Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Lone Peak FKT?

This morning I woke up at 6:45 to the babbling whimpers of my boy Lars, who himself was starting to wake up.  My alarm was set for 6:50 so I scored this one as a win.  Jessie was already at work so it was my day to take Lars to his "little school" for the morning.  Being my only day off this week, I needed a little time in the mountains before hanging with the kid for the afternoon.

Our routine is as follows:  Change the diaper, pick out an outfit that won't embarrass his mother, gather his supplies and bottles, find some food that is acceptable to both of us, play on the living room carpet for a bit, transfer all his gear and my gear to the car, transfer boy and boy's gear to his .

That accomplished, I rallied to the BCC park n ride where I picked up Layne, who was also game for a little Lone Peak TT.  This speed game is one we've enjoyed playing lately, particularly in the Wasatch as a lot of the peaks are laden with memories of previous struggles and all day epics.  It's nice to have the personal comparison as efficiency in the mountains improves.  Looking beyond self, the comparisons are not always so favorable as more and more fast runners are starting to make a habit of running up big peaks. But, as far as I can tell, there isn't a lot of documentation of this kind of stuff.  Local speedster, Jared Campbell has started to accumulate some of the faster known times on his blog where he has a page for Wasatch FKTs.  While not listed, the fastest time I knew of was by Chad Ambrose and Jared Inouye. They chose the Big Willow approach and logged a solid 2 hour and 15 minute ascent.  Because of familiarity, I chose the Jacob's Ladder trail but am interested in how all the options compare as the distance and vertical gain varies slightly.

Getting an unfortunately late start meant that we would be dealing with warm temperatures but we were both just happy to have the release of running in the mountains.  From the sign at the trailhead, our personal struggles began.  Moving at just slightly different paces, it felt like a solo effort.  I ran and hiked at an intensity that satisfied me in the moment but as the memory of that discomfort fades, seems too shallow.  I was comfortably uncomfortable all morning but that's how these events play out at times.  It's trial and error to learn one's physiology as applied to a particular course.

On the summit ridge, I glanced at my watch and saw that I had 18 minutes to finish under two hours, which had been my goal at the outset. Invigorated by the impending personal success, I felt smooth over the last section of 3rd class scrambling.  I was smearing, pulling, high stepping, and then was surrounded by just air and a dense layer of smoke from the recent forest fires.  Wild and the size of a dining room table, the summit of Lone Peak is one of my favorite places.  I nibbled Sport Beans and rationed my remaining liquid while waiting a couple minutes before cheering Layne onto his PR for the peak.

6 miles in almost 2 hours??? Not that fast.
1:51:35 had elapsed and I had a new FKT.  I'm sure others have gone faster but not cared to boast or spray it on the internet but as the name implies, an FKT is simply the best known.  An example of this is the humble Andy Anderson who ran the Grand Teton in 2004 in 3:04:xx without telling anyone.  Unknown to the world, he held the GT running record for 8 years (his unofficial record was broken by Killian Jornet but then reclaimed officially 10 days later).  Anyway, this time on Lone Peak will be easy for at least a dozen runners that I know personally, let alone all the others.  I predict that many of you will push the time under 1:40 or even 1:30!  So in that vein, here's a video challenge to a few of you by name.  I forgot the MRC crew, Lewis, GG, NFB, Big Lars, Harder, Tom D, Tom G, and a bunch more of you... sorry.

Lone Peak Time Trial from andy dorais on Vimeo.

Maybe we should set up another bandit runner race where everyone starts at the same time but from different trailheads and we converge on the summit.  It would be fun to see how that shakes out.

Enough blathering...

Lars time!

Sharply dressed baby Lars, age 9 months
Gear List:
Outdoor Research High Efficiency Series running shorts and jacket (due out spring 2013)
Nike "Richard Simmonsesque" singlet
Black Diamond Z Poles


  1. Congratulations Andy! Very fast! How cool is it to be in such a beautiful location so quickly? Good for you.

  2. Wow Andy, that's fast. Make sure Jared documents this on his FKT page. Before another attempt I would need to do a few more recon missions. Jay and I had never been up there when we did it last year and stupidly started following cairns all over the place. Not sure I could touch that time, even on a good day.
    My prediction: Lars will take it down with ease one day. Wouldn't that be cool?

  3. Thanks Chad and Christian! Both of you guys could go faster for sure, it would just be a matter of not getting lost. I read your report Christian, it would be easy to trend to far right as you enter the Cirque. As a general rule, approaching the cirque, you should always trend left until forced up onto the summit ridge through a steep loose gully.

    Lars will likely be able to do that with ease one day but it won't be because of my genes. His mom is the fast one in the family!