Aug 20, 2014 at 11:10 pm #1320140
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
Just some random thoughts about the recent popularity of Fastest Known Times (FKTs)Aug 21, 2014 at 7:31 am #2129138
@richardcullipLocale: San Diego County
Well said. Enjoyable read.Aug 21, 2014 at 10:33 am #2129191
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
More fuel for the predictable firestorm…Aug 21, 2014 at 10:54 am #2129199
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Hiking is just like driving – if you're going faster than I am you're an idiot. If you're going slower than I am, you're a moron.Aug 21, 2014 at 3:25 pm #2129291
nice to see a good number of women doing cool stuff!Aug 21, 2014 at 3:32 pm #2129292
Nick in response to some of your points.
Fun – Many people enjoy pushing the limits of their fitness, skill etc. Triathlon, marathon, ultras, skiing, biking, mtn biking, etc. People do it because they enjoy the challenge. What is challenging to person A might be a walk in the park for person B so person B does things that person A wouldn't dream of because it is far beyond them. ex. I hiked the Presidentials in a day in 15hr. I have a friend who did it in 6 without attempting to go as fast as they could.
The popular FKT's are established.. the new ones that pop up tend to be the opposite direction, yo-yo or pushing things even further (R2R2R2R whatever the guy did). If someone does make one up then it really only matters to them and if no one else attempts it then it will probably drift into obscurity and be forgotten.
Wilderness experience.. that doesn't always have to be a goal. It maybe some peoples goal but you don't do a cross country meet in HS for the wilderness experience of running through the woods. You don't look around for fish in a triathlon during the swim. I know i've heard AT thru hikers say "i stop taking side paths to overlooks 3 states ago"
Injury/death concerns. I don't think these are any higher than some noobie with 50lb pack screwing the pooch. Or a dayhiker out with no map or water.Aug 21, 2014 at 3:34 pm #2129293
@lopezLocale: San Gabriel Valley
To me, the reasons for doing an FKT, having interest in FKTs, popularity of FKTs, etc are all so obvious, that I cant imagine it needing to be explained.
What's not so obvious to me is the need to categorize the FKT phenomenon as good or bad.Aug 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm #2129327
@oystersLocale: South Australia
I find the "smell the roses" thing funny. Someone who fast packs a trail gets to see a whole lot more trail and hence a greater variety of landscapes than someone who goes slow. Totally agree on sunsets and sunrises too.
When we cycled up Africa a few years back, we were pushing the daily km really hard for a few months. We set an alarm for 30minutes before first light, and camped around sunset every day, aiming to find a stealth campsite at the last possible moment. I saw so many incredible sunrises and sunsets its not funny. And moons.
Ever got an awesome sunrise shot over Lake Malawi? Or the moon rising over Mount Kilimanjaro? Sleep in, or go to bed too early, you missed out mate. Want to see the villagers out tending the fields in the cool of the morning at first light? Hear the birds waking up? Notice how people head off to bed when you are poor and don't have electricity before it gets dark…the developing world has "peak hour" too, its just different :-)
I think most FKT people know what they are doing and understand the risks they take, and are probably better able to self rescue (and set up options for rescue in advance with friends etc) that noobs on the trail. But they are all welcome there :-)Aug 21, 2014 at 5:57 pm #2129331
@paulmagsLocale: People's Republic of Boulder
"To me, the reasons for doing an FKT, having interest in FKTs, popularity of FKTs, etc are all so obvious, that I cant imagine it needing to be explained."
Lots,of back and forth talk, opinions, and speculations for sometthing that does not need to be explained. ;)
Are they good,or bad? They just are.
May as well ask,if a sun rise is good or bad as well.Aug 21, 2014 at 8:21 pm #2129358
@rosyfinchLocale: the mountains
"I find the "smell the roses" thing funny. Someone who fast packs a trail gets to see a whole lot more trail and hence a greater variety of landscapes than someone who goes slow"
A speedster may see a lot more variety of the big picture, but misses the detail.
Analogous to the difference between speeding down the highway looking at landscapes as you whiz by and walking through just one of those landscapes.
I suppose some enjoy whizzing by more than walking, but others enjoy the detail gained by longer exposure to one landscape.
I can tell you that I can walk up to a camp site and think I appreciate it's beauty at first sight, but if I spend a day or two in the one spot, I gain a MUCH deeper appreciation of that area.
Each to his own. I just hope the trails are not filled some day with too many speedsters… and techno gadget addicts…. Wilderness is more a state of mind than a designated physical place… and speedsters and gadget addicts somehow make it harder to maintain a 'wilderness state of mind'.
You all may aim n flame now… I won't be checking back in…
BillyAug 21, 2014 at 8:37 pm #2129363
I actually thought I had an FKT once, but then I read about someone who's first marriage was shorter than mine…Aug 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm #2129370
There's typically more wildlife movement at dawn and dusk. I've seen a zillion (maybe fewer) deer over the years but I always get a kick anytime I catch a doe and her fawn/s picking their way through a meadow. Moving down a trail at those times certainly helps to increase the odds of spotting critters.Aug 21, 2014 at 8:58 pm #2129375
Ok one more thing…
The only thing about FKTs, and I'm not directing this at Billy, is listening to self righteous sermons about the "one true way" to enjoy the outdoors. If these FKTers aren't littering the trail with empty water bottles, knocking families off the trail or otherwise unreasonably imposing on others who are trying to enjoy the wilderness in a different way, who gives a crap? I don't want to learn how to square dance but I see no reason to go to the local ho-down center to lecture them on how they should spend their free time surfing BPL. WTF… people just need to mind their own business.Aug 21, 2014 at 9:10 pm #2129381
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"If these FKTers aren't littering the trail with empty water bottles, knocking families off the trail or otherwise unreasonably imposing on others who are trying to enjoy the wilderness in a different way, who gives a crap?"
It would be interesting to hear the conversation when some runner like this wants to get a permit for the JMT. Also, the runners can't get too careless (leaving trash, etc.) or else the authorities will kick them out for next time.
–B.G.–Aug 22, 2014 at 8:02 am #2129444
"I actually thought I had an FKT once, but then I read about someone who's first marriage was shorter than mine…"
Can you beat 3 months?Aug 22, 2014 at 12:10 pm #2129498
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Billy you may or may not be paying attention (ha!), but the suggestion that there is any sort of linear correlation between time spent at a given place and the ability to absorb detail is a preposterous notion. Moving efficently for many hours engenders focus, which greatly aids awareness. In my experience, this vastly overwhelms the inevitable de-focusing of sleep deprivation and dwelling on how much your feet hurt.
I think the acronym FKT is dumb. I think the "commonly accepted" rules for verification are dumb. I think Spot tracking is really dumb. But hiking all day at a fast-for-you pace is pretty awesome.Aug 22, 2014 at 4:42 pm #2129560
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Let us all come together and celebrate diversity, aye? There are so many ways to "be" in the mountains, each of them doubtless equally rewarding to those who practice it. Why waste time quibbling about which is more worthwhile, when there is no winning answer? There's fresh air and beauty a wasting, so get out and do your respective things, and quit gnawing on each other's tails fer Chrissake.Aug 22, 2014 at 5:46 pm #2129576
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"Can you beat 3 months?"
72 Days – Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries
60 Days – Pamela Anderson and Rick Salomon
32 Days – Ernest Borgnine and Ethel Merman
30 Days – Drew Barrymore and Jeremy Thomas (Barrymore found a clairvoyant minister to marry them at 5am at the groom's bar)
18 Days – Sinead O'Connor and Barry Herridge
2 Weeks – Eddie Murphy and Tracey Edmonds
9 Days – Cher and Gregg Allman (three days after divorcing Sonny Bono)
8 Days – Dennis Hopper and Michelle Phillips
55 Hours – Britney Spears and Jason Alexander
Less Than 24 Hours – Zsa Zsa Gabor and Felipe DeAlba
6 Hours – Rudolph Valentino & Jean Acker
Clearly demonstrating how preventing same-sex couples from marrying preserves the "sanctity of marriage".Aug 22, 2014 at 6:02 pm #2129580
Sigh, I'll never be best at anything……Aug 22, 2014 at 6:15 pm #2129584
"Sigh, I'll never be best at anything……"
I'm gonna buy you a trophy.Aug 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm #2129585
You're a good egg, Chad. Thanks!
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