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Thread: NH 48 - Women's Fastest Known Time

  1. #16
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Brianna, in reading your Dad's blog, I enjoyed that additional window into his+your thinking. For example, I thought that taking advantage of I-93 as an 'AT trailhead' coming off of Flume was very out-of-the box - though after doing this, would you still deem a Flume Slide Trail descent to be superior to an Osseo Trail descent [a super highly runnable trail though 1.6 miles longer]? Or was the Flume Slide down-climb the "right" kind of change-of-pace in exercise modes after running a lot of the ridge?

    Given the weather conditions you dealt with for part of the trip and various opportunities for further optimization that no doubt occurred to you both through the course of the endeavor, it seems as though there's the potential for a substantial further pushing of this FKT envelope should you decide to do this again under the auspices of a more cooperative Mother Nature!

    The only part of all the reading that I didn't enjoy as much was the part about your Dad wounding himself -- and seeing the photo of your blistered foot (Eeeewww!). I hope you both are healing well!

    Alex
    Last edited by alexmtn; 09-26-2014 at 12:05 PM.

  2. #17
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    Cath,

    Thank you for your own inspiration. I look forward to spending more time exploring the mountains and testing my limits, as you have. Enjoy the mountains this winter . It is cool to see some of the hiking you have done, and so much in the dead of winter!

    All the Best,

    Brianna

  3. #18
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    Alex,

    Thank you. And yes, there is a lot of room for improvement.

    It's interesting that you asked about Flume Slide Trail vs. Osseo Trail. The Osseo Trail is my favorite for trail running in the Whites, and the Flume Slide Trail is one of my least favorite. We had originally planned to do the Pemi Wilderness on Thursday and descend down Osseo Trail on the way to a finish at Owl's Head, hopefully in time for the men's record. How very different it all turned out.

    The night before we started our hike, the weather forecast for Thursday was not looking good. In order to avoid being on the Bonds and the Franconia Ridge in bad weather, my dad put together an alternate route that moved the Pemi Wilderness hike to Wednesday. This alternate route had us descending off Flume, on the way to Cannon and the Kinsmans. We decided to take this alternate route while we were hiking the Presidentials on Tuesday.

    The Pemi Wilderness hike went well until we started climbing Lafayette and ran out of daylight and into fog. The fog reflected off our lights and made it a little difficult to follow the trail on the ridge. This, together with the added loss of coordination from poor fueling after Galehead made it almost impossible for me to run the ridge. We had planned to backtrack from Flume to Liberty and descend down Liberty Springs Trail in order to avoid the Flume Slide Trail. But tired after the traverse, we opted for the shortest route down, hoping that ‘switching it up’, and using different muscles would help. Flume Slide was grueling. I cannot say that this was the worst decision, or even the slowest, but it was certainly the most miserable route we could have chosen.

    As for using I-93 as the "AT Trailhead," we can't take credit for that "out-of-the-box" thinking because Cath Goodwin used it in her hike.

    In hindsight, we probably could have gone down the Osseo Trail in about the same amount of time that it took us to descend down Flume Slide. Any gain or loss from this decision, though, was small in comparison to cost of saving Owl's Head for last, since the women's record required us to get back to the trailhead, and it was 9 miles from the summit Owl's Head back to the trailhead. If we had known that the men's record would be out of reach, we would have chosen a "trailhead-to-trailhead" route that was a lot shorter. In spite of that, I am glad we tried for the men’s record. You don’t always succeed when you set an aggressive goal, but you can't know your limits unless you test them.

    Brianna

  4. #19
    Senior Member alexmtn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briannajo View Post
    ... the Flume Slide Trail is one of my least favorite ... Flume Slide was grueling. I cannot say that this was the worst decision, or even the slowest, but it was certainly the most miserable route we could have chosen.
    Brianna, personally I absolutely love the Flume Slide, one of my favorites -- but definitely not for times when I'm tired and/or looking for speed!

    Quote Originally Posted by briannajo View Post
    As for using I-93 as the "AT Trailhead," we can't take credit for that "out-of-the-box" thinking because Cath Goodwin used it in her hike.
    Aha! But you still get points for recognizing its brilliance!

    Quote Originally Posted by briannajo View Post
    In hindsight, we probably could have gone down the Osseo Trail in about the same amount of time that it took us to descend down Flume Slide. Any gain or loss from this decision, though, was small in comparison to cost of saving Owl's Head for last, since the women's record required us to get back to the trailhead, and it was 9 miles from the summit Owl's Head back to the trailhead. If we had known that the men's record would be out of reach, we would have chosen a "trailhead-to-trailhead" route that was a lot shorter. In spite of that, I am glad we tried for the men’s record. You don’t always succeed when you set an aggressive goal, but you can't know your limits unless you test them.
    Another option: Inaugurate a new men's FKT standard, based on the trailhead-to-trailhead time. While it wouldn't be 'apples to apples' with the existing FKT until someone manages to turn in a better time trailhead-to-trailhead than the current trailhead-to-summit time despite the disadvantage, it would establish a standard that's more consistent with common practice.

    * * * * *

    Separate from all these specifics but related: I worry about one of the downsides of all this FKT competition: how long will it be before someone lets his/her competitive instincts and consequent desire for speed threaten his/her ability to maintain footing and balance, resulting in a serious accident. It sounds as though you and your dad succeeded at thoughtfully not exceeding these margins, but I don't think anyone would believe it never happens. Or if not a serious accident in the immediate term, there's the person who would simply pound out their knees on 48 joint-careless slam-bam descents in the course of 4 days and then hike in pain for the rest of his/her life, possibly also costing his/her health insurer (and hence most of us) tens of thousands of dollars.

    Anyway, congrats again to you and your parents -- and in the event of another go at it, best wishes for again staying on the safe/sane side of that sometimes tough-to-discern "aggressiveness line".

    Alex
    Last edited by alexmtn; 10-16-2014 at 10:36 AM.

  5. #20
    Senior Member Sasquatch's Avatar
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    Congratulations on a fine effort. Well done. I enjoyed reading your report.
    I'm am truly inspired by this father / daughter effort. Amazing effort and achievement on your part Brianna, the men's record is quite stout. All around stunning effort on your fathers part, both as an athlete and a parent. Much respect.
    "Going to the mountains is going home" Muir

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