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SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 8:44 am
FYI, Paul AKA "commonloon" started on a SHR FKT attempt this morning and can be followed at
As he is obviously not on a trail and the Garmin he is using only spits out periodic waypoints, you have to use your imagination to fill in the specific moves. He published an equipment list, to which he said he may add at least microspikes and a bear-resistant container, perhaps even a light ice ax. ... cn4DSg1xbA

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:55 am
by c9h13no3
That's a brutal trip, probably a lot about sleep deprivation as much as anything. Hope he comes over Horse Creek Pass without permanent bodily harm (because after 4 days off trail with little sleep, he almost certainly won't be "OK").

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:39 am
Looks like Paul made it to just beyond Big Pete Meadow at the end of his second day.
FKT trail runners become delirious after a few days and even have difficulty navigating basic trails, so adding the mental strain of all the micro-decisions of off-trail to the mix must be a challenge. I know Paul scouted most of the SHR, but even then... I would think that the other major concern is hasty footing on talus, leading to an injury.

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:57 pm
by commonloon
Hey guys,

Cameron told me he posted here, so also reposting my synopsis:

I had to bail on my attempt after the 1st day. About 1/2 way into the 1st day (near Windy Ridge/Grey Pass) I sprained my ankle; I’ve done this before. Up to that point, I was on pace to make it to at least the Palisade Lakes the 1st night. I was attempting to mitigate it by soaking it in streams as I moved along, but my pace took a nosedive. My fueling wasn’t working as well as it needed to be either.

A couple of gear notes (relevant I think to this forum), pertaining to some “New” (I had tested on an earlier trip) gear I took:

WM Nanolite quilt: it was fine for the temps I experienced and I think it rated correctly. It is pretty narrow though. It has sew-thru baffles and the down tends to migrate, so I had work the down a bit to keep it from forming cold spots.

Pa’lante Joey: Fits well, rides nice and close on your back and is stable. One issue is the top sternum strap is hard to see because it is far up. This makes snapping it a PIA, but overall great fastpack. I have a Little River pack also in this same category. I want to mention it because they are so close that I had put it in the car because I couldn’t decide which one to bring.

TR Uberlite: 2nd trip out. I took this instead of my old TR Z-lite close cell. Hoping for better sleep. It performed great.

Conditions were pretty close to what I wanted for my attempt. Although, there was still enough snow and higher temps, that it slowed my progress thru the Palisades a little. I had to kick some steps — not good with my ankle. The conditions were IMHO perfect if you simply wanted to hike the SHR; it’s prettier with some snow.

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 7:03 pm
by commonloon
I should add a couple of things:

1) Regarding my ankle: I was skateboarded as a kid. The ankle is a long-standing issue that affects me off and on when trailing running or hiking.

2) Left the ice axe in the car. Only used the microspikes once for what I hiked, Eastside snowfield of Frozen Lake Pass. I could have used the ice axe to go over a lip on a snowfield, but instead just navigated around it. The penalty for failure was a dip in a very cold lake.

3) I still had a pretty good hike! I did hike around 90 miles in 3 1/2 days and 27,000ft of gain thru some incredible country. I was absolutely amazed by Perseid meteor showers each morning, as I woke up before sunrise. I saw some kayakers run the Devil's Washbowl on the Middle Fork of the Kings River. I scared a poor Bear trying to nap under a tree. I pushed myself to my absolute limit and a little beyond, well that 1st day. I got home safe.

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 pm
by Harlen
Hey Paul, Congratulations on the great shape you must be in to attempt this, and Condolences on the darn ankle. Please explain what FKT means, and what your plan was. I am very keen on attempting a FFAOF* trip along the Sierra High Route, but I'll fall far short of your pace. Will you recover and try it again? Good Luck! Ian.

*Fast For An Old Fart.

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:36 pm
by commonloon
Thanks Harlen.

Fastest Known Time. It is basically just a speed record for a particular trail or route. The current record held by Leor Pantilat is 4d16h21m. Given it has so much off-trail and altitude gain and loss, this is really fast. I think most take about 2 weeks to complete it.

Cameron is correct in that I have scouted/hiked/enjoyed basically the entire route. I've also included bits in other hikes. I know it really well. My plan was to finish in under 5 days -- that's all the food I carried ;-) This year was going to be difficult because of the big snow year, but... I will likely give it one more go.

ps: I'm no spring chicken either!

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:10 am
by Harlen
Fantastic! What a run that will be! Please keep us all abreast of your mountainous exploits Paul.
Your description of the Fastest Known Times along the SHR has blown my petty goal into the icy lake...
The penalty for failure was a dip in a very cold lake.
Did you really fall all the way in Paul? I try to fall only part way in.

My comparatively humble goal is just to do the SHR in one fell swoop, and emerge at the other end alive, starving and happy.

Re: SHR FKT started today, Aug 12, 2019

Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:11 pm
by commonloon
LOL. I always try to take it to the extreme. Simply imagining myself sliding into the lake was enough. Although some crazy guys (Cameron) just swim in those lakes for fun.

Go for it (SHR thru-hike). It is such a great crosssection of the Sierra's as I'm sure you know. Try to time it with some snow too, it adds some richness to the experience and makes all the photos a little better IMHO.

Will do... when I redo.