Following Ralph and Allen’s JMT FKT attempt
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Jul 29, 2015 at 1:08 pm #1331189
Here's a new thread to follow Ralph and Allen's FKT attempt (much more discussion on that in Ralph's thread, here). Ralph has a lot of great planning info and commentary in that thread, and I'm starting to clog the whole thing up with tables and plots.
But on this thread, I have the first post, so rather than have their progress buried in a dynamic location that is always somewhere towards the end of the thread, it'll stay up top. I'll post a bumping post every time I update this post, so if you watch this thread, you'll get pinged whenever I update the plots.
Feel free to have whatever discussion or commentary in the rest of the thread! And good luck Ralph and Allen!
On with the nerding:
Jul 29, 2015 at 1:23 pm #2217879
Thanks so much, Adam!
I appreciate greatly the talent and expertise — and just plain hard work — you put into keeping us updated. And I love graphs anyway!Jul 29, 2015 at 3:09 pm #2217899
You're welcome, Bob!
And bump–Allen is on the Middle Fork, and Ralph is climbing Forester.Jul 29, 2015 at 5:00 pm #2217926
Just checked… local moonrise for Allen and Ralph is around 6:30pm and it is 97% full.
Sounds good, but I could also understand how it might interfere with sleep. Or not!Jul 29, 2015 at 6:03 pm #2217937
> Sounds good, but I could also understand how it might interfere with sleep. Or not!
Yeah, I think that if I had done what either of them has done…a harrier hovering over my head couldn't keep me awake.
Also, bump. Allen is on his way up Muir Pass, and Ralph is…well, he's probably started up Glen Pass, but we haven't heard from his SPOT in a few hours.Jul 29, 2015 at 8:58 pm #2217973Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Funny, when I went for the Unsupported JMT Record I got about 20 minutes rest the first night.
Night 2 I got about 10 minutes when I woke up with a bear sniffing the back of my head.
Then I tried to sleep after crossing Evolution Creek and a bird flew down and chirping at me from 10 feet away.
I ended up getting less than 30 minutes of sleep until night 3 when things were already going downhill and I was just sleeping enough (2 1/2 hours) to still be able to catch the Edison Ferry.
So less than 3 hours over 3 nights.Jul 29, 2015 at 9:12 pm #2217977David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
>"So less than 3 hours (sleep) over 3 nights."
The one time I tried that (drove 18 hours from TX, hiked R2R2R in GCNP in 19 hours, and then drove on to SF without stopping to sleep), I was seeing large, winged creatures with green scales, tearing up the highway asphalt with their claws. Ever since, that experience has helped me relate to Hunter S. Thompson novels, even though no drugs were involved for me.
There have been Star Trek episodes about the effects of long-term sleep deprivation.
Or just look at the assembly-language code I wrote during an all-nighter. It was crap.Jul 29, 2015 at 10:42 pm #2217980
Allen is descending through Evolution, heading towards the S. Fork San Joaquin. He was planning a second break either near the S. MTR Cut-off, or at the Lake Italy junction–we'll see if he pushes on over Selden Pass. Allen's getting pretty close to the half-way point now…
Ralph's SPOT came back alive–turns out he's been flying! He's at Woods Creek, which is where he had planned a 3h:45m break. But he arrived about 90 minutes earlier than planned…I wonder if he'll turn it into a longer break, or if he'll take off early.Jul 30, 2015 at 5:33 am #2218006
There was a ping for Ralph at the top of Pinchot pass at 4:14am, so he's still 90 minutes ahead of his schedule.
Allen is on time at MTR (altho he got a bit later start at the gate and is actually a little ahead). If he's sticking with the schedule, he should have been underway for about an hour after his rest at MTR, but no pings as yet… which doesn't mean anything, what with the apparent gaps in satellite coverage.
I know… still a loooong way to go.Jul 30, 2015 at 7:34 am #2218028
I know sleep was a big issue with Andrew. He forgot to set his alarm one night and then slept 6 instead of 3 hours. May have helped in the long run, however, that was not the schedule.
He was hallucinating in the night and dreaming of weird things such as having a conversation with an imaginary secretary. He also had a some sort of conversation with two of my best friends and myself. He slept 5 hours the last night before the final push from Tuolumne to the valley.
For those that have not hiked the JMT it's hard to describe how hard it is on your feet with all the granite you have to hike on or broken talus, dust, uneven steps, and just plain being exposed up so high each day.
These guys are really pushing hard.Jul 30, 2015 at 8:24 am #2218039Hiking MaltoBPL Member
"For those that have not hiked the JMT it's hard to describe how hard it is on your feet with all the granite you have to hike on or broken talus, dust, uneven steps, and just plain being exposed up so high each day."
Funny you wrote this….. I was thinking this exact same thing as I was reading down this page. I still remember my foot shredding when I did the JMT. I have learned a lot since then.Jul 30, 2015 at 8:37 am #2218042
Yeah, Allen's SPOT makes the guesswork a little more challenging…all we really know is that he was stopped between 2:12AM and 3:52AM near Tule Lake. So, I made some reasonable assumptions, but they may have to be revised after we get his next ping. In any case, we'll probably never know where he went fast or slow along this stretch–just too few pings from the SPOT.
Ralph's SPOT was behaving pretty good, giving regular 30 minute pings until 6:43AM this morning. Looks to me like he extended his break to 4h. He should be over Mather by now…just waiting on the SPOT to confirm that.
Regarding the abuse of the JMT: agree completely. I did a 75 mile hike in SEKI last weekend, with 12-14 hour days. I was done in 48 hours, and was fairly beat up. The fact that these guys (and the FKT-holders, and the attempters that came before…) are able to make themselves do 18-20 (and in Aaron's case above–23.8!) hour days is incredible to me. Sure, a big part of it is physical conditioning, but god–the mental part has to be huge, particularly after 100 miles or so. One bunch of tough bastards, to be sure.
Scott–I remember reading about Andrew's oversleeping in his TR. 10 alarms the next day! I had to laugh. Still nailed it, of course!
Regarding sleep, I actually wonder if I'd have a hard time sleeping because of the pressure to sleep. You need that REM–you need to sleep. Would I lie awake, stressed out that I wasn't sleeping? I don't know. I don't think I'll ever find out, because I'm (relatively) sane…Jul 30, 2015 at 8:49 am #2218048
Its performance the last few hours does not inspire a lot of confidence in Spot… assuming no battery issues or user error, of course.
I'm typing this so that Spot will make a fool of me by immediately spitting out the pings for the last couple of hours. :^)Jul 30, 2015 at 9:30 am #2218053
> I'm typing this so that Spot will make a fool of me by immediately spitting out the pings for the last couple of hours. :^)
I was glad you wrote this, because usually that's how it works. But alas, still no pings.
I have a SPOT, and although I never use it on tracking (bread-crumb) mode, I haven't had a high success rate for sending out my "OK" messages, unless I am somewhat meticulous about setting it on the ground, facing the open sky, and waiting for it to make its three attempts. When I do that, they go out all or nearly all of the time.
But when I leave it in the back mesh pocket of my pack, they never go out.
Maybe we need future FKT-attempters to wear their SPOTs on their heads. 18" parabolic reflectors might be necessary, too, around their neck. We'd need to add eye-holes–oh, wait a minute, and drain holes–wouldn't want them to drown in rainwater if it filled up. Okay, maybe the reflector goes on their head. Maybe we could make them out of aluminized Cuben so they don't complain about weight–there was a thread about that somewhere around here…
It's the new FKT requirement: Carmen Miranda SPOT hats. But all the SPOT messages will go out! We won't miss any of them!
…this is about us, right?Jul 30, 2015 at 11:30 am #2218091
Ralph's SPOT is alive! Finally!
I had to make up a bunch of numbers for all the splits that we have no information on. Reasonable, I think…(edit: Wow, Ralph is only 30 minutes behind Leor's time at the Middle Fork Kings Trail. I have always assumed that Ralph was some kind of human, while Leor was not. Clearly I was wrong–they're both not.)
Allen's SPOT, however–it's been almost eight hours since it's chimed in. Not unheard of, certainly…hopefully his SPOT comes back alive with a smattering of points in-between. He's probably on his way up Silver Pass by now…Jul 30, 2015 at 11:43 am #2218095Art …BPL Member
if you're watching this. I repeat my assertion that SPOT is not really an adequate verification method. as a transition to something better its barely borderline.Jul 30, 2015 at 12:48 pm #2218108Peter BakwinBPL Member
I wonder if Allen forgot to reset his spot after the second 24 hour period.Jul 30, 2015 at 12:54 pm #2218110Kevin BuggieBPL Member
@kbugLocale: NW New Mexico
It seems to me that despite the spots transmission issues in this case, we still have way more spot confirmations of their location and time than not. And the spot provides way more verification points than if we were to wait for backpackers to correspond to Peter after they finished their trip.
For reference, my spot has always tracked accurately in NM/CO/AZ when strapped atop a porter or transmitting through the silnylon fabric of the top compartment of my SJ vest. I am however conservative and error on the side of fresh energizer lithium ultimate batteries.
Anyway, I hope Ralph gets it! Truth is I would trust his word alone, for others maybe the spot will suffice…Jul 30, 2015 at 3:57 pm #2218149
if you're watching this. I repeat my assertion that SPOT is not really an adequate verification method. as a transition to something better its barely borderline."
If you think about it, it's a pretty small group of people that even know or watch such events (as they may be). It's a small community, and, for the most part, there isn't much to gain from an attempt like this, i.e. there's no money in it. So, as for verification, well, we should be able to trust the Spot, some pictures, a sighting, and the actual person making the attempt. And it should suffice. There are not many areas one could go off trail and change the hike. If someone were to let someone else do a section they would have to be transported on and off. Do we really think these are the people we are seeing? I don't.
Ralph had a real nice write up on is southbound trip last year. He had a nice writeup and Spot points on his last attempt and has been doing the same. Allen has a Spot. My son knows Allen and trusts him. So, it's just a trail people are trying to get through faster than the last fastest person. Nothing more. I trust them both.
My 2 cents!Jul 30, 2015 at 5:10 pm #2218177
Ralph was on top of Muir Pass at 3:32pm, and sent out an okay message (which is different than the tracking points). Hopefully he's really okay–last time he sent an "OK", it was when he was leaving the trail at Agnew. Maybe he's hiding out from the weather in the hut…
Still now word from Allen's SPOT.
I added Leor to the speed overlay. It's the gold-standard for speed-hiking the JMT, and I had his splits available. I would've added Andrew's, but don't have his splits. In any case, it's just for fun comparison.Jul 30, 2015 at 9:16 pm #2218226Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Allen's spot just hit.
He's at Reds Meadow.
He looks to be 30 minutes, (whoops, I met 1:30) behind the schedule that beats the record.
That's really good considering Andrew was even faster than Leor to Donahue and lost all the time to him going down to Yosemite.
If Allen has anything left in him, he can take maybe 1 hour off Andrew's time.
All depends on how he gets through tonight.Jul 30, 2015 at 9:40 pm #2218230
This will be a long night!
Andrew just climbed the Grand Teton today with his hiking buddy Twinkle. Back on the CDT tomorrow.
Thanks for the updates. Can't even imagine how his (Allens) body feels.Jul 30, 2015 at 10:14 pm #2218234
Updated Allen's table and the plot…(edit: it should go without saying that I had to make a lot of numbers up)
Better commentary by Aaron than anything I can add!
Agreed completely Scott…can't imagine how he feels. Remember, weather this afternoon. Wet shoes. Wet trail. Does he stop at Reds for a break, or push on through?
Enormously impressive either way…
Hopefully Ralph's SPOT hasn't fallen into the void now too.Jul 31, 2015 at 4:25 am #2218252
Allen's latest SPOT message–from the saddle between Rosalie and Gladys Lakes–was his custom message, which is "BAILING at the next opportunity".
Still no word from Ralph, whose SPOT has been quiet since his manual "OK" atop of Muir Pass.
Hope they're both okay, if a bit dinged-up!Jul 31, 2015 at 4:54 am #2218256
Hopefully Ralph's SPOT hasn't fallen into the void now too.
Hopefully resting up and drying out…
What's the quickest way out? Back to Bishop pass then to South Lake?
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