Aurelien unsupported JMT attempt
Sep 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm #3554930
Aurelien: A fabulous effort, improving your times considerably and getting further than last time!
It seems like your 10 am start worked well and I suspect the solid night’s sleep beforehand is part of what enabled you to go so long on so little rest. And it sounds like your food and hydration worked great until you stopped doing so around Donahue Pass. Would setting an hourly alarm on your watch help? Every hour on the hour, start another 200-300 calories? Drink another pint of water (or more if thirsty).
I hesitate to give suggestions because you’re already at a much higher level event than I’ve ever done, but a few missteps resonated with ones I’ve made and remedied:
A few very small items are worth having redundancy in. For me on a usual backpacking trip, that includes a second mini-Bic (or sparker). And an extra bottle cap (gatorade bottle cap for me, since that’s what I use with my SteriPen. Enough extra shoelace to replace one if it broke. Short lengths of Luekotape. A few safety pins. 4 to 6 each of Tylenol, Advil, and Imodium. Big needle and strong thread. 2 water-proof bandaids. With those 20 grams, I can deal with a lot of little mishaps.
Regarding “I tried to have a nap next to the (King’s Fork) creek since I started to feel very exhausted after almost 20 hours of hiking, but it was still freezing cold”: It’s a lot colder next to creek than just 5m to 10m higher in elevation. Partly, the more humid air carries more heat away from you. More so, cold air often spills down a creek drainage from upper, colder elevations and that slight breeze of noticeably colder air makes a big difference. Just getting on a little rise and/or some protection in a grove of trees can make a 5C to 8C difference, which is huge.
I hear you about how mentally and emotionally exhausting it is to think you’re at the pass but you’re not (like those 3 lakes at Muir Pass) and when you thought Donahue Pass was less of a climb than it is). That’s going to get better with every attempt, but an altimeter is another trick to manage that. It helped me a lot, before going UL in the early 1980’s, to KNOW how many more vertical feet I had to go with a heavy pack on. If the pass is 9,600 but I’m at 8,100, then that next rise IS NOT the pass itself, however much I wish it was. I just adjust my expectations, and settle in for another 1500 feet of climb. An altimeter, combined with the simplest of paper trail profiles (or a table of elevations / distances) could eliminate those emotionally-draining disappointments. Or just keep hiking / running it. On trails I know really, really well (Half Dome, Whitney, Bright Angel, South Kaibab), sometimes the time flies by and the miles seem effortless compared to the first time I hiked the exact same trail, but didn’t know what to expect.
Again, great job on a really tough event. Congratulations on how much you improved!Sep 8, 2018 at 4:09 am #3555008
Sorry for the derail but I’m curious about your shoelace comment, David. I’ve always carry an extra 5-6 feet of thin line (currently some of the orange MLD line) thinking it could be a shoelace or I can use it to my tarp off to whatever. Is there a benefit to carrying shoelace I’m not thinking of?Sep 8, 2018 at 5:49 am #3555015
Not necessarily a literal shoelace, but something that could function as one. For me, that’s 25 feet of 130-pound test braided Dacron halibut line. Which, as you mention, can help pitch a tarp, (or lash sticks together, create a clothesline, hold your pants up, etc).
But something small / stiff enough to thread through your shoe’s eyelets. i.e. not 550 paracord.Sep 8, 2018 at 11:03 pm #3555120
Gotcha. I was being too literal. It sounds like you and I have come to the same conclusion other than the specific material. BTW, I have a hank of that fishing line that you sent me a while back. My kid liked it so it ended up in his Repair/FAK kit. :)Sep 9, 2018 at 6:27 am #3555159
Back to Aurelien: You keep mentioning how you had great difficulty breathing: “I felt like I had asthma, and when the cardio was going up as the trail was going up too, I was unable to breathe, in complete suffocation. I was unable to make any progress at all, stuck every few meters trying to get back my breath.”, “I was again not able to breathe due to the heat and the steepness of the trail”, “This climb was the worse I felt along the entire trail, I was suffocating every meter,”.
Maybe you do have asthma. Or some kind of reactive airway that constricts at times. Asthma can definitely be triggered by exertion, dust, smoke or cold air (seems yours got triggered more when it was hot). You could go to a doctor and see if they could figure it out, but it can be hard if you’re not in the midst of an attack. Or you could take an Albuterol inhaler with you on your events and see if it helps in those instances. It is very fast acting, so you might get some quick relief. If so, that’s helpful information for a medical provider and then perhaps you get on some inhaled steroids before an event to reduce your sensitivity in advance. I’ve got lots of slightly expired Albuterol laying around if you want to PM me. You could also buy a “peak-flow meter” and record your peak exhalations in different conditions. If, during one of these events, your peak flow drops a lot from your healthy, no-cold, sea-level peak flow, that’s an important symptom. They’re about $20 at Walmart.Sep 9, 2018 at 8:11 am #3555169Roger CaffinBPL Member
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
In many cases, including in the Himalayas, the limiting factor is actually blood sugar – like it’s all gone, and water loss: blood is getting too thick to pump around fast.
I know that in endurance events one often does not feel like eating, but without fuel the body stops. Basic carbos and sugars work best as they need less oxygen.
CheersSep 9, 2018 at 4:01 pm #3555192d kBPL Member
Just a note: don’t try to sleep right after taking a dose of albuterol! It really hits me like a jolt of adrenaline or about 4 cups of coffee. Though I’m probably more sensitive to it than most. Since you also mentioned not being able to sleep as long as planned, you might want to take it after you wake up.Sep 9, 2018 at 10:46 pm #3555233Ito JakuchuBPL Member
about the Asthma – there is a wide variety of exercise induced asthma like problems that are quite common. This article from irunfar gives a small overview.Sep 10, 2018 at 12:44 am #3555253jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
And don’t overlook the possibility of heart arrhythmia. Aurelien has obviously have placed a ton of stress on his system in this effort in a variety of ways. This can in fact precipitate said arrhythmia. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration, or both, also can lead to this. The heart requires potassium in particular and it can be used up by the muscles in these kinds of extended efforts.
You don’t want to play around with this. Endurance athletes are notorious for developing atrial fibrillation as a permanent condition.
Frankly, most doctors would read Aurelien’s report and frown. I’m not sure that we’re doing him any favors by encouraging more attempts if he continues to experience the symptoms that he describes. Sometimes powering through is just a bad idea. Unhealthy. Even risky.
And no that doesn’t mean that I’m diminishing Aurelien’s achievement in any way.Sep 10, 2018 at 6:06 pm #3555339Peter BakwinBPL Member
He’s back at it!
tuesday sept 11th, starting again at 10am.
tracker is here: https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=1b1565b92f5a5e6653Sep 11, 2018 at 12:13 am #3555377
DangSep 11, 2018 at 6:25 am #3555421Sep 11, 2018 at 9:55 pm #3555492
Looks like he got to the summit just a few minutes slower (3:15 vs 3:12) than his last attempt IIRC. Good luck, Aurelien!Sep 12, 2018 at 3:45 pm #3555583Sean RBPL Member
He’s moving well, 21 hr over Mather pass. Will be interesting to see if he takes his planned sleep break in the next hour or two.Sep 12, 2018 at 6:09 pm #3555603
21hours over Mathers Pass vs. Andy’s 27 hours which include a rest?Sep 13, 2018 at 2:29 pm #3555688
He crossed Mono Creek at around 5 am so that’s 43 hours in. If it’s the same Mono as listed on the spreadsheet he’s way ahead of Andrews time listed as 54 hours. But I’m not as familiar to the JMT as many of you so maybe I’m reading his location wrong. Should be on Silver Pass ahead of his last attempt if he’s addressed the breathing issues.Sep 13, 2018 at 3:16 pm #3555694Sean RBPL Member
Yup, looks like he just hit silver pass at 7.30 this morning, which is 45.5 hours elapsed. For comparison, Andy was 55.5, Brett was just under 54, I was at 53.5, Leor was 51, and Darcy was 50.5. All of those had significant sleep before that point. Hopefully Aure can hold it together, he’s moving well and as far as I can tell, has not taken any real breaks. Francois was at just over 41, no idea what breaks he may have taken.Sep 13, 2018 at 11:58 pm #3555763Jake JBPL Member
Looks like he took a break somewhere near Duck Lake Jct as the last ping for a while was at 12:10. Tracker finally started updating again around 16:30 near the Deer Creek crossing.Sep 14, 2018 at 8:46 am #3555807Ralph BurgessBPL Member
He’s approaching Rush Creek, almost 8 hours ahead of record pace. I am astonished that he has done this so soon after his first attempt.
Weather looks clear, but cold and windy tonight and tomorrow.Sep 14, 2018 at 12:15 pm #3555811
Wow! It looks like he had a good night. ~29.5 miles to go and he has 16.5 hours to cover it if my half-awake brain did the math correctly.Sep 14, 2018 at 2:08 pm #3555819Ken ThompsonBPL Member
@hereLocale: Right there
Air quality has improved.Sep 14, 2018 at 4:48 pm #3555834Allen CBPL Member
I’m blown away as well. He’s now about 72 hours in, passing Sunrise HSC and looks like he will finish in about 4-5 hours if he can keep moving. He’s got daylight and lots of downhill on his side. So he’s on pace to finish about 6-7 hours ahead of Andrew’s time of 3 days 11 hours! Pretty amazing especially after only a week or so of rest after his last attempt.
Edit: still looking good, about 8 miles to go at 11:15 am so I’m guessing he’ll finish 2-3 hours from now at around 1:45pm which would be just under 3d 4h!Sep 14, 2018 at 7:39 pm #3555851Adam WhiteBPL Member
@awhite4777Locale: On the switchbacks
This is just amazing. Not only the herculean effort he put forth–but so close on the heels of his last effort.
Here’s a table through the Half-Dome Junction (which he was almost through, at his last ping):
I like your 1:45pm finish estimate, Allen. Maybe 5 minutes faster?Sep 14, 2018 at 9:18 pm #3555860
Was the difference compared to previous records ‘just’ the lack of sleep stops, or was he also faster than others when moving?
I assume he’s finished by now and just waiting for spotwalla to update any minute nowSep 14, 2018 at 9:30 pm #3555862
Spotwalla just updated with 2:15 as it’s time stamp!
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