The Adventure Blog: Video: Mountain Biker Sets New Downhill Speed Record

Mountain biker Max Stöckl has just set a new speed record for the fastest speed downhill, breaking his own mark set back in 2011. At that time, he managed to hit 164.95 km/h (102.4 mph), but with some new science and technology, he was able to eek out just a bit more, hitting 167.6 km/h (104.14 mph) this time out. To achieve these speeds, Max flies down the side of Cerro Negro, a volcano in Nicaragua on a specially designed bike and wearing some specially designed clothing.

Source: The Adventure Blog: Video: Mountain Biker Sets New Downhill Speed Record

Sue Johnston quietly ticks off an epic FKT in the Northeast – Trail Runner Magazine

The Vermont-resident tackled 576 summits and 1,001,820 feet of elevation gain in a quest to complete New Hampshire’s Grid challenge in a single year

by Doug Mayer, Trail Runner Magazine

2016 was a year of dramatic accomplishments on the trails: Jim Walmsey’s new Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, Karl Meltzer besting Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail record and Megan Hick’s remarkable FKT on Colorado’s Nolan’s 14, to name a few.

But chances are you haven’t heard of one of the most impressive accomplishments that went down in the closing days of 2016. And that’s just fine with the record holder, Vermont ultrarunner and long-distance hiker Sue Johnston, 51, of Danville, Vermont.

Late in the afternoon of December 26, 2016, Johnston and her husband Chris Scott summited 4,000-foot-high Mount Isolation in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It was her 12th time summiting the peak that year.

The longstanding challenge, called “The Grid,” involves summiting each of the Whites Mountains’ 48 4,000-foot peaks 12 times— once in every month. Only 70 people have completed The Grid. Most of those individuals worked a couple of decades to get there.

Johnston completed her first Grid—the third recorded Grid completion— in 2003, after 15 years of trail running and hiking in the White Mountains. This December she revisited the challenge, becoming the first person to tick off all 576 summits in a single calendar year. On the remote Mount Isolation in New Hampshire’s Dry River Wilderness, she and Scott quietly celebrated with a demi-bottle of champagne.

An “underappreciated legend”
It makes a certain amount of sense that Johnston would be the first person to complete this latest challenge. She’s been hiking and running long distances for 25 years. She won the competitive JFK 50-miler in 1999, and first female at the Hardrock 100 Mile Endurance run in 2000 and 2005. In 2001 she completed 66 of the 100 miles at Tennessee’s brutal Barkley Marathons, a women’s record that still stands today.

Source: Sue Johnston quietly ticks off an epic FKT in the Northeast – Trail Runner Magazine

Fastest Manitou Incline time a point of pride, controversy

by Seth Boster, Colorado Springs Gazette

An underground universe in Colorado Springs erupted this summer, triggered by a verbal claim.

The assertion was made by a mixed-martial arts fighter who told The Gazette she had scaled the Manitou Incline in 19 minutes, 27 seconds. That would be the fastest known time for a woman on the 1-mile spine of railroad ties that includes more than 2,000 feet of elevation gain. That would be the fastest known time – if it were accepted by the keepers of the FKT.

They are the outdoor athletes who obsess over the obscure: milestones on trails and mountains, and the completion of those in record haste. Theirs is a tribe that values honesty over all. And, in August, when the fighter made the Incline claim, they balked. They will tell you that the FKT is 20:07 and belongs to Allie McLaughlin, the Air Academy High School graduate with Pikes Peak Ascent and World Mountain Running championships to her name.

“It’s crazy to me that this is like a big deal or whatever,” says the fighter, Raquel Pennington, a Harrison High School graduate who has risen to elite ranks in the UFC.

(more…)

Blog – Nick Elson – Teton Grand Traverse FKT

I considered the risks and rewards beforehand, but once I started there was no time for navel-gazing or second-guessing…

On August 16th 2016, La Sportiva Mountain Running athlete Nick Elson set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Teton Grand Traverse in Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming with a time of 6:30:49. The previous record on the traverse was held by Rolando Garibotti with a time of 6:49 set in 2000. The Teton Grand Traverse crosses 14 miles over 10 major peaks and gains over 12,000 feet of elevation. La Sportiva got the chance to ask Nick a few questions about his experience training for and completing the traverse. Here’s what he had to say…

Had you attempted the Grand Traverse before the FKT attempt?

I’d never done the entire traverse in one go, but I’d done every section at least once. I first visited the Tetons in 2014 and I climbed a number of the peaks on the traverse during that trip.

This year, my friend Eric and I spent a week systematically climbing every section of the traverse. The terrain is complex enough that it’s very beneficial to know exactly where you’re going and I really benefitted from Rolo’s generosity in sharing lots of detailed beta with me. However, the biggest benefit was likely psychological: having done every section at least once, I knew that the route was well within my ability.

How long did you train before going for the FKT?

I had known about the Grand Traverse for many years and I suppose that a lot of what I’ve done lately could be seen as good training for it.

I think that my background was really well-suited to doing the traverse quickly. I was lucky enough to be exposed to the mountains at a young age so I’m quite comfortable on the type of 3rd and 4th class terrain that makes up a lot of the traverse. I spent many years quite focused on climbing and so I was able to solo all the crux pitches in APPROACH SHOES. Finally, I’ve been quite focused on training for endurance sports like ski mountaineering racing and mountain running over the past few years. The fitness I’ve gained from this more structured training was the only reason I was able to improve slightly on Rolo’s record.

I was drawn to the traverse because of the previous efforts of Alex Lowe and Rolo. Growing up climbing, they were the type of climbers who were a big inspiration to me. Although I’ll never be anywhere near as accomplished as a climber, the Grand Traverse was a way to aspire to be a little more like Rolo and Alex. Whether I was able to approach their times or not, I knew the record would be a good excuse to try really hard and have an awesome day moving quickly in the mountains.

Were there any stumbling blocks as you prepared for this attempt?

Everything actually went incredibly smoothly. Since the spring, I’ve enjoyed a period of good consistent training. I’ve raced a bit less than in past years which has allowed me to do more big days in the mountains above Squamish. These outings allowed me to spend a lot of time moving over technical terrain, which was perfect preparation for the traverse.

I went to the Tetons with the goal of doing the traverse, but I understood that there was a real chance that I might not even feel comfortable climbing some of the sections unroped. When I climbed the Italian Cracks on the North Ridge of the Grand Teton with my friend Eric, I found that the rock quality was excellent and that there were enough good holds that the climbing felt secure. At that point, I knew that I had no excuses and I’d have to give it a go!

 

 

Source: Blog – Nick Elson – Teton Grand Traverse FKT

The Top FKTs of 2016, from Ultimate Direction

Joe Grant nabbed the FKT for bagging all of Colorado’s 14ers without the help of a car in 2016. Photo courtesy Joe Grant

The FKTOY award will recognize the top FKT by a Female and by a Male. The purpose is to learn, appreciate, and be inspired by the accomplishments of others. No one actually wins anything – just the respect of their peers.

by Buzz Burrell, Ultimate Direction

The “FKT” has arrived!  Runners all over the world now understand and use the term, and may expend more effort going for a Fastest Known Time than in a regular race.

So the time has come for a “Fastest Known Time of The Year” Award!  Following the long-standing Ultra Runner of the Year (“UROY”) awards that have recognized and celebrated the sport’s best since 1981, the FKTOY award will recognize the top FKT by a Female and by a Male. The purpose is to learn, appreciate, and be inspired by the accomplishments of others. No one actually wins anything – just the respect of their peers.

So a list of top candidates was created by Peter Bakwin from his FKT site, then a group of 21 experienced runners were recruited to vote … and after much deliberation, their votes decided it!  It was an amazing process.  The winners will be announced next week in Ultrarunning Magazine and on this blog, along with brief comments from the Voters as to why each was valued (Hint: they ALL were incredible, but two more so than the others

So here is the list of candidates and what they did.  What do YOU think about these routes?  Which do YOU think should be the inaugural FKTOY?  Please post your Comments below.

FEMALE (all in chronological order)

Joelle Vaught – 5/20; Trans Zion; 48 mi; 8h, 26m, 9s – Sweet route crossing Zion NP on trails; previous FKT’s by Krissy Moehl and Bethany Lewis.

Amber Monforte – 7/22-26; John Muir Trail Unsupported; 222 mi; 4d, 1h, 13m – One of the mostly hotly-contested long trail routes. Only 5h 13m slower than Sue J’s 2007 Supported record.

Gina Lucrezi – 8/10; Mt Whitney (car-car); 22 mi; 5h, 29m, 22s – 6,000′ vert in 11mi to highest point in lower 48 states; first known attempt by a Woman.

Heather Anderson – 10/7-27; Arizona Trail Self-Supported; 800 mi; 19d, 17h, 9m – “Anish” now holds the Overall Self-Supported records for the AT, PCT, and the AZT.

Meghan Hicks – 9/9-11; Nolan’s 14; 100 mi; 59h, 36m – Open Course tagging 14 14ers; few trails, lots of navigation, tons of vert. Supported.

Sue Johnston – 1/1-12/26; 4000ers Calendar Grid; 3,159 mi; one year – All 48 New Hampshire 4,000′ summits every month for a year. Reported 3,159 mi, 993,970′ vert, and hiking 205 days.
Yikes!  Stout stuff!  What about the guys?

MALE

Ryan Ghelfi – 7/6; Mt Shasta Ascent; 1h, 37m, 5s – This used to be an actual race. Ryan beat FKT’s by Rickey Gates, and John Muir from 1874!

Uli Steidl – 7/26; Mt Rainier (car-car); 4h, 24m, 30s – Bettered Willie Benegas 2008 time. This is the Runners Record; there are separate records for Skiers (which is faster).

Leor Pantilat – 8/6-10; Sierra High Route Unsupported; 195 mi; 4d, 16h, 21m – Technically difficult for most runners so few attempts have been made; this took 3 days off the previous FKT. Roughly paralleing the JMT but above it, mostly off-trail, with 3rd Class sections and navigation.

Nick Elson – 8/13; Grand Traverse; 17 mi; 6h, 30m, 49s – Legendary alpinist Alex Lowe had this FKT, then Rolo Garibotti at 6h, 49m for 15 years. 10 Teton summits, 12,000′ vert, climbing up to 5.8 grade, free solo.

Joe Grant – 7/26-8/26; Colorado 14ers Self-Powered, Self Supported; 400 mi; 31d, 8h, 33m – 3+ days faster than Justin Simoni from previous year. Start/Finish at his house, hike/run 400mi, bike 1,100mi, climb 57 14ers, no Support.

Karl Meltzer – 8/3-9/18; Appalachian Trail Supported; 2,189 mi; 45d, 22h, 38m – Speedgoat’s 3rd try took about 9 hrs off Jurek’s time from previous year. This is the original long trail, featuring David Horton, Pete Palmer, Andrew Thompson, Jen Pharr-Davis, Scott Jurek, and countless before.

Jim Walmsley – 10/4; Grand Canyon R2R2R; 46 mi; 5h, 55m, 20s – Took 25m off Rob Krar’s 2013. Super classic route. Blazing 2h 46m S-N to begin, which is an R2R FKT going in the slowest direction.

Pete Kostelnick – 9/12-10/24; Trans America; 3,067 mi; 2d, 6h, 30m – Goes way back to the “Bunion Derby” days of the 1920’s Broke 36 year old FKT by 4 days. 72mi/day for 6 weeks.

Incredible!  How does one choose between these?  The Voters were allowed to vote for up to 5, ranking them accordingly, then the scores were added up.

Source: The Ultimate Direction Buzz | Athlete Commentary, Product Development and Race Updates

Sue Johnston quietly ticks off an epic FKT in the Northeast 

The Vermont-resident tackled 576 summits and 1,001,820 feet of elevation gain in a quest to complete New Hampshire’s Grid challenge in a single year

by DOUG MAYER, Trail Runner Magazine

2016 was a year of dramatic accomplishments on the trails: Jim Walmsey’s new Fastest Known Time (FKT) on the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, Karl Meltzer besting Scott Jurek’s Appalachian Trail record and Megan Hick’s remarkable FKT on Colorado’s Nolan’s 14, to name a few.

But chances are you haven’t heard of one of the most impressive accomplishments that went down in the closing days of 2016. And that’s just fine with the record holder, Vermont ultrarunner and long-distance hiker Sue Johnston, 51, of Danville, Vermont.

Late in the afternoon of December 26, 2016, Johnston and her husband Chris Scott summited 4,000-foot-high Mount Isolation in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It was her 12th time summiting the peak that year.

The longstanding challenge, called “The Grid,” involves summiting each of the Whites Mountains’ 48 4,000-foot peaks 12 times— once in every month. Only 70 people have completed The Grid. Most of those individuals worked a couple of decades to get ther

Source: Sue Johnston quietly ticks off an epic FKT in the Northeast – Trail Runner Magazine

Adventure BFFs: #KitchenSesh with Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant

#kitchensesh with two ot the most recognizable U.S. ultra runners out there, with countless media articles written both about them and by them, and even a couple of films documenting their outdoor exploration. They are also best friends living in Boulder, Colorado. We sit down with Anton Krupicka and Joe Grant to find out what it’s like to thrust oneself in the social media spotlight in the name of pursuing outdoor adventure full-time.  Listen in as we talk about:

  • 2017 race plans (and rumors?)
  • What they are really like, outside of the media spotlight
  • Joe staring at a cat
  • Anton’s open-door policy for the media (*excludes closet doors)
  • Skimo racing
  • Tennis

Here’s some background info/reading/watching:

Anton will be at the Lakewood, Colo., Runner’s Roost Thursday, Feb. 2.

Anton’s new blog on La Sportive’s site.

Outside TV video of Anton’s home.

Dispatch is doing this because we love the outdoors.  Will you please  like our page or follow us on twitter @dispatch_hq?

Joe Grant talks with us about his self-propelled adventure over Colorado’s 50+ tallest peaks on our October show.

Video of Anton’s successful FKT record of Long Peak Triathlon: 

Photo credit: Jarrod Wheaton

Photo credit: Joe Grant (meta!)

U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom

“It was an exciting couple moments. There was this elation that we had made it through and we had such a clean line and then coming face-to-face with the reality that our boat was sinking,” said Mason, one of seven whitewater athletes who had spent the last year training and designing the speediest raft with a goal of breaking a record set by a kayaker.

Source: U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team just misses speed record down Grand Canyon in custom-built cataraft

Chasing a Speed Record on One of the World’s Highest, Hardest Treks

The latest from friend of the show Matt Hart…

How a group of ultrarunners persevered—through raging storms, dizzying altitude, and health perils—on Bhutan’s toughest route.

Source: Chasing a Speed Record on One of the World’s Highest, Hardest Treks

CNN – Ultrarunner completes Appalachian Trail in 46 days

Karl Meltzer says he enjoyed candy and beer while he worked to complete the 3,524-kilometer Appalachian Trail in record time.

Source: Ultrarunner completes Appalachian Trail in 46 days