JMT speed record attempt by Kurt Achtenhagen
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Aug 9, 2015 at 8:53 am #1331475Kurt AchtenhagenBPL Member
@kurtlnt-orgLocale: Boulder, CO
It is time for another long walk!
Starting tomorrow morning early (Monday at 12:01am) I will make a go at the unsupported JMT trail record. You can follow along with the SPOT here: http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0g4qBRihbG6h0a4dXGcty2gl3x8PMacG4
If you need a little more entertainment while watching my dot slowly move through the High Sierra, you can read last year's trip report here: https://lnt.org/blog/trip-report-speed-attemt-john-muir-trail
Send me your extra energy!Aug 9, 2015 at 9:32 am #2219952John S.BPL Member
Just Do It!Aug 9, 2015 at 9:41 am #2219954
Oh no, what kind of idiot would try something crazy like this?
Good luck, Kurt.Aug 9, 2015 at 10:03 am #2219959
Updated through Sawmill Pass Jct (mile 57): Kurt manually sent an "OK" message, so hopefully everything is fine (it never was when Ralph sent one of those!). My guess is that he's calling break time early–he originally scheduled his first break at Mather Pass, which is a pretty strenuous day. He's been stopped for the last 30 minutes.
Updated through Woods Creek (mile 54): 39 minutes ahead of his splits. SPOT reception is great!
Updated through Glen Pass (mile 44): 29 minutes ahead of his splits.
Updated through Forester Pass (mile 32): Still looking great! Slightly ahead of his splits. He's now ventured into one of the historically "dark" zones for SPOTs–both Ralph's and Allen's went pretty quiet until near the top of the Glen Pass (or even further). We'll see if the measures Kurt took to remedy that help…
Updated through Wallace Creek (mile 22): I'm on the go right now, but wanted to get this started. He's sticking to his splits pretty closely! So far, great SPOT reception…knock on wood. He mentioned that he's using the 2.5 minute intervals, and it's mounted to his shoulder. So until someone builds the UL Carmen Miranda hat, this is probably as good as it's going to get.Aug 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm #2219999Allen CBPL Member
Best of luck to you, seems there are a lot of crazy fools out there this year!
AllenAug 10, 2015 at 12:28 am #2220064Allen CBPL Member
Looks like he started right around midnight at whitney portal…Aug 10, 2015 at 8:02 am #2220096
Update post above.
Yep, he's off, and within minutes of his splits (on the profile, that delta is reflected by the small numbers beneath his times (in red)).
Or rather, Ralph's splits, I should say–he's using Ralph's latest splits, but modified with different planned rest locations (Mather Pass, Mono Creek Footbridge, and Donohue Pass).Aug 10, 2015 at 10:53 am #2220135
Looking good, slightly ahead of splits.Aug 10, 2015 at 11:33 am #2220148Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
Other than the whole other realm it would take to go after the supported record, I still think the Unsupported time of Andrew's is an even more solid time than Leor's.
Andrew was the fastest person in history to make it to the top of Donahue.
Leor just crushed it on the way down to Yosemite.Aug 10, 2015 at 3:31 pm #2220215
I say this without any personal experience in the FKT realm, but I think someone will probably best Andrew's FKT this year. I think Allen and Ralph took great shots at it, and I think both are capable of doing it.
I don't mean to diminish Andrew's accomplishment in any way, either. All of these sub-four-day JMTs are heroic, in my mind.
The supported and unsupported times are only 3:30 apart. I think whoever sets the new unsupported record might beat Leor's time, too.
I think Andrew could come back and beat his old time, if he wanted too.
In short, I think there's room to improve the unsupported time. The supported time has room too, but the logistics and support necessary to do one means they're undertaken with less frequency. Ergo, fewer opportunities for them to be bested.
My crystal ball says someone beats the unsupported AND supported time. Then, Leor comes back with another effort (perhaps unsupported) and really sets the bar high. Crushes it. Sub 72? Maybe. That record will stick for years.
That's my reading of the tea leaves, but I'm far from an expert–an armchair fastpacker, really.
Yeah, Leor crushed it from Donohue to Happy Isles. He also flew up and down Whitney.Aug 10, 2015 at 3:57 pm #2220226Scott BentzBPL Member
@scottbentzLocale: Southern California
It's interesting to look at Andrews attempt. I really wasn't aware of all of the split times, etc. He basically knew where he wanted to be after each 24 hour period. It was Aaron Sorenson that told me he was ahead of Leor at Donahue. Andrew later said he MAYBE could have hiked on that night when he got to Tuolumne but decided to sleep for a couple of hours instead.
He also overslept one night 3 hours. So, it would be easy to say if he didn't sleep those three hours he would have ….. however, maybe, because of those extra 3 hours of sleep, he was able to beat Brett's time by so much. Who knows?
What I do know, is this is a brutal task ahead of Kurt. Andrew also told me that Jared Campbell starts tomorrow. Every time someone takes off to do it I figure this is the time Andrews record will be beat. Those splits Adam posts are so great to follow.
BTW: Andrew is just leaving Yellowstone on the CDT with his buddy Twinkle.
Good luck to all.Aug 10, 2015 at 4:51 pm #2220237
Very cool to see another attempt! I'm going hiking myself tomorrow so won't be able to follow along. I may be a couple days slow to update the FKT site if Kurt or anyone else claims the record this week. Good luck!Aug 10, 2015 at 5:24 pm #2220249Art …BPL Member
JMT attempt starts Aug 11.
a slightly different take on things …
—Aug 10, 2015 at 5:32 pm #2220250Peter RodriguesBPL Member
@prodriguesLocale: New York
Partnered vs. Solo?
Hal Koerner & Mike Wolfe were recognized before Leor's record.Aug 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm #2220251
> a slightly different take on things …
No breaks longer than 1h — a different take indeed!
edit: I just read your post on Jared's blog, and noticed they indicated the attempt was "unsupported". I assumed that by going as a pair, they were–de facto–supported.
Also, bump for update.Aug 10, 2015 at 6:02 pm #2220255
Koerner & Wolfe were supported – so no issue there.
But I don't see how a team effort can count for Andrew Bentz' regular unsupported record (call it the "solo unsupported" record, if you like).
The question is, does Peter want to recognize "team unsupported" as a separate category? If so, it needs some careful thought – it's far from obvious what the ground rules should be. Are all team sizes competing for the same "team unsupported" record? If so, does the whole starting team have to finish? Or maybe a minimum of two? What if only one of the team finishes? Then that certainly can't promote the single finisher to "solo unsupported", but it also doesn't seem to make a lot of sense to call it a "team unsupported" record either. Is it just nothing? (It would still qualify for the supported record, of course).
It's really not at all obvious what should happen with this.Aug 10, 2015 at 6:08 pm #2220256
Best of luck to Jared and Ty. Let's hope you guys set a great time to give Peter the headache on how to categorize you…Aug 10, 2015 at 6:10 pm #2220258Dan @ Durston GearBPL Member
@dandydanLocale: Canadian Rockies
It's probably easier just to consider all multi-person efforts as "supported" since at a minimum each participant is supported by the camaraderie and safety net of their partner, plus they're probably sharing gear like one Spot.Aug 10, 2015 at 6:13 pm #2220260
I personally don't think it matters if it's a team or a solo hiker. But, I agree it *could* get tricky if one person drops out. Ideally, each team member would carry his or her own gear, and no gear or food sharing would happen. That way if someone drops it's still strictly unsupported for the remaining hiker. I suppose you could pick nits about whether the finisher did all the navigation before the other guy dropped. ? I'm not sure we want to go to that level of nit picking. I'd say it's generally a disadvantage in terms of speed to go as a team vs. solo. If someone does drop it's likely there would be very significant time loss before the team splits up, as was the case with Shelton & Moehl, for example.
In any event, Campbell & Draney are *really* good, so this should be interesting!Aug 10, 2015 at 6:17 pm #2220261
[ edit: deleting this as it crossed with Peter, response having seen Peter's post below ]Aug 10, 2015 at 6:30 pm #2220264
"That way if someone drops it's still strictly unsupported for the remaining hiker."
I really don't agree with this, Peter. It's not just about gear, food, navigation. In the case of the JMT, it's clear that a huge element in mental. Keeping concentration, dealing with sleep deprivation, just generally keeping your shit together and making sensible decisions under stress. It's far from nitpicking to view a solo unsupported effort as a distinct category to any form of team/accompanied/supported effort.
And if "team unsupported" and "solo unsupported" are conflated, where do you draw the line? If I understand you correctly, you're saying you could have a team of 5 guys go with you from the start as part of an "unsupported" effort, have them navigate and pace you 3/4 of the way as they progressively drop out – and you as the sole finisher still qualify for unsupported?Aug 10, 2015 at 6:47 pm #2220266Art …BPL Member
are we ignoring "moral support" ?
I don't think this is a nit picking issue.
even if each person carries all their own gear, there is a moral support issue.
and while its true that teams have generally had a tougher time in these FKT things, the issue still remains.
sort of like running Hardrock with or without pacers …
But Jared is probably the toughest guy in America, and does things his way, so it should be a great effort.
they are apparently approaching Whitney summit via the Mountaineers Route.
if you argue the route begins at the summit then no big deal.
if you argue the route begins at the Portal, well then what ?Aug 10, 2015 at 7:20 pm #2220276Ito JakuchuBPL Member
Interesting discussion about team vs solo. I like Peter's general sense or approach of these issues, but I do agree with Ralph these longer, multi day efforts have a huge mental component (exacerbated by sleep deprivation).
About Kurt, and the splits Adam put up again for us – I was wondering if he would make his own splits, or just use the information / splits shared by Ralph. Nice to see he's doing good, but before the first sleep cycles it can go all over still.
About SPOT and the good reception Kurt has – that is I think a miss/oversight on the Montane Dragon 20 Fastpacking vest, and the UD Fastpack 20. So many people speed hiking or fast packing will use a SPOT or a GPS, and one of my favourite pockets on the PB Adventure Vest is these upper pockets to hold exactly that in the right place. Seems to me would be good on the bigger packs too.Aug 10, 2015 at 7:52 pm #2220284Aaron SorensenBPL Member
@awsorensenLocale: South of Forester Pass
I've had this discussion with Peter Bakwin.
If these guy don't share gear, they will both count as Unsupported.
I think the one person who could really take a huge chunk out of this record is Nick Hollon.
His 3rd place at the much harder than the JMT Tour De Giants is pretty nuts. Nick has his eye on the JMT.
So does Leor, just may be a few years before his next attempt.
Kind of weird, there's 3 that have finished Barkley in the mix.Aug 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm #2220289
I guess we'll just have to see how it comes out. Ralph's scenario is highly theoretical. I don't think anyone has launched a team effort without sincerely intending that every member of the team will finish. I also think it's pretty unlikely that one person drops and the other finishes under the record. In my view if they finish together under the record then they both have the unsupported record. If one finishes, well, we'll cross that bridge when/if we come to it. That's the way I see it, but certainly am open to this interesting discussion! Maybe we do want "solo unsupported" and "team unsupported" – no reason we can't do that – but it could start to get cumbersome (NoBo, SoBo, solo, team, supported, unsupported, accompanied…)
I talked to Jared about the Mtneers Rt. While every other JMT speed record has either terminated on the summit or used the Mt Whitney Trail there is no particular reason why the MR shouldn't be OK. I myself considered using the MR as an alternative back in the days when you didn't need a permit for it. But, I got a permit for the standard trail & wasn't familiar with the MR. It's car-to-car, and there is no "official" JMT between the Portal and the Summit. Jared just prefers the MR, and after considering these facts decided to do the MR.
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