRGINIA (((01:30 9/6/9 067:30 134 MILES))) I slept for 1:30 Hours and then continued on to DUCK PASS JUNCTION (((04:45 9/6/9 070:45 138 MILES))) and slept for another 2:00 Hours. I hit RED'S MEADOW (((10:04 9/6/9 076:04 150 MILES))) in the mid-morning and rested again at GLADYS LAKE for 30 minutes in the mid-afternoon. My aversion to water was strong because of the stomach discomfort every time that I actually swallowed it. I estimate that I swallowed no more than 2.5-3 liters of water after RED'S MEADOW for the remainder of the journey to HAPPY ISLES (such a cruel name). This situation would prove to be the great granite wall that my Sierra jet would repeatedly crash into for the rest of the race. I was powering through pain and fatigue but the discomfort of my stomach did more than just distract me from my focus, it slowed me down and stole power from me. Right or wrong, I decided at that point that I would consume the minimal amount of water necessary in order to make my engine run. As a result, the fatigue thickened within me and I began to feel a limp-inducing cramp in my left calf. I rested again at 1,000 ISLAND LAKE (((17:03 9/6/9 083:03 165 MILES))) for 1 Hour.


Photobucket
NEAR SHADOW LAKE JUST MAKING IT HAPPEN



DONAHUE PASS TO HAPPY ISLES

I summited DONAHUE PASS (((21:15 9/6/9 087:15 172 MILES))) in the dark, after briefly losing the trail in the grass below the pass. I dropped into LYELL CANYON and ran as quickly as possible, making the most of gravity's gift wherever the terrain allowed. Safety was not foremost on my mind, just TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK... LYELL CANYON was frigid and creeping fog banks foiled the LED beam of my headlamp, and when this was not the case, my own breath obscured my vision. I switched to the XENON beam on my lamp and this adequately cut through the white noise in front of my face.


Photobucket
THE GHOSTLY WIZARD OF LYELL CANYON



In the wee hours of the morning I knocked on the reservations office door of the TUOLUMNE HIGH SIERRA CAMP (((02:00 9/7/9 092:00 184 MILES))) seeking direction. I put my freakishly bearded mug up to the glass along with the the 'wrapping at the chamber door'. An unfazed lady named Joyce said “THE DOOR'S OPEN”. “WOW!” I thought to myself. It was 2 am and she was not threatened, but in fact incredibly helpful. After I posed my questions, she called in a kid named Reggie to also contribute: “WHERE IS THE JMT? WHERE IS THE CATHERDRAL LAKES JUNCTION?” I had 9 hours left on my clock to get to HAPPY ISLES. After some explanation and a declined car ride offer, I left armed with information. I also began a new experimentation in 2L of chlorinated tap water that I thought might help my severe hydration issue (it didn't).

Photobucket
I HATE THIS JUNCTION!!!



I hit the CATHERDRAL LAKES JUNCTION (((02:40 9/6/9 092:40 187 MILES))) and proceeded up the dirtiest, deepest, darkest slog of them all. The aural hallucinations began in full force, I heard Hawaiian crooning in my head “AAAAHhhh OOOOOwwoooo Wooo...” My head and heart bent along with the madness and I sang along with it as I climbed. “AAAAHhhh OOOOOwwoooo Wooo... HEY BABY WHATEVER IT TAKES TO GET ALONG THROUGH THIS!” I sang to myself. In fact, it was the same song that I was hearing in LYELL CANYON. After some time though, just for the sake of scientific validation, I removed my goose down hood and stopped. “AAAAHhhh OOOOOwwoooo Wooo... AAAAHhhh OOOOOwwoooo Wooo...” There it was... I KNEW I knew that sound... I wasn't a nutter after all: it was coyotes calling to each other across the canyon, and they had been doing it all night! I kept my hood off for what I took to be the hero's serenade and continued climbing. Twice during my slog up CATHERDRAL PASS I just stopped and laid down in the middle of the trail on any large rock islands in the dusty sea. Both times were 5 minute periods. Following the last of these sessions, I sat down in the dark with my head in my hands in order to take in the entire journey and savor it before it ended. It was practically a moment of paralysis, but it seemed necessary. A curtain of pink and purple jewels returned behind my eyelids and then hung in front of me with my eyes open in the night. “HELLO LADIES ARE YOU THERE?” Sadly the sirens of VIDETTE could not be summoned through the veil.

I hit SUNRISE LAKES JUNCTION (((07:03 9/7/9 097:03 195 MILES))) appropriately enough at sunrise. I saw a throng of coffee cup-wielding High Sierra Campers gathering on the cliff above the meadow in order to see our rising star... as I left the meadow I heard the camp bell ring and some DNC employee kid yell “GOOD MORNING SUNRISE!!! BREAKFAST IS READY!!!” A final fantasy of waffles, syrup, eggs, bacon, ice cream, cheeseburgers, cream-filled eclairs and on and on and on danced inside my head.

Photobucket
SOMEWHERE UP THERE WAS A BUNCH OF YUPPIES WITH COFFEE...



Photobucket
OUR RISING STAR OVER SUNRISE



The long night and the water drought inside my belly weighed heavily upon me. What was once a cramp in my calf was now an incredibly taut trigger point disabling my left Achilles tendon. Now my Sierra jet had a flat tire and an emergency landing was looming. I reached a max speed of no more than 3 MPH. I felt quite neutered and subdued... it was an iron ceiling that no focus or determination could break through. I told myself that I would let gravity pull me down to HAPPY ISLES. I craved the drop that the elevation had in store for me. I felt my lead on Michael slipping. It was getting embarrassingly close to the deadline. The pride of the massive lead that I had imagined that I would gain on Michael's record was fading! “RUN FOR PRIDE! RUN FOR DIGNITY!” I screamed inside my head. “I DON'T GIVE A SHIT WHAT FOR JUST RUN! RUN! RUN! RUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUN!”

I hit the HALF DOME JUNCTION and finally began running. I maneuvered through the ascending/descending bodies as deftly as I could with a busted Achilles tendon... at this point my GPS had ran out of batteries, but by its standards, I must have peaked near 16 MPH. I knew that this drop would be my finest moment. It had been my strategy all along. I was going to do it! I was so close! And then all of a sudden near LITTLE YOSEMITE VALLEY JUNCTION the terrain leveled and became sandy. “NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” Gravity, the only ally that I had known since dear STICKY had just left me and it was now my adversary. I started walking quite slowly... no more RAGING RACER dodging rocks and people in the trail. I looked for sticks to help me I picked up one and hobbled along until it broke, replacing it as fast as possible with another weak one that would only break again. I remembered Michael talking about tears at HAPPY ISLES and this was something that I had boasted to myself that I wouldn't do. But I found myself incredibly weak at that moment and I wanted so badly to see my family and my girl Tanya. I was so close! Where were they? I needed their help! Then I laughed and remembered that they couldn't help me anyways.

Photobucket
FALLS NEAR THE END



I finally reached the restrooms near the falls and opted for the footpath route (2.5 Miles vs. 4.0 Miles of the paved route). I let the rushing air dry my tears and used all my limbs to move down the path and chase one false finish after another, dispensing the limitless reservoirs of politeness that I had for ascending hikers by yielding to them (I'm such a pushover!). I finally hit the paved path and started sprinting with rapid breathing, snorting like a bull. I didn't care what the comments were, I didn't care that I had forgotten to wear my Mickey Mouse ears, designer eye shades and stinky colognes like everybody else seemed to remember. I had just come from another planet... one called MT. WHITNEY. Considering its strangeness it was relatively close for an outter space destination, it was only a 211 miles jaunt South of there... only 4 DAYS 5 HOURS 5 MINUTES away to be precise. And if you were there at 11:05 AM 9/7/9 you would have known that for sure and you would have also known why they call it HAPPY ISLES (((11:05 9/7/9 101:05 211 MILES))) (a perfect name)!!!

Photobucket
4 DAYS 5 HOURS 5 MINUTES | 211 MILES | 80,000 FEET OF ELEVATION CHANGE | LOTS OF HORSESHIT AND LOTS OF FUC'KING ROCKS


samson defanged

SAMSON DEFANGED... WITH THE REAL MOUNTAIN HARDWEAR GONE, A SAD DOMESTICATED CITY LOOK SINKS INTO MY EXPOSED, DE-ACCLIMATED SKIN

Edited by CRAZY8s on 09/28/2009 22:58:54 MDT.

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: JMT 2009... TRUE TALES OF A DIRTY MAN on 09/28/2009 22:38:41 MDT Print View

Ian,

Awesome trip report! It sounds and looks like you had a blast on "the great race". It certainly is quite a trip...It's cool you were able to spend time in the Muir Hut (how appropriate!). I was hoping to sleep there too but it didn't work out. From the TR it sounds like the thunderstorm didn't slow you down any. When I left it behind me there was no indication it was going to end any time soon. I hoped it wouldn't end your race and am glad it didn't.

Hope the injuries are healing,
Brett

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
nastiness abounds on 09/29/2009 10:32:18 MDT Print View

That was one hell of a storm indeed!

These photos are from July... Le Conte is a cauldron for meteorologic brews... all corners of the compass can be sending something nasty your way... by the time I hit Muir Pass fortunately, the maxim of 'no precipitation in a Sierra summer night' kicked in...

Photobucket

Rare evidence of a Sierra Siren in Dusy... Langille in the background... The canyon's brewing it up...

Photobucket

Below Mt. Solomons... Massive hail fell out the sky that day...

Hey Reinhold I saw your name in the Hut register the night before departure, I took that to be a good omen... thank you patron saint of the JMT :-)

Edited by CRAZY8s on 09/29/2009 10:36:42 MDT.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT 2009... TRUE TALES OF A DIRTY MAN on 09/29/2009 12:20:11 MDT Print View

Ian
Great job on the JMT.
I like your Mountain Man look !!

Ian Alloway
(CRAZY8s) - F

Locale: westSiiiiiEEde!
monkey men on 09/30/2009 10:12:13 MDT Print View

mountain fur is totally AKBAR!

Ralph B Alcorn
(backpack45scb) - M
Re: Re: JMT Record on 10/02/2009 12:30:09 MDT Print View

Brett, congratulations on your stunning accomplishment. Would you care to share your age?

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: Re: JMT Record on 10/04/2009 11:43:12 MDT Print View

Ralph, I unfortunately turned the big 3-0 this year.

Ralph B Alcorn
(backpack45scb) - M
JMT Record on 10/04/2009 12:41:29 MDT Print View

Thanks for the age info. At age 73, I find my self interested in what is possible at what age.

Peter Defty
(paleopete) - F
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 10/04/2009 21:32:30 MDT Print View

Brett:

Write me about your JMT .....one of my VESPA users pointed this out to me....I read the forumn thread on your bonking etc. ....there is anotehr entriely different way to approach diet and fueling for the long events...athletes I work with ,including myself, have used these strategies successfully in 100 M runs and in Primal Quest.

my e-mail is peer@vespapower.com

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Age Group Record on 10/05/2009 09:39:08 MDT Print View

Ralph
in 2004, at age 62, Reinhold Metzger did an Unsupported JMT in 5 days, 7 hours, 45 min.

maybe next year you can go for the over 70 Record :-)

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Speed Record on 10/05/2009 17:15:51 MDT Print View

Greetings:

As I read through all of your comments, I could not help the exitement. Congratulations to Brett Maune and all of the hard-chargers who made a walk-run for the records and JMT history!

I have a goal myself; I want to complete the JMT in five (5) days or less. I already completed a "recon" hike of the trail and took notes. However, I was concerned about my lack of specific training and knowledge for such undertaking. Your posted notes and logs may surely convince me to go or not to go for it; or, may surely save my life while I'm out there.

I am currently training for some long range day-and-endurance hikes in the Sierras for 2010 (Onion Valley - Whitney, Happy Isles -Reds Meadows and Tahoe Rim Trail), all in preparation for my five-day attempt in the summer of 2011.

I'll be posting some interrogatives later. I hope you all take mercy on me. Happy Trails!

Dueño De La Sierra

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
The evolution of JMT speed hiking on 10/07/2009 23:53:32 MDT Print View

Ian,
Congratulation on a fantastic accomplishment.
You, Brett, Jeff, Michael, Aaron, Al, John, Sue and all the other JMT record seekers have taken this to an entire new level from the time I first "thru-hiked" the JMT in 1996 hauling a 75-85 lb pack and "Waffle Stomper" boots.
By 2003-2004, thanks to the "UL Revolution", I had my pack
weight down to 22 lb and thought I was as light as possible for a multi day trek in the Sierra.
However, as I said, you guys and Sue have taken this to an entire new level and I can't congratulate each and everyone of you enough.

Say Ian,....7.6 - 13.6 mph is a awfully fast start pace.
In a way, "FAST PACKING" (Speed Hiking) is a lot like
"SEX"......"Once bitten, forever hooked" and like in sex
a fast pace is important, but what is more important is how long you can keep it up.
Next time, whatever you are doing, try a little slower pace, but keep it up longer.

Hee...hee...hee...hee.....cough...cough...cough....

JMT Reinhold
Hee...hee...hee

Sarah Spelt
(sarzy01) - F
Sex is good for you. on 10/08/2009 23:06:48 MDT Print View

Reiny, you are a riot! How about your sex reference?!?! You totally cracked me up!

Sarah Spelt
(sarzy01) - F
So much for letting friends post in my stead... on 10/08/2009 23:09:34 MDT Print View

I did love your post - perhaps not to that extreme...but it was AWFULLY good.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sorry, people... on 10/08/2009 23:15:32 MDT Print View

That was just too much fun on Reinhold's part. Couldn't contain myself. Sex reference was a... riot.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
For future JMT aspirants... on 10/08/2009 23:23:46 MDT Print View

If you seriously think of breaking an existing JMT record...don't forget to bring a tub of "Glamour" vaseline. You might need it.

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: So much for letting friends post in my stead... on 10/08/2009 23:27:04 MDT Print View

Ouch.

Edited by mpopov on 10/08/2009 23:29:03 MDT.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
SEX IS GOOD FOR YOU....I agree on 10/11/2009 17:50:26 MDT Print View

<"Reiny, you are a riot">

Sarah, you are the only girl besides "CATRA" to ever call me Reiny.

CATRA and I met on a moonlit summer night on top of Mount Whitney, in the summer of 2004.
I was sleeping in the Whitney Hut, on the eve of my "Sub Five Unsupported JMT" attempt and CATRA had just completed the first half of her JMT yo-yo, when she burst into the hut and into my life.
We both were lonly and needed each other...but soon she was gone and I was left there all alone.
Then shortly after midnight I was speeding down the JMT on shaky knees with CATRA on my mind.
Needless to say, I was unsuccessful in my sub-five attempt
and finished in 5 days, 7 hrs, 45 minutes.

JMT Reinhold
Still dreaming about CATRA.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Sub - Five JMT at 69? on 10/17/2009 17:38:37 MDT Print View

RATS!!!......I woke up this morning and realized I just turned 69.....BUMMER!!!

Boy, that's getting up there in age...suddenly I feel old.
I guess that means my window of opportunit for a
"Unsupported Sub-Five JMT" is closing fast.

My wife is shouting..."THAT WINDOW SLAMMED SHUT LONG AGO.
Yeahh...Well...we'll see...but I tend to agree with her that at age 69 I am, perhaps, getting a little old for this extreme stuff.

Perhaps I should, instead, hang around the Sr. Center and play bridge and lawn bowl.
Yes,....I think that is what I will do.

JMT Reinhold
Your lawn bowling trail buddy

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Sub - Five JMT at 69? on 10/18/2009 23:22:44 MDT Print View

Oh come on Reinhold.
69 should be your favorite age?

mark henley
(flash582) - F
69 and the JMT on 10/19/2009 17:32:17 MDT Print View

69 isn't old anymore .... when you get to 89 you may have to look at supported trips instead of unsupported.

As they say, It's not the years, it's the miles. That is, as long as you lube and change the oil regularly.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
JMT Speed Record Plans For Next Year on 10/19/2009 19:09:46 MDT Print View

There is going to be a time soon, and was supposed to be Kilian this year, when some super Ultra Runner comes along and takes the JMT Record down well below 3 days.

Since that day has happened yet, there is still a great potential to go after the Supported record.
In order to make this happen, there may be one last group effort.

While going Unsupported means carrying 15-20 pounds, it is not the option to get the fastest speed on the trail.

So the plan is to have 4 points along the trail that will act as a "HUB" for us.
We get there, pick up the next day’s food and have a hot meal. We'll also be able to change socks and have access to a blister kit and at best be able to pick up a rain jacket.

So we only have to have one day of food at a time and have the ability to sleep "if you want" or at least take a quick nap at a hub.

We will carry our own sleeping bag the whole time, or at least at best have 2 people at the 1st hub so we can pick it up at the end of the first day.

I started my Unsupported trip with just over 15 pounds, (without water). Ten of that was food.

A sleeping bag a ground cloth will weigh less than two pounds, so I will be looking at carrying 7 pound less food, and a pack weight, (without water) around 7 pounds.

I'm not too sure that I will even be one of the ones going for the attempt but will at least help out

Edited by awsorensen on 10/25/2009 01:30:06 MDT.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
JMT speed record attempt on 10/19/2009 20:37:44 MDT Print View

Seems like a great way to drive the psyche of the athletes challenging the record. A group attempt like this should drop the record by a massive amount, good luck !

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Sub - Five JMT at 69? on 10/20/2009 09:49:01 MDT Print View

Extreme Bingo! That's a good game for us oldsters.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Speed Record Plans For Next Year on 10/20/2009 10:26:51 MDT Print View

Aaron
I think this is a really interesting idea except for one major hurdle.
Organized race events are not allowed in the National Parks and I'm sure the Park service would frown on this venture and quite possible try and put a stop to it.
My suggestion, if you are serious, is that you keep it a bit more under the radar.
p.s.
while I'm way past my prime for that sort of speed, I might be interested in some support capacity if the timing is right.

Art

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: JMT Speed Record Plans For Next Year on 10/20/2009 22:52:32 MDT Print View

Hey Art,
This is just people going on a hike with a backpack on.
You have to get your own permit anyway, so as soon as you do, it is all good.

A group of hikers doing the trail in 3 weeks would put a 100 X larger imprint on the trail than us.
I believe that is the point of what something organized would do?

Even the people at the hubs would not need a permit as they would just be considered day hikers.
Doing the hubs and going about it in a group start is actually much safer than one person being out there going for the attempt themselves.

I'm sure this is the reason a few people out there that may want to try an attempt won't do it. There can be big changes in the weather even in the summer and loosing the ability to stay warm while going solo and not having enough gear is not safe.
Plus the factor of a possible injury while going for an attempt is greater. It's not like they can just pitch a tent and wait for someone to come along to help.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Re: Re: JMT Speed Record Plans For Next Year on 10/21/2009 11:18:43 MDT Print View

Aaron
I like the idea and agree the impact would be minimal.
Its just that the Feds could have a different view, even to the point of having someone at the summit revoking permits for everyone up there. They sometimes get very prickly about rules.
Low Key ...

Edited by asandh on 10/21/2009 13:10:33 MDT.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
Getting better every day on 10/22/2009 05:19:30 MDT Print View

Aaron said....Oh come on Reinhold.
69 should be your favorite age.
---------------------

Ohh "YES" Aaron....69 is my favorite age...I have been waiting 69 long years for this.
Besides, I have been told some things get better with age and I just may be one of those rare gems that get better with age.

I'm so excited about this...I can't sleep...I can barely wait until I'm 70, knowing im getting better every day.

JMT Reinhold
Your excited trail companion

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
JMT Speed Record Plans For Next Year on 10/22/2009 05:28:03 MDT Print View

I'M AFRAID WE HAVE CREATED A MONSTER!!!!!!!!

JMT Reinhold

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
The "JMT Fever" on 10/25/2009 12:14:54 MDT Print View

The JMT is like a beautyful woman..."once bitten forever hooked".
I got "bitten" in 1996 and every summer since she has been calling me.
I call it the "JMT Fever"...there is no cure...the only relieve is to hike the trail.
I am not the only one.....there others...just like.
Take the JMT record speed junkies...Brett, Jeff, Ian, Michael, Aaron, John, Al, Brian, Peter, Buzz,...they all have it...it is abvious...I call them "The Herd".
Even Brad Alan Lewis, whom I have met more then once on the JMT, is aflicted by the "JMT Fever" and as a result, like me, is drawn to that beautyful lady year after year.
Alan, the 1984 Olympic Gold Medal winner in the double scull is a very strong and determined person, but not strong enough to withstand the lure of that beautyful lady.

The "HERD", as I call them, is calm now...but come summer
the "HERD" will become restless and anxious to stampede down the JMT again.

JMT Reinhold
Your "JMT Fever" suffering trail companion

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Mega Bonk on 10/26/2009 21:19:21 MDT Print View

Brett:

I have been reading your training logs. Thank you so much for your input and generosity. Looking at your pics, I was hit by the perpetual "I've seen this guy before". Then it hit me again. I saw you wearing your black gloves in one of your pics and remembered seeing you (or someone incredibly similar to you)on Sept 3rd in the vicinity of Bubbs Creek; poss by Vidette Meadow. I do believe now that you were on your 1st day -- N/B on your wat to Glenn Pass. My wife and I were on our way to Forester Pass. I asked you for weather information. You seemed incredibly focused and did not have much info to pass. Had we known... we would have cheered you on!! Good job!

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: JMT Mega Bonk on 10/28/2009 23:15:38 MDT Print View

Hello Jorge,

Time is really starting to blur my memory of the encounters I had on the two runs. I saw so many people on the first day of the first attempt it's hard for me to keep straight which encounters belong to which run. After thinking about it I'm fairly sure I encountered a man/woman couple coming down the steep trail ~1/4 mile from the trail junction in Vidette Meadow. I also vaguely remember someone asking me about the weather in that general area, but I didn't know anything. I probably didn't slow down at all during the encounter. I wasn't trying to be rude. I was in a hurry! With the exception of Ian on Whitney, I don't think anyone else has said they 'saw' me on the trail. You may be the only ones.

Good luck on your planned ~5 day future fast pack. I highly recommend hiking as much of the JMT beforehand as possible. Not knowing parts of the trail could cause major problems for something like this.

Brett

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
JMT Controversy on 10/31/2009 15:17:00 MDT Print View

I am somewhat puzzled and amused by the controversy over the start and finish of the JMT.

It was very clear in my mind, back in 1996, that the JMT is
"That stretch of the trail between Happy Isles and the summit of Mt. Whitney" and all official refrences indicate the Southern Terminus of the JMT is MT. Whitney and the Northern Terminus is Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley.

The JMT is what it is and no convenience or inconvenience factors for race purposes will change that.
Anything more or less will simply make it a JMT + or -.

I don't buy the argument, "Since you have to walk up or down the Whitney Trail to get to Mt. Whitney or down to Whitney Portal it is therefore part of the JMT and Reinhold
did not fly a helicopter to the top of Whitney".

The Whitney Trail does not become part of the JMT just because one starts at Whitney Portal.
The Whitney Trail is merely one of several trails to the top of Mt. Whitney.
You could go with the Mountaineering Route from the Portal.
You could go via New Army Pass from Horseshoe Mdw.
You could go via Old Army Pass from Horseshoe Mdw.
You could go via Cottonwood pass, or you could take the Moutaineering Route from Sky Blue Lake to Whitney....
I could go on, but I think I made my point....The Whitney
Trail is not the only way to get to or from Mt. Whitney.
As a matter of fact, the last few years, because of the heavy traffic and difficulty of obtaining a permit starting at the Portal, I have used all the above routes
and equally valid arguments could be made that the above trails are part of the JMT.

So where does the JMT start & finish?
It starts and finishes wherever you want it to start and finish as long as the start and finish are Happy Isles and the summit of Mt. Whitney.
Anything more or less will just make it a JMT + or -.

It might help to defuse the confusion if those who start at the Portal would call it the "Whitney Portal to Happy Isles High Sierra Race", or something like that, to distinguish it from those who do the pure, official JMT route..."That stretch of the trail between Happy Isles and
the summit of Mt. Whitney".

JMT Reinhold
That is my perspective

Mark Davis
(Trailster) - F

Locale: Cascades
An interesting comparison on 10/31/2009 17:57:05 MDT Print View

Brett, one of my shipmates told me of an ultra-runner from Australia named Cliff Young. I looked up the story about him and I though that you would be interested in his ultra-running strategy. If you get any time read about him. You will think it's pretty cool. I hope everything is going well with you and your family. Mark

Sarah Spelt
(sarzy01) - F
Re: JMT Controversy on 10/31/2009 21:58:02 MDT Print View

"So where does the JMT start & finish?
It starts and finishes wherever you want it to start and finish as long as the start and finish are Happy Isles and he summit of Mt. Whitney."

Ha! I love it!

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: JMT Controversy on 11/01/2009 02:49:04 MST Print View

I agree that the JMT starts at the summit of Mt. Whitney. Someone could make a poll.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
JMT Controversy on 11/01/2009 08:05:04 MST Print View

Jack,
Those folks that start at Happy Isles might disagree with you.
The JMT does not have a official start and finish, just a Southern Terminus (Whitney) and a Northern Terminus (Happy Isles)....No poll needed
The same goes for the PCT, CDT and the AT.
It starts wherever you want it to start as long as the start and finish are Happy Isles and the summit of Mt. Whitney.

JMT Reinhold

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: JMT Controversy on 11/01/2009 08:45:04 MST Print View

Reinhold
You are allowing yourself to be controlled by the arbitrary declaration of the Federal Govt (regarding JMT terminus) rather than the "Natural Flow" of the wilderness.
If you want to live your life that way ... so be it :-(

The Wilderness knows where the ""Trail"" begins and ends.

Art

Edited by asandh on 11/02/2009 13:54:12 MST.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Re: JMT Controversy on 11/01/2009 10:03:50 MST Print View

Do people that Yo-Yo the JMT have discussions about where the turn around point is ?

Edited by redmonk on 11/01/2009 10:06:49 MST.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
JMT Controvery on 11/02/2009 02:54:52 MST Print View

Oooohhhh...Art,....
Go with "The Natural Flow" of the wilderness...I like that.

I must write my Congressman immediately to repeal all wilderness rules and regulations.
No more permits, no more bounderies, no more trails from here to there, we will just flow with "The Natural Flow" of the wilderness.

The JMT will start at my front door....I like that idea!!!

JMT Reinhold

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: An interesting comparison on 11/03/2009 23:33:36 MST Print View

Mark,

That story is amazing! Words don't really do it justice...It sounds like he never slept at all yet he seems coherent in all the youtube videos. I don't know how that's possible...

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
JMT Controversy....Yo - Yo turn around on 11/08/2009 10:02:34 MST Print View

Cameron wrote..do people who Yo-Yo the JMT have discussions
about where the turn around point is?
--------------
Geeeezzzzz....Cameron,....I would say people turnaround at the half way point.
At least that's what Catra and I did.
I know, because Catra and I first met on a moonlit summer night in the summer of 2004.
I was sleeping in the Whitney Hut on the eve of my sub-five
unsupported JMT attempt when Catra, who had just finished the first half of her JMT Yo-Yo, burst into the hut and into my life.
We both were lonesome and needed each other...but soon she was gone and I was left there all alone.
Catra and I both turned around on the summit of Mt. Whitney, but you could just as well turn around at Happy Isles.

I hope this clears up this deep mistery and helps you to determine where to turn around on your JMT Yo-Yo.
This is very important to know, because if you don't know where to turn around you could wind up in Canada or Mexico.

JMT Reinhold
Still dreaming about Catra

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT Controversy on 12/12/2009 18:34:39 MST Print View

I believe... most folks do... that the JMT is universally and officially recognized to be between Happy Isles and Mt. Whitney; N2S or S2N. Heck, I met a group of Germans at the Inca Trail who knew that!! There are no "start" and "finish" lines because the trail was not meant to be used as a racetrack.

To throw a twist into the equation claiming some "goverment conspiracy" is laughable at best and it could be considered disrespectful to those who endured hardship to achieve their specific goal; whether such goal was achieved in 3 days or 3 weeks.

Yes, one may start the JMT hike from his/her own front door and finish it anywhere in the planet. But, only 211 miles of that distance will be considered JMT miles. Anything extra or less will be just that. I personally enjoyed my JMT victories at Whitney. That way, I felt satisfaction and really enjoyed myself more as I passed by the early morning "conga" lines on their way up.

Hike your own 211 mile JMT hike; W2Y / Y2W.

Edited by DeLaSierra on 12/14/2009 14:57:09 MST.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT Controversy on 12/20/2009 14:25:10 MST Print View

Hey Jorge,
I agree, only as far as fastpacking goes, the JMT is one fantastic trail to try to conquer with speed in mind.
The moderate temps and the spectacular scenery are amazing any way you hike it.

When we talk about backpacking lite, an Unsupported 4.5 day trip just makes more sense to me.

I don't have 3 weeks to take off work and hike it.
I don't need to worry about resupplying and most of all it is just fun. It also makes much less of an impact on the trail getting through it in 4-5 days.

It is also pretty amazing having everybody off the trail in their tents and having it be all yours during most of the hike.
We are just backpacking lite, only moving faster.

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Re: JMT Controversy on 02/06/2010 22:29:47 MST Print View

I'm with you on that Aaron. I was referring mostly to folks and their "points of interests". I enjoy a good heavy packed long hike as much as I enjoy a speedhike; I am flexible that way. I have to if I want my wife to come along with me.

Well, the season is fast approaching. Got my speedhikes locked on already. Going over to Joshua Tree in March, Yosemite in April, Onion Valley to Whitney Portal on July 4th, as much of the TRT in August and the White Mountain on Labor Day. I have my own JMT aspirations (6 or less); but, that will have to wait 'till 2011.
Later.....

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 02/16/2010 08:12:44 MST Print View

Greetings all:

Well, I went out and had a taste of a what a fast hike would be like under serveral conditions. I ran a 32.5 mile ultra marathon in my full hiking gear (17 pound pack); 9 hours. My mission was to test gear, hydration pills, stomach response to gells, name it. Most of all, to test where my boddy is after two months of trail training. The real test was to get up the next day and run a simple 15K trail race.; could not do it. My body went on strike and could not move a muscle. More training to come I guess. Next training test will be a Bishop ultra race; 32 miles at Sierra altitude on May 15. Remind me please what the %$#@%* am I doing this for anyway????????? Oh yeah, the beauty of it all.....
Happy Trails.

Edited by DeLaSierra on 02/16/2010 08:15:35 MST.

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 04/18/2010 00:04:15 MDT Print View

Played around in Joshua Tree, Death Valley and Yosemite in a five week period. JT had some good training day speedhikes but somehow it felt short with me. Yosemite was snowed in. I hurt my right knee on day one -- run one. Death Valley was the best! Up Telescope Peak and a fabulous mountain bike ride at Titus Canyon = a grand three day week-end experience there.

Edited by DeLaSierra on 05/24/2010 22:31:02 MDT.

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT North-South Records on 04/18/2010 00:05:30 MDT Print View

Another successful 50k test at Bishop on May 15, '10. Went hollywood though; no hiking rig. 33.1 miles in 8:21; felt a little weak at the end there but was able to recover swiftly in about 12 hours. The difference in speedhiking with gear and going hollywood is like night and day. Next test, Onion Valley to Whitney Portal unsupported. Good times!!

Edited by DeLaSierra on 05/24/2010 22:24:18 MDT.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
JMT speed record attempts for 2010 on 07/15/2010 19:27:11 MDT Print View

Yes
The JMT is heating up again.
This year there is no unsupported or supported record.
The record of 86 was made unsupported, so beating it supported just gets the supported record.

So who is it this year that's heading out to beat the elusive time.
Well it's the same guys that have been out there doing it all along.
This year I am going for the Supported Record and Ian Alloway is going to go Unsupported.
The battle even heats up around the same time as we will both be up there for August's full moon.
This year I'll have Michael Popov helping me in the pacing. It's about time. I've driven about 1200 miles each year for the support of him over the past two years. He will be pacing me from Mono Lake to Reds Meadow and from Tuolumne to the finish.
Sarah Spelt from PCTR will be with me the final night from Reds Meadow to Tuolumne.

The gear list this year is as minimal as possible.

Pack: Salomon XT Wings 5 Pro Backpack
Jacket: The North Face Zephyrus Insulated Pullover
Vest: Mont Bell Down Inner Half Sleeve Jacket
Rain/wind shell: North Face Triumph Anorak

Other gearworn or carried ; Rail Riders Long Sleeve Shirt and Pants, a light Nike cap, REI hat, Injungi Socks, Asics 2150 Trail shoes.

2.5 pounds per day of an assortment of
Hammer Jel Perpetium, Hammer Jel Heed, Amino Vital, Gue and Honey. Maybe a few snack stuff thrown in.

The Rest: MP3 player, Camera/ video, Coast Lensor H7 Headlamp, Time splits/small map, 1aaa extra battery, safety pin and Leuko tape for blisters.

Thats it. Hoping to keep weight with water under 7 pounds at all times.
I'll have a person at Taboose Trail Jct to re-supply and a few hours sleep at mile 67 before a 2nd 67 mile day to Edison/ Mono at mile 134.

Hoping to get out of Mono in under 48 hours. Yikes!!!

For now I'm in Louisiana helping with the clean up so its running in 90* weather on sand.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Aaron Sorensen 2010 JMT Record Attempt on 07/15/2010 20:15:07 MDT Print View

Aaron
why don't you copy and paste what you just wrote and put it in a brand new thread.
this is turning into a super long multi year thread.

and your effort IS a brand new topic after all :-)

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 07/15/2010 20:20:34 MDT Print View

Aaron; congrats on your upcoming endeavor. I will be looking forward to your reports. There are one or two trail blazers out there who are fixing to go. One of them is named Kenneth Muller. Kenneth will be going N2S unsupported. I believe he hopes to be done in 5.

I have been in the Sierra twice this year already (training and having a good time of course) and have to say that snow and swollen creeks, although ever so beautiful, played a big factor in slowing things down a little for me. I have a couple of weeks before I go on a day hike from Onion Valley to Lone Pine Lake to test gear and myself; however, the trail reports (NPS.Gov) are not encouraging (speed in mind). My JMT trek will be in 2011; N2S in 6-8 days (I don't hike during darkness; not fun for me).

By the way, congrats on that gear list; nice. I did not see a tent or a bivy on the list. Is your support crew bringing that stuff out to you?

Hey stay in touch and much success and health to you and all of the JMT trail blazers out there.

JD

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: JMT speed record attempt on 07/16/2010 17:12:19 MDT Print View

hey Art,
Already tried putting this in a different post.
Thing is if no one looks at for an hour it is never seen again.
Needless to say, 2 others replied to it and it has been lost ever sense.

JD
I'll have help and sleeping gear at each stop for the first 2 days and a bag with me from Reds Meadow to Tuolumne.

It's hard to grasp just how fast this pace is. Brett did a dang fast pace with 15-27 pounds on his back. I can do some serious running without the weight so I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Jorge DeLaSierra
(DeLaSierra) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 07/20/2010 11:04:58 MDT Print View

Aaron; that is going to be an awesome challenge! It seems to me that I am reading about two kinds of athletes; a speedhiker and a fastpacker. Hence, I started a forum with that title in mind.

"Fastpacking and Speedhiking; are these different names for the same sport?"

Some good items posted on the forum already. Anyone inerested, look up the forum by the same title and pitch in your opinions, experiences, "two-cents", what have you. I think it will help define our sport (or hobby) and awaken more interest in folks out there.

Cheers!
jd

Brett Maune
(bmaune) - F

Locale: SoCal
JMT speed record attempt on 07/24/2010 11:19:42 MDT Print View

Aaron--just saw your post. Again, good luck with your effort and I hope to be able to meet you or Ian at some point on the trail.

I didn't realize Ian was trying for the unsupported record!

Be safe out there guys.

Reinhold Metzger
(JMTReinhold) - F
How to get in JMT record breaking shape on 08/06/2010 04:45:18 MDT Print View

Hi gang,
I'M BACK...by POPULAR DEMAND...for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.

I can see JMT Fever has broken out again.
It happens every year this time of the year, and the herd (JMT fanatics and record seekers) is getting restless and anxious to break out of the barn and stampede down the JMT again.
I know I caught the JMT Fever back in 1996 and have been stampeeding down the JMT every summer since and this year will not be an exeption.

I thought I share with you JMT Fever sufferers my top secret formula on how to get in JMT record breaking shape.

OK, here is what you do....
Simply sit down on your favorite living room coutch untill you feel a distinct calorie urge.
Then, "AT A BRISK PACE", walk to the "Frig", down one of your favorite beers, walk back, again "AT A BRISK PACE", to the coutch, sit down and wait for the next distinct calorie urge.
Repeat the above as often as necessary until you are in JMT
record breaking shape.

JMT Reinhold
Renowned fitness consultant

Michael Popov
(mpopov) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
BIG mistake on 08/23/2010 03:16:51 MDT Print View

Aaron, I think you have neglected to implement the JMT training tips from Reinhold. Simple and efficient. Instead, you trained on a 40% incline nordic track and ran in a sand for hours. BIG mistake.

Will be happy to toe the starting line with you again sometime.