THE ADK 46ER THRU HIKE

 The finished route as tracked by the Delorme

The finished route as tracked by the Delorme

Going into this my intentions were to just be the first to finish the solo through hike of all 46 peaks. At least the first recorded person to do it. I somehow find it hard to believe that no one has ever done it solo, but I have found no records? I notified Jan Wellford of my attempt just in case I was able to move well enough to take the overall record from him and Cory, which is 7 days and 14 hours. I also asked if he had heard of anyone finishing solo, since he is a local, and he confirmed he had not. Perfect if I can't move well enough to finish in less than their time, all I have to do is finish. Easy enough I figured.

My route was a bit different than theirs as I planned to do the bushwhack from Allen to Redfield and the trail to Porter has been shut down for this season due to landowners pulling the plug on the trail going through their private land. Due to this my intention was to do the bushwhack off Big Slide to Porter even though I had never seen it. It seemed easy enough. However if I could not do it, I would have to walk the road to Marcy Field and up the Blueberry Mountain trail to Porter, which obviously adds more miles and probably more climb.

My strategy was to go light and to carry as little as possible. I took a bivy, which I borrowed and had never used. An emergency blanket bivy to use as a sleepy bag. Rain gear. Water and food of course. I decided to go light with the food and not so much worry about inhaling massive amounts of calories as others have done in the past, but rather just eat a little when i was hungry. Just eat enough to make the hunger go away. My thinking was I have plenty of fat to live off of for many many days, heck probably weeks, or years. So I took peanut m&ms, jerky, cheddar chex mix, fritos, a few cliff bars, Spring Energy gels, Energy Run Gum, and of course Nuun tabs, and salt tabs for electrolyte use. 

Now the details. Sorry so boring and long. Also a writer I am not.

For recording. Took a Delorme it was set to 30 min intervals and my watch was set to 10s intervals

I took a pic at every peak except Giant and Rocky Peak (my phone was dead for those two). The pics aren't very exciting either a selfie or the summit sign or the view. But a pic was taken at all.

 

Day one

Plan Sewards and Santanonis and get as close to Allen as possible

Mileage 32.8, Elevation gain 12,224ft

 First Peak of the Thru Hike

First Peak of the Thru Hike

Started at 5:01 am. Two hours. Later than I wanted but opted for more sleep instead. Plan was to possibly jog some runnable sections as long as I wasn’t pushing. It was raining, ugh go figure. I actually ran a little more than I thought would. And moved through the Sewards quicker than I have before (I think). Before I knew it I was up Donaldson. Grabbed a bite, dropped my pack put on my Ultimate Direction fuel belt and headed for Emmonds. Quick little out and back. With one fall on a slippery rock just after I said to myself some of these are definitely slippery. Down I went. Fell backwards right into a little tree stump that knifed me up my back as I slid down. The rest pretty easy. I got back to Donaldson and headed over to Seward nothing too exciting as I was just dreading the down coming off Seward. I had done it twice before and I was so slow. So I wanted to attack it and learn how to move quicker. I got down in my record time, I believe, once down I headed straight for Seymour. Figured I would stop and rest after Seymour. Got there dropped the pack. Put on my UD belt (actually realized I could leave it on since the bigger pack I was carrying didn’t have a waste belt. It worked perfect.) up Seymour I went. Man that seemed to go on forever. I was hurting going up that. I forgot how long it was and how exhausting it was for me. I did not move fast down through the technical stuff. Once past that I ran down to my pack. Refilled waters. Ate. Took a breather. I knew I had a long way to the Santanonis.

Walked more than I thought I would. But just cruised on over to Santa’s. The trail to duck hole was easy and fast going. Got there was a little confused where the trail to Bradley pond was. Wasted some time making sure I checked out all the little trails around the leanto before crossing the river. Crossed found the trail. The trail to Bradley pond was slower going. I spooked a beaver at one point and thought I was going to die. Thing bolted right in front of me. I was struggling climbing out of there up to Bradley Pond, and in a first low spot. I was trying to rush to get to the Santa’s and forgot to eat much. Got to the Santa’s around 5 pm I think. I ate and drank some water which I was almost out of. I told myself fill a bottle going up that brook. Well I didn’t! So dumb! Finally up the brook. Trying to hold off dehydration and race darkness, over to Panther i went. Didn't waste anytime with that quick out and back. Dropped the pack again for Cooch.  Went as fast as I could to couchie. Still milking the water. It was finally dark by the time i returned. Headlamped over to Santanoni. Drank the rest of my water and headed down the express. Going down Santas Express in the dark was not at all fun and very slow going. The temp was dropping. As soon as I got to the road, I crossed it, went into the woods to setup the bivy. I could not get comfortable in the bivy. I was freezing. Still wet from sweat and rain. Fell asleep for mayb an hour. I only had the mesh screen zipped at first, but then the wind picked up and the rain water from the trees was falling on my face. So I zipped the shell portion of the bivy. This was a death sentence! I could not breathe in that thing with it zipped!! The reviews were true!!  I was miserable. I was freaking out. Couldn’t sleep and was freezing so got up and started walking toward Allen.

Day 2

Plan Allen, Redfield, Cliff and get to loj (haahah laughable)

Mileage 20.9, Elevation gain 6,631ft

So I started walking to Allen at 2:30 am. Was way behind on food and water and was freezing so just kept moving to stay warm. Moving was very very very slow going. I was not at all enthused about walking or about getting so little sleep. I wasn’t going to stop until the sun came out. Finally the sun was up and had some warmth. I stopped at the river crossing filled all my water. Ate some food. And just chilled. I think I ended up being there for like an hour and a half. Cruised to Allen. I can never go up or down Allen fast. I guess I am so scared of the slippery rocks for some reason. So that took as long as usual. Got down and started the bushwhack to Redfield. I was still feeling like garbage and like I was moving slow. Friends and I did this a few weeks ago. So I knew it wasn’t terrible. However I was moving so slow all day. Just lack of energy. Instead of hopping into the blowdown (like the previous reports suggest to do, and like we did a few weeks earlier), I just hopped in the brook and took it up until the left fork. I cruised up that as the water was a little lower so it was more rock hopping. I was at the tarn in no time. I was quite shocked. Was even more shocked to find out where you follow on the right edge of the tarn it was all dry. Trucked around that and into the next brook. Again that seemed to go real quick. Before I knew it I was at the bushwhack. However I had doubted myself cause it seemed too quick. Did I come out to early? Because I was unsure I kept whacking up and right. More up than right do to my uncertainty. Due to doubting myself, decided I would go up to 4000ft then go right. I would have to hit it. The going in there was slower naturally. I finally hit 4K and went right. Not more than 50 yards from the thing. I couldn't believe it. I was probably right next to it for a long time. Shot out into the middle of the slide. I laughed. Up the slide I went and took a good rest at the top. I was still out of it. It was probably 4pm. Scrapped my aggressive plan and decided to get Cliff and camp at uphill leanto.

Day 3

Plan Colden, Marshall, Shepherds Tooth, the Macs, Street, and Nye

Mileage 27.9, Elevation gain 10,332ft

I slept in and was feeling much better at the start. Pretty easy going to Colden. Had some breakfast and chilled for a bit. Then on my way to Marshall. Was in good spirits making decent time. Met some guy Dave on his way Up Marshall. It was the usual exhausting grind. Had a good chat w Dave when he got up there. I was refueling and all business and in a hurry. Meanwhile Dave took his shoes off, covered himself in bug spray and opened up a journal and started writing. Apparently he just goes up a peak and hangs out for awhile. Chilling and enjoying it for more than the 5 minutes I tend to spend. What a crazy idea? I might have to try this sometime. I was also crazy jealous as I had forever to go. Anyway, I spent my 5 minutes or so and I was on my way to the tooth whack. Got down to coldbrook pretty quick. Went to look for then cairn for the tooth. Now I have never done this whack so obviously I had a bailout plan. Found it easily. Now up to the cliff. I thought it would be much farther. They are right at the trail pretty much. Anyway I hung a left at the cliff to look for the Chimney. I came around a corner and was like Uh oh i hope this isn’t it. I debated, it has to be. Water pouring off of it. I hate wet rocks! I stare and contemplate if it’s anything I can do. It looks fairly easy up there, but also I suck at climbing. If I knew the route then I could probably get up this thing. I tried to start. It was slippery. I couldn’t even start at the bottom. I decided if I can’t do this, I probably should go around. So depressing but a good choice. So down coldbrook pass it was only to climb right back up what you lost. I have bashed coldbrook since I went up it last year. I am sorry coldbrook. You really aren’t that bad. I just must’ve been having a bad day then. Down I went. And back up I went to Iroquois. Finally seeing people it was nice to chat with some. Also finally seeing the sun made me happy. Time was still going however so onward to Algonquin and Wright. I had Algonquin to myself which is rare. After Wright, I tried to push a little so I didn’t have to headlamp all of Street and Nye. Finally at the loj filled my water. Chatted with some dudes I saw earlier and then took off. I felt like I was hiking and running fairly fast. But it still seemed like forever to get up and down. Summited both in the dark. Popped a gel. Started trying to move quickly down. I was trying to race back before my watch died, so I wouldn't have to charge it. I looked down, it said 3%. I thought, I got this. I looked down a few seconds later and realized that it stops recording when it hits 3%, I guess. So I plugged it in and started tracking again. Luckily I caught it right when it died. Then I ran out of energy. Somehow got turned around in a spot. I don’t know how I even got back on track. Death marched it back to the loj. It was like 1:30 am when I got back. I took my stuff into the bathroom to organize, charge my stuff, and brush my teeth. I sat down to rest my feet and massage them. And well I fell asleep!! Oops. I woke up at 5:30am surprised no one had came in and found me yet, as well as surprised I had falling asleep in the floor. I must've been tired!!

Day 4

Plan Phelps, tabletop, Marcy, skylight, gray, and the range.

Mileage 19.7, Elevation 9,521ft

I was so cold and over all the cold weather not into it again. I started walking toward Phelps. Very slowly, half asleep. My feet wear hurting. I realized water was leaking in my pack. I checked and sure enough my water bladder had a hole in it, or was leaking from the hose attachment!! Wonderful! Looks like its just my .6 liter Katadyn soft flask filter and my 2 16 oz soft flasks left. Got to Phelps went up and on the way down I was going so slow. It was my feet. Everything else felt fine. Or as good as can be expected. I realized I should try putting my wet socks on again. I took them off a few days earlier because my feet had been so wet and were hurting from being so soaked constantly. So I went barefoot. This seemed to help greatly. However after a day or whatever of barefoot they were hurting in all new spots. So i got down Phelps threw on my wet socks. And it made a huge difference. On to tabletop. Ugh man things just keep getting worse. On the way up suddenly so dehydrated. So slogged my way up and chatted with a chef from Plattsburgh for a second. I had to get down to water. Got back to my pack and hiked to Indian falls? I assume? and drank 1 liter of water and filled my half liter bottle. Marcy was a slog of course but i kept telling myself it’s the longest climb you have all day. People started talking of rain. I did not want to be on Marcy in the rain, or the range for that matter. So dropped the pack. Shot up Marcy. As is usually the case it seems with me, no view on Marcy. It was freezing and about to rain. Steward chatted with me for a second. Then ran down Marcy and bagged Skylight and Gray as quickly as I could. Guess what! It started raining! Pouring! Making Marcy slick. And the wind and rain. So cold. I was freezing. My hands were numb. My core temp dropped. I was freezing. I got back to my pack and threw on my rain gear. As I already figured out, rain gear does not exactly keep you warm. It was getting late and I knew I would be doing the range at night. But at night in the rain?? I don’t think so. I started freaking out realizing that if the temps drop to what it had been the previous nights, I was screwed. I also knew I couldn't go over the range with them being so exposed. So I tried to do haystack. (After dropping my pack at wrong trailhead and having to go back and get it, so dumb). It was still pouring and getting dark. The rocks were so slippery. I had no idea when it was going to stop raining, but this was definitely not a passing shower. I needed to bail. So i decided to zip on down to slant rock leanto. Got in about 9:30pm. Took off all my wet clothes. Put on my dry shorts and shirt. Set up bivy in leanto. Ate. And slept.

Day 5

Plan. Assess and who cares.

A decent sleep for once in this bivy. Was it the leanto or am I getting used to it? I decided I was done with the rain! At least i wasn’t going over the range in the rain because there was no leanto on the other side and the rain and cold nights would prolly kill me in this bivy. I woke and it was still pouring, so I sat in the leanto and ate and fell back asleep off and on for awhile. I could see Basin all day in the nasty clouds and it was raining. At one point I packed up and suited up to leave and then it started raining again. I decided I would just stay here and chill and wait it out. I was not leaving until the sun came out!! After all I’m not really in a hurry. I mean sure it would be nice to beat Jan and Cory’s time, but also no one has done it solo unsupported. So technically I have some time to kill. I laid in the bivy and tried not to eat all my food. To my surprise I slept most of the day. It did seem to kind of clear up around 2 or 3 but then I would be doing the range in misery and at night and in the cold. So I decided to legit chill and start again tomorrow. A lot of time to think and get a head start typing all this.

Day 6!

Plan. Haystack. Range. As close to Colvin as possible

Mileage 17.9, Elevation gain 8,720ft

 

 Coming down off of Haystack

Coming down off of Haystack

Got an earlier start on this day. Slowly slogged up the trail from slant rock to Haystack. It was actually warm for once. Got up to Haystack just before sunrise. Back down and over to the rest of the range I went. Just took it one step at a time. No rush. Just cruising. Basin. Saddleback flew by. Up the cables was the usual effort. Down to Sawteeth. Met some folks here that were doing up to Armstrong. The range is the range. I just kept going slowly as to not run out of what little water I had. Was feeling the heat by Armstrong and for sure by upper Wolfjaw. Continued on down toward lower wolfjaw and out of nowhere a friend popped up on the trail. Mertsock!!

 So much Fun!

So much Fun!

 

He hiked over to upper wolfjaw with me and then down to the brook where I refilled water and ate, as we chatted and he took pics. Then onward to get as close as possible to Colvin. Followed the east river trail down toward lake road. Got to a weird crazy confusing intersection. Went to lake road as I had to get there anyway (I had intended to shoot across to fishhawks cliffs from there). So I follow the trail to lake road. I came out on the road much lower than I anticipated due to taking a different way than intended. So now I pass up the first trail up Gilbrook to head to fishhawks cliffs, as I still think this is my plan. I pass up the second gilbrook trail cutoff. I walk forever down the road. I go up Indian head toward fishhawks cliffs. Realizing as I’m almost up that this was dumb and I came out earlier and could’ve already been to camp and setup by now. I get to a sign that says gilbrook, take it. Descend down to the gilbrook camp. The whole time thinking I wasted at least an hour and some mileage. uh so dumb!

Day 7. Plan Colvin, Blake, Nippletop, Dial. Dix Range, and to get to Giant washbowl for camp.

Mileage 29, Elevation gain 11,217ft

Fairly early start. Not as early as I wanted. But I wake and get up to Colvin moving pretty well. Colvin such a good view on a good clear morning. Got over to Blake and back as fast as I could. Not interesting at all. Took a pic of the rock, the summit! And headed back. When I got back to the junction to head to Nippletop there were so many people out. I ended up catching up to a guy named Kenny on the way through the pass toward Nippletop. We had some good convos. He thought I was obviously crazy but was intrigued and inspired since he just started hiking quite a bit last year. We chatted all the way up Nippletop. Nippletop has a perfect view and perfect breeze. We sat there for awhile as I refueled. Soon we were off to Dial. Such a fun section of trail. It went by fast. Before we knew it we were at Dial. More refueling more perfection of weather. Hot and windy up there. It was time for us to part ways, as I was doing the gravestone bushwhack to link up the Dix Range. Before I left Kenny was like man I have always wanted to do a bushwhack. If I tag along can I get back to my car. We looked at the map and sure enough he could. So he joins me for the gravestone whack. We dropped in and headed down. Found the brook, followed it down, and to the left of it some. Followed the ribbons that are now there. We popped out on the trail after an hour or so. He said thanks for the bushwhack, I said thanks for the company and we went our separate ways. On to Dix Range. It was so hot by this time and obviously I couldn’t carry a lot of water. So I took it easy until I got to the slide where I was hoping the water ran more often than it didn’t off that thing. Sure enough it was flowing. I stopped took off the pack, the shirt, put sunscreen on and remained there to drink liters of water for a bit, as well as to get some nuun in the system. While I was doing this the amount of people coming off Dix and out to the slide seemed like so many people. Everyone of them seemed to stare in disbelief as they popped out of the woods and see a scratched, and cut up, bearded, dreaded, shirtless dude in only a pair of little running shorts. I laughed at the thought of this. Eventually I headed up taking it easy as there is no water up on the Dix Range and it zaps me every time. The top was amazing. I took off my shoes and socks refueled took a pic and relaxed before I attempted to crush the rest of the range and get done before dark. I made decent work of Hough feeling ok. Then i was in the mood to go quicker. Felt like South Dix came so fast. Dropped the pack. scurried down South Dix and up Macomb to tag it. I walked up. Took a pic. Drank some water and was on my way back. Took about an hour I think to get out and back to South Dix. On to East Dix. Quickly over to the summit. Usual summit ritual and on down the bushwhacking to 73. Couldn’t see some of the cairns at the river crossings but once I got on the well tread herd path it was uneventful til 73. Took 73 to chapel pond and went up giant to camp at the Washbowl. However due to the “easy” terrain I hadn’t stopped to rest or been drinking water. Was very dehydrated and tired as it was after midnight. The .7 miles up to the Washbowl might as well been 10 miles. I was stumbling up, leaning heavily on my poles with each step. Finally got to the Washbowl, sat on a rock next to the water, listened to the frogs, drank a bunch of water and ate a little food. I sat there in misery for a bout an hour. Then decided I should setup camp and get a few hours of sleep. By this time it was 2 in the morning. I must’ve been pretty out of it as it took me like 30 min to set up a bivy and put a sleeping pad in it. I was getting so frustrated I almost gave up. Finally got it set up, got inside to do the usual ritual of plugging things in to charge and set my alarm. Well I passed out before I did any of that stuff.

 KENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much needed company!!

KENNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Much needed company!!

Day 8

Plan finish--Giant, Rocky Peak, Big Slide, Porter, Cascade, Whiteface, Esther

Mileage 57.3, Elevation gain 16,995

 

Woke up at 8 am. Figured I should start up Giant and Rocky Peak. Starting climbing up the trail to an intersection. Panicked I went the wrong way. Pulled out the map. Checked. Crap wrong way. Back down toward camp .3 miles. Whatever I was already dehydrated and it was already hot, so I figured I could drink some water at the Washbowl. Got back and sitting on the rock drinking water I decided to check the map again. Weeeeeell I was going the right way before. Ugh. Must still be out of it and half asleep. Oh well I got to drink some water. Back up I went the way I had been going before. I knew the climb was long so I was in no hurry and it was so hot. Some guy coming down looks at me and says man you look rough, as he went by. I said oh thanks. Shuffled up to Giant and over to Rocky Peak (no pics from Giant and Rocky Peak, as I passed out before I charged my phone the night before) and back down just hoping to survive till I could grab some water and cool off at the Washbowl. As slow as it felt I was going I still got to Giant and Rocky Peak and back down before some of the other hikers that were just going up to Giant. This at least gave me some confidence I was in fact still moving. Mertsock was there to hang and chill with me at the Washbowl and take some great pics as usual. I sat there chatting, drinking water, and cooling off for maybe an hour. I knew I had a long hot sun exposed road section ahead.

 photo by Mike Mertsock  chilling, hydrating, organizing, cooling off after Giant and Rocky Peak

photo by Mike Mertsock

chilling, hydrating, organizing, cooling off after Giant and Rocky Peak

Dropped my bigger pack at the bottom of Giant, as I only had a little food left and wasn’t going to be sleeping till I finished. I went with my UD fuel belt, the rest of my food and electrolytes and charging port attached to my belt. Got to the garden after what felt like forever on the road. Also walking by Noonmark diner, is in fact very depressing at this point in the journey. At the garden the Mertsock’s, Laura and Tim were waiting for me. I sat down chatted and refueled as usual. Tim and Laura decided to go up Big Slide with me. The ranger on duty came over and knew of my plan to bushwhack to Porter after Big Slide. He advised me not to. I had already decided it was going to be dark so there was no way I was doing a bushwhack I had never seen in the dark. This meant I had to return to the garden and walk the road to Marcy field to go up Porter via Blueberry Mountain. Due to the trail to Porter being closed from the garden. Extra miles. Road miles. Oh yaaay. Ugh. The ranger continued to advise not to go up due to the heat and it getting dark. He eventually was like whatever y’all are crazy as shit anyways and will probably just run down. (He was the same ranger from a few weekends before when Rekkerth and I went up and ran back down and he was in complete shock that we were back so fast) On the way up Big Slide Tim said he had never been up Big Slide via the Brothers. This got me excited as that is the best way to go. I was so pumped he got to see the views from the Brothers. He was so excited with every view on the way up. Eventually we got to the summit. Hung for a bit and began our descent. After a slight wrong turn we finally were back down to the Brothers only it was a full moon and the stars were out in force. We sat on one of the Brothers and just gazed at the sky for a bit before we eventually made the trek back down.

thru hike june 2017 003.jpg

pic by Laura

Tim and I on top of Big Slide

 photo by Tim  Cruising up Big Slide

photo by Tim

Cruising up Big Slide

 

After refueling I started the walk to Marcy field to the trail to Blueberry Mountain. I was actually there much faster than I thought. So up I went. I had always seen this trail on the map and for some reason assumed it was a fairly easy not very technical trail. Maybe because the mountain was named blueberry? I dunno. Well let’s just say starting at like 2 am and being 30ish miles in, it wasn't pleasant. It went straight up and up and up and up. Not too technical but not easy. I kept laughing to myself the whole time. Because I knew it was not going to stop going up. I was in attack mode. And going as hard as I could. I finally got to the top of Blueberry Mountain and it had a pretty awesome view of the town of Keene valley down below. Now I had like 1.7 or something to Porter. And another 1500ft or so of climb. I thought cool shouldn’t be too steep. I should be able to crush it. Well wrong. That might as well had been a bushwhack. The trail was pretty tight with limbs down and pretty freaking technical and seemed to go on forever (of course it could've just felt hard due to the situation). I was getting so frustrated as this 4 miles seemed like it was taking me forever to do. And this 1.7 was definitely taking me so long. Finally, after many frustrating hours. Really I think it took me like 4 hours. Which probably isn’t too bad for that trail at night. I arrived at Porter summit. Took a pic and on I went to Cascade. I was so fired up. I think I got over to Cascade in about 30 min. Bagged Cascade and down to 73 where Tim and Laura were waiting.

Refueled and applied sunscreen for the next long road part. Tim and Laura joined me to celebrate the way to the last 2 peaks. This road section in the heat took forever. I stopped multiple times to rest and cool off. Went across the golf course and hit the Old Jack Rabbit Trail and down to River road. Eventually got to Connery pond where I of course refueled cooled off and said my goodbyes to Tim and Laura and I would see them at the end. Just two more. I was amped up. The trail was easy and gradual and I was moving pretty well due to popping a piece of run gum. Eventually the trail gets real steep and slow going. So I did what I could. Took breaks when needed. It was so hot. I stopped drank a few bottles of water from some runoff coming down the slide. Eventually I stumbled my way up to the top, my run gum energy had ran out and I was saving my last piece for Esther. As soon as I topped out on the summit I hear a guy yell. Hey sir. You hiking? It was a worker from up there. I said yes! He said I just sent all the tourist home. Thunder Storm is coming in. I said cool where is the trail to Esther. He showed me. He said it doesn’t look to good over there. I said well I have to get to Esther. He said good luck man. Take cover if u can. I’m getting the heck outta here and he ran off like the world was ending. So I sat down on a rock popped a nuun drank some water and got some rocks outta my sock before continuing into a thunderstorm. So down I went. It started pouring. Some lightning. Some thunder. I thought man, where is everyone? Am I the only one that gets stuck out in these storms? How is it possible? Eh whatever. I have to get Esther. It only rained for a few minutes and the lightning and thunder seemed to be off in the distance. I got to the cairn for Esther popped my last piece of run gum. Tossed my poles at the trailhead. Power hiked out as fast as I could. I didn’t really want take any chances if the storm was going to get worse. The wind was whipping up there as it was. I made quick work to Esther. Got to the plaque.

 

 Kissing the plaque on Esther!!!! 46 Finished!!!

Kissing the plaque on Esther!!!! 46 Finished!!!

Decided I would take a pic as I kissed the last peak!!! 46 done!! So pumped. Ok now to get outta there before the storm and to get down before Noonmark closed at 10!!! I still had energy from the run gum and was back in no time. Well that wore off and I was mortal again and my feet hurt real bad again. Back to being in pain. 2 miles down. I tried to go as fast as I could. It was humid. I was over heating. Drank all the water I had. Eventually my feet hurt so bad I had to go slower. Finally down to the snowmobile trail. I do not know where Jan and Cory ended their thru hike. But I always descend down to the first trailhead as you're coming up Whiteface road. So down I went. This always seems like it takes a long time. I got down. Saw the trail register. Tagged it. Stopped my watch and the tracker. 8:50pm Signed out. Yelled for Laura. Nothing. I thought maybe she can’t hear me because of the water plant thing that is above me. So I walked out in the parking lot. No one. No cars. Nobody. I walked to a rock. Pulled out my phone hoping I had a signal. I did. I called Laura she answered and said she was at the trailhead further up the road. Oops. And she would be right there. So I sat on a rock and waited. She got the there gave me a huge hug. A congratulations. Tim drove up. Gave me congratulations. I just wanted food so I put on some sandals on off to the races to get to NoonMark. Got there at 9:30. Ordered two meals. I ate so slow. I had been up for 36 hours and 56 miles for the last push. I was completely dead. But I WAS DONE WITH THE 46 THRU HIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GEAR

Brooks Pure Grit 6

Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20

Ultimate Direction Ultra Belt 4.0 with the accessory pouch, 2 16.9oz soft flask

Katadyn 0.6 liter soft flask water filter (everyone needs one. The easiest way to filter water these days)

2 liter water bladder

patagonia running shorts

new balance running shorts

new balance singlet

tech running shirt medved

northface rain jacket

marmot rain pants

injinji socks

mud gear socks

Run gum-- this is my new fav stuff. gave me so much energy. made me feel invincible. could've probably just fueled with it.

Spring Energy Gels- All natural. incredible tasting gels.

 

 

THE TOTAL TIME

START: JUNE 24TH 5:01AM

FINISH: JULY 2ND 8:50PM

SOLO UNSUPPORTED 46ER THRU HIKE: 8 DAYS 15 HOURS AND 49 MINUTES

Total Miles 205.5

Total Elevation 75,640ft

Strava (or it didn't happen?)

 Officially Finished!!!

Officially Finished!!!

 FOOD!! FINALLY!! NOONMARK!! I actually was unable to finish it there. I had half a grilled tuna to finish at like midnight that night!!

FOOD!! FINALLY!! NOONMARK!! I actually was unable to finish it there. I had half a grilled tuna to finish at like midnight that night!!

 

 

It took a few days for the swelling in my feet to go down and all the brush and trees to come out of my dreads. It has been 6 days since i finished and I still have a weird numb sensation under my toes and the balls of my feet! Despite losing a day to weather and not breaking Jan and Corys time, I am extremely happy with this effort. It was a good dry run. A good first attempt at traveling light and somewhat fast. Another step in the right direction of learning to be able to move faster in the mountains of the Adirondacks. Despite carrying hardly any food, I found that food was never really an issue. Most the issue was hydration of course. Physically I actually felt good the whole time (until my feet at the end). Most of the struggle was mental. Mentally it was exhausting. Being all alone for that long and the only thing I could think about was the record. I feel like I spent most of the time trying to do math and figure out how long it would take me to get to a certain point, which I was always wrong lol. It was also pretty hard to stay in "attack" mode. Some mornings I wanted to start earlier, but would wake up and say, NOPE. I will definitely be taking a better shelter next time so I have more options in crap weather, as well as some warmer clothes. I look forward to go after the overall FKT again next year. Also another thing that makes it seem so difficult is the beginning and the end, so many miles with hardly any peaks. It makes it seem like you are absolutely going nowhere and have done absolutely nothing.

Jan and Cory with big packs by the way is absolutely beastly. I am in AWE of the time they put down with heavy packs.