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  • Pemi Loop FKT

    I just got back from a day of long drives and fast hiking. I was on the road at 4:30 and made it to Lincoln Woods, NH in time to start my first Pemi Loop at around 9:48. It was fun to be in my old stomping grounds (I worked the summer of '03 at Galehead Hut, but never got a complete Pemi Loop done in between breakfast and dinner duties at the hut).

    I knew I'd have to get a good lead in the mountains because there was no way I'd be able to run 6:20 miles for the last 4.7 mi like Ben and Kevin did. I figured I'd go hard until Galehead Hut, and if I had a decent lead (I was shooting for 10 minutes) then I'd keep trying for the FKT; otherwise I'd chill out a bit and call it a scouting hike.

    The Osseo trail was much less steep than I remembered, so I ended up running for the first few miles of the day before switching to hiking once it got steeper. I made sure not to push too hard, knowing that Ben and Kevin are faster runners and figuring I could afford to be a few minutes behind on Flume. I hit my watch at the top (1:09) and thought I was a couple minutes behind, but when I checked the splits in my pocket I was surprised to see I was right on with the FKT.

    Taking full advantage of the trekking poles, I made great time down Flume and over Liberty. I was momentarily thrown off by how close Lafayette seemed from Liberty, but as I started climbing I realized it had to be a false summit (unless I was WAY ahead already). I made the true summit with a nice 4 minute lead, and my confidence took a big leap.

    Again I flew down from Lafayette, using the double pole plant technique to descend steep ledges without skipping a beat. I decided to slow it down a bit in the col so I could eat half of my hummus and turkey sandwich and let it digest. After about 10 minutes I felt good again and powered up the climb to Garfield, gaining over 7.5 minutes on this section and summiting with a sizeable (almost 12 minute) lead.

    The section from Garfield to the Galehead hut was the place I initially thought I could save the most time, but I forgot how rugged it is! I dunked my hat a few times in the streams and kept pushing as much as I could, gaining another 5 minutes and arriving at the hut with nearly a 17 minute lead. There was no thought in my mind about making this a scouting hike!

    I only spent 2 minutes at the hut (to get 2 liters of water) before starting up the Twinway. I had eaten Gu and half a sandwich up to this point, but when I tried to eat a Gu half way up the climb it wasn't good. I got it down but was immediately assaulted with gas pain. Nothing to do but start climbing again, this time at a bit slower pace. The GI pain would come and go until I got over Bond (I think I had too much salt in my stomach, between the Camelbak Elixir I drank with my first 2 liters and all the salt pills I was popping to avoid cramping like I did on the Presi Traverse last week).

    I was again surprised to make the Twinway juction so far ahead of Ben and Kevin (gained another 5 minutes), especially as I had felt slow on the climb to South Twin and continued to have stomach cramps. I guess I made it up on the rugged descent (thank you trekking poles).

    I took it easier on the traverse to Bond, knowing I had a good lead. This was the first time I had been slower than Ben and Kevin all day--I gave back 2 minutes on this short section.

    The summit of Bond energized me, as I knew it was "all downhill" from there and my stomach was finally feeling OK (drinking just water and skipping the salt pills did the trick). Bondcliff was its usual spectacular self (not that I stopped to look or anything), and I took to the rugged Bondcliff trail like a crazy four-legged monkey. Luckily I made it most of the way down before breaking the lower section of one of my trekking poles. Even more luckily, it still worked pretty well without the bottom four inches.

    When the Bondcliff trail became more runnable I really picked up the pace, only stopping to dunk my hat a couple of times. I hit the Wilderness trail having gained another five minutes (total lead: 25 minutes), and knew for the first time that I'd definitely set the FKT. Still, I wanted to leave it all on the trails so I wouldn't feel like I could do it faster. I ran hard, not using the trekking poles for the first time all day. About 10 minutes in I took a full-on flying face plant (seems like I always do that), coming up unharmed and using it as an excuse to stop to pee.

    I pushed hard, hurting all the way, until (I thought) I stopped the clock at the signs on the parking lot side of the bridge. I had passed a girl on the bridge, and after a quick conversation with her I looked down to see my time and the clock was still running! The time of day was 4:35:02pm when I meant to stop the clock and almost 4:37 when I realized my mistake and actually stopped it. I took one minute off my elapsed time but lost at least another 30 or so seconds there, so the next suitor should be prepared to beat my time (6:47:04) by at least 30 seconds or I'm calling it a tie!

    Splits:
    Flume: 69:20
    Lafayette: 70:21 (2:19:41)
    Garfield: 53:04 (3:12:45)
    Galehead Hut: 48:11 (4:00:56)
    Twinway Jct: 49:49 (4:50:45)
    Bond: 20:34 (5:11:19)
    Wilderness: 59:05 (6:10:24)
    Lincoln Woods: 36:40 (6:47:04)
    Last edited by jwellford; 09-08-2010, 07:26 AM.

  • #2
    So, do you think you can break 7 hours?
    Be quick - but don't hurry. -John Wooden

    Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that'll get you home earlier. ~Dan Bennett

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    • #3
      Congratulations Jan on a most impressive time for a most impressive trail!

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      • #4
        crazy
        sigpic
        yak herders n.w. szechuan province

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jwellford View Post
          I pushed hard, hurting all the way, until (I thought) I stopped the clock at the signs on the parking lot side of the bridge. I had passed a girl on the bridge, and after a quick conversation with her I looked down to see my time and the clock was still running! It was 4:35:02pm when I meant to stop the clock and almost 4:37 when I realized my mistake. I took one minute off my time but lost at least another 30 or so seconds there, so the next suitor should be prepared to beat my time by at least 30 seconds or I'm calling it a tie!

          Lincoln Woods: 36:40 (6:47:04)
          Amazing! But I think you need to edit your last paragraph.
          Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

          Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
          Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
          Past President Catskill 3500 Club
          CEO Views And Brews!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by TFR View Post
            But I think you need to edit your last paragraph.
            Is it confusing? The 4:37 thing is time of day, while the 6:47 is elapsed time. Not sure how I can make it better... Edit: added the words "time of day" and some other clarification.
            Last edited by jwellford; 09-08-2010, 07:27 AM.

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            • #7
              You disgust me Well done.....
              “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir

              "Not the kind of "fun" you have to force yourself to remember you're supposed to be having, but the kind where you realize for the last half a day you've had this idiot grin on your face that you just can't seem to shake." -Mirabela

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              • #8
                Nuts! I figured someone would break 7 hours this year! Congratulations!!! Too bad you're a NYer but we'll overlook that since your time was so good!

                -Dr. Wu

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                • #9
                  Impressive, Jan, as we have come to expect!

                  People who have not hiked in this area can not understand how rocky the trails are, and the intense mental concentration and agility needed to keep pace without falling.

                  For new poles, check out the BD Alpine Carbon Corks--they are fantastic.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JoeCedar View Post
                    For new poles, check out the BD Alpine Carbon Corks--they are fantastic.
                    Yup, those are the ones I use. Best poles on the market. I just grabbed a spare lower shaft from the Mountaineer.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by jwellford View Post
                      Yup, those are the ones I use. Best poles on the market. I just grabbed a spare lower shaft from the Mountaineer.
                      Must be nice to have a supply of spares so handy. But I suppose your post will result in a sellout of the store's entire stock, excellent marketing scheme.

                      Btw, another stellar performance. Congrats.

                      So, when are you going to clean up those style problems with the 46er speed record?
                      Scooting here and there
                      Through the woods and up the peaks
                      Random Scoots awaits (DP)


                      Eat, sleep, hike, repeat.

                      It doesn't have to be viewtiful to be beautiful. (NL)

                      "Pushing the limits of easy."

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by randomscooter View Post
                        So, when are you going to clean up those style problems with the 46er speed record?
                        I know! I hope to get to it next summer. I was psyched to see that Sue and Cath went trailhead-to-trailhead in their New Hampshire 4000-footers records this summer.

                        I'm certain I can go much faster now that I'm using trekking poles so effectively.

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                        • #13
                          Amazing!....Congrats!!

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                          • #14
                            Congrats, man! Nice job, as always! - Tom

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rik
                              Any pictures?
                              Not unless someone else took them (guy on Lafayette with the tripod, are you listening)?

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