Sunday, November 4, 2012

PCT Speed Records

Speed Records

Socks and shoes after 700 miles of hiking, time for new ones!
There is no governing body that times people on these types of record attempts. When it's all said and done, new records are taken at face value from the individual, believing that the honor system will prevail. Because of this, I kept a GPS tracking my position for the entire length of my trip, as well as had other hikers sign a witness log to add some proof to my claims. The website Fastest Known Time is the best resource for finding out about specific records on a very wide range of trails, mainly in the US. These records are not necessarily verified by outside observers, and again, are mostly believed on the persons word. Trust in the honor system.

There are wide variety of records for the Pacific Crest Trail, because one can hike from south to north (NOBO - north bound) or north to south (SOBO - south bound) and either hike supported or unsupported. There are varying definitions of supported and unsupported, however in general supported mean that you carry a minimum of gear/supplies and other people aid you on trail by giving you what you need, negating the need for resupply in towns. Unsupported mean that no outside aid is given to the hiker and they must carry all their needed supplies and resupply themselves. Furthermore, there is the overall speed record - simply the fastest time the trail has been completed in any way shape or form, regardless of direction or support.

The following are the current accepted PCT records as found on the FTK website (Link):

Overall Speed Record: 64 Days 11 Hours 19 Minutes - Scott Williamson (SOBO- 2011)
NOBO Speed Record: 65 Days 9 Hours 58 Minute - Scott Williamson & Adam Bradley (2009)

The only known recorded times for completing half the trail (midpoint) and all of California were recorded on Williamson and Bradley's 2009 NOBO record hike. Therefore, by default, these times became new records.

Mexico to Midpoint Record: 34 Days 18 Hours 47 Minutes - Williamson & Bradley (2009)
Mexico to CA/OR Border Record:  42 Days 18 Hours 27 Minutes - Williamson & Bradley (2009)

On my 2012 speed hike, I managed to best both the Mexico to Midpoint and Mexico to CA/OR border Records with the following times:

NEW Mexico to Midpoint Record: 30 Days 9 Hours 55 Minutes -Ryan Weidert (2012)
NEW Mexico to CA/OR Border Record:  38 Days 10 Hours 0 Minutes - Ryan Weidert (2012)
Tuna Helper resting at the PCT Midpoint after setting a new speed record to that point!
Tuna Helper at the California/Oregon Border after setting a new speed record for hiking all of California!

My Speed

*Both spreadsheet table files can be found under the 'MY PCT Download' section in the 'PCT Documents' link. on the right side.*

Day to day mileage and therefore speed varied constantly, so a better judge of speed is the overall average of miles per day. This number also fluctuates, but not nearly as much. When I finally got off trail, I had  managed 1864 miles in 42.5 days averaging out to be just under 44 miles a day. The following table is a summary of my 100 mile split times and corresponding miles per day average. The mileage split locations are  the blue markers viewed on the 'My Nightly Campsite Map' below.

Place Date Time Elapsed Time Mile/day Average UTM E/N Coords
PCT Southern Terminus 5/25/12 6:05am 0 0 550008 3605930
Mile 500 5/6/12 11:34:10am 11d 5h 29m 44.53 354129 3841957
Mile 600 7/6/12 1:36:46pm 13d 7h 32m 45.07 382585 3914681
Mile 700 9/6/12 4:18:56pm 15d 10h 14m 45.38 397129 3984597
Mile 800 12/6/12 1:31:40pm 18d 7h 37m 43.68 371871 4081999
1/3 PCT 14/6/12 7:49:22pm 20d 13h 44m 43.12 329161 4151241
Mile 900 15/6/12 8:15:37am 21d 2h 6m 42.68 320815 4157967
Mile 1000 17/6/12 2:38:46pm 23d 8h 34m 42.81 274963 4230390
Mile 1100 19/6/12 4:46:24pm 25d 10h 41m 43.23 749845 4305095
Mile 1200 21/6/12 9:35:11pm 27d 15h 30m 43.41 704590 4384563
Mile 1300 23/6/12 11:19:03pm 29d 17h 14m 43.74 638237 4432825
Mile 1402 26/6/12 8:44:30am 32d 2h 39m 43.66 631509 4527604
Mile 1500 28/6/12 11:34:15am 34d 5h 29m 43.82 562958 4554956
Mile 1600 30/6/12 12:28:22pm 36d 18h 23m 43.52 503459 4576454
OR/CA Border 2/7/12 4:05:00pm 38d 10h
507526 4650182
Mile 1702 2/7/12 5:48:21pm 38d 11h 43m 44.22 509686 4651967
Mile 1800 4/7/12 7:41:59pm 40d 13h 37m 44.37 563390 4714546
Off Trail 6/7/12 6:00pm ~42d 12h 43.9 N/A



I was only able to accomplish these large miles per day by maximizing my 'moving' time, which entailed limiting my stopped and chatting time, short 2-3 hour resupplies and usually 18 hour days which normally required hiking until 11 or the latest at 1 am. I averaged about 6 hours of sleep per night. The following map and table are my detailed daily mileage log and the location of where I camped every night, including my 100 mile split locations




Date Start Time Finish Time Daily Miles (Halfmile) Total Miles (Halfmile)
5/25/12 6:05 8:35 49 49
5/26/12 6:40 9:45 48.5 97.5
5/27/12 6:25 12:55am 46.5 144
5/28/12 6:10 9:45 39 183
5/29/12 6:50 12:40am 47 230
5/30/12 7:10 10:25 41.75 271.75
5/31/12 6:40 12:20am 46 317.75
6/1/12 6:20 1:31am 40.75 358.5
6/2/12 7:20 3:00am 42.5 401
6/3/12 6:25 6:00am 39 440
6/4/12 6:00 10:30 45.75 485.75
6/5/12 7:15 11:30 45.5 531.25
6/6/12 6:45 6:05am 46.5 577.75
6/7/12 5:10 11:40 47.5 625.25
6/8/12 6:12 10:55 43.75 669
6/9/12 6:35 6:05am 35.75 704.75
6/10/12 6:45 10:15 42.25 747
6/11/12 6:25 11:05 40 787
6/12/12 6:40 11:00 31.75 818.75
6/13/12 6:15 10:45 38.25 857
6/14/12 7:25 10:45 38.25 895.5
6/15/12 6:33 10:40 42.5 938
6/16/12 7:09 10:27 38.5 967.5
6/17/12 5:43 10:50 47 1023.5
6/18/12 6:09 10:31 49 1075.5
6/19/12 6:07 10:37 44 116.5
6/20/12 5:56 7:55 43 1159.5
6/21/12 8:26 12:05am 47.25 1206.75
6/22/12 7:25 11:02 49 1255.75
6/23/12 6:20 11:40 45.25 1301
6/24/12 7:25 11:24 47.25 1348.25
6/25/12 6:23 11:30 48 1396.25
6/26/12 6:47 11:50 45 1441.25
6/27/12 8:50 11:32 43 1484.25
6/28/12 6:22 11:50 48 1532.25
6/29/12 6:37 11:13 50.75 1583
6/30/12 6:38 11:25 47 1630
7/1/12 6:50 11:55 44.25 1674.25
7/2/12 6:55 11:16 45.5 1719.75
7/3/12 7:02 11:00 46.5 1766.25
7/4/12 8:06 11:50 46 1812.25
7/5/12 7:03 11:30 35 1847.25
7/6/12 7:15 6:00 16.75 1864
Morning panorama of the the foggy Hat Creek Rim, CA, about 50 miles after the PCT Midpoint.

3 comments:

  1. Hey! Buckwheat here, PCT '09 (we didn't cross paths). Main question is, do you have a 2013 or 2014 speed attempt in the works? Your 2012 attempt shows you have a great chance at record. If you can get by on 6 hrs of sleep or less, that may be your main edge. Looking at your gear list, you could shed a substantial amount of weight without loss of comfort/functionality (albeit at some $$ cost). That might give you an additional bonus.

    Anyways, congrats on your achievement and looking forward to more news.

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    Replies
    1. Also wanted to mention, with modern dictation software (Dragon Dictation) you could potentially save yourself a lot of work in the future transcribing trail logs.

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    2. Hi Buckwheat!
      Thanks for your note. Currently, I'm thinking of a possible re-attempt in 2014. It'll depend on the snow etc, as I don't want to go SOBO (big snow year = probably won't do it). As for this year, 2013, I've got tentative plans on hiking the Hayduke Trail in the fall Sept/Oct. There is definitely some room for gear improvement and weight savings, ie cuben fiber pack and shelter and ditching a few other things, but it all worked for me and I really don't think it hurt me in the long run. Mental fatigue was the biggest factor in making my life miserable. However, I'm curious what some of your weight saving suggestions are.
      I've heard of Dragon and used it a little. I very well could help the transcription process, although the recordings are sometimes difficult to hear and vary in volume, so the software might have trouble? I did find that it took longer to go back and fix mistakes rather than make it "perfect" as I went. I think I'll give it a go next time!
      Cheers,
      Tuna Helper~

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