Route: Art Loeb Trail (NC)

Location
North Carolina, US
Distance
31 mi
Vertical Gain
9,200 ft
Description

https://www.hikewnc.info/trailheads/pisgah-national-forest/long-distance/art-loeb-trail/

  • 30.1 miles
  • 9000+ elevation gain
  • starts at Davidson River Campground just North of Brevard, NC
  • ends at the Daniel Boone Boy Scouts Camp at the foot of Cold Mountain in the Shining Rock Wilderness (Northbound is the official direction)


From browsing Web logs, the trail is run regularly at 7+ hours. There seems to be an annual run called ALTAR (Art Loeb Trail Adventure Run) that happens the Saturday before the winter solstice.

 

GPS Track

Comments

Anyone know the women one way FKT?

I have correspondence indicating that Cheri Rosenblatt (who has the Shut-In course record) put down an extremely fast time back in 1998, but I can't find an exact number anywhere. Strava lists Julie Doll as having the southbound CR with an 8:43, but that was a pretty casual run (I was a part of it). We were with a friend who had run it northbound the day prior, plus we stopped a couple of times to wait on friends to catch up. Safe to say we weren't exactly pushing the pace.

Strava lists the northbound women's CR as Tara Jordan at 10:29, but that was also super casual (I was also a part of that run) plus the northbound segment skips the easy part at the beginning from the parking lot to the second bridge. There was a big group of us that day including 6 women, but the segment only registered for Tara, thus shaking any confidence one might have of using Strava segments for this sort of thing in the first place.

Given the number of easily made wrong turns on the route, any claim should be subject to a fair amount of scrutiny. I think some sleuthing would probably turn up quite a few sub-8 runs and possibly some sub-7 runs. I definitely true women's fastest time as of now is definitely under 7 hours, but I doubt it'll be "known" in the context of the title of this website. All of that said, I know a very fast woman who is presently doing course recon in preparation for an attempt (I'm not naming any names) so I would expect there to be an entry posted before too long.

At some point we need to record Morgan Elliott’s 14:09 for the out/back (yo-yo)! 
 

 

It has been brought to my attention that a section of the trail was incorrectly marked on OpenStreetMap.org (OSM). As a result there's some confusion as to which is correct and there's a disparity in the actual routes taken by athletes claiming FKTs. Untold numbers of services use data pulled from OSM for their mapping products, including popular route building services like Strava, Caltopo, and Gaia GPS. In addition, the trail in this section is poorly blazed and is only clearly indicated if traveling southbound.

The section in question is between the summits of Black Balsam Knob and Tennent Mountain. Previously OSM had labeled the more direct path as being part of the Art Loeb Trail, whereas the less direct, roughly "S" shaped section is actually correct. For confirmation, anyone is welcome to check the Forest Service map available here or visit the actual trail and note the wooden sign that's visible when traveling southbound. As of today, I've edited OSM to reflect the correct route. That said, services using OSM data can take quite some time to reflect any changes.

As to how this impacts FKTs, the actual difference in distance traveled is minimal (0.24 miles) and, while the incorrect route is indeed faster, it's not significantly so (perhaps 2 or 3 minutes at FKT pace). Given the incorrect map data, I don't think it would be reasonable to flag/penalize any previous attempts for having used the incorrect route. I just wanted to write this to draw attention to the issue in the hope that athletes will make note of the correct route when planning future attempts.

I'm planning to make a solo unsupported fkt attempt on April 17th, 2021.

I'm planning on attempting the solo unsupported fkt attempt may 8-10th. Haven't decided actual date yet. Does anyone know the current fkt? 

I'm planning an out and back run on 5/10 starting at Davidson River. My husband will meet me at the Scout Camp for support where I will turn around. I will be solo and unsupported otherwise. 

Just seeing this page. I know several people who have gone sub 7 through the 20 years we've done ALTAR. Most years the run is self supported due to road closures and conditions. My PR 6:42 was in 2007 self supported. Not always fast, 2009 took us 16+ hours... Winter can be tough! Probably the most impressive performance I've witnessed in 20 years of ALTAR is Morgan's 14 hour double! Have fun and be safe! https://photos.app.goo.gl/RxisoGfCUqosjBh26

Just seeing this page. I know several people who have gone sub 7 through the 20 years we've done ALTAR. Most years the run is unsupported due to road closures and conditions. My PR 6:42 was in 2007 unsupported. Not always fast, 2009 took us 16+ hours... Winter can be tough! Probably the most impressive performance I've witnessed in 20 years of ALTAR is Morgan's 14 hour double! Have fun and be safe! https://photos.app.goo.gl/RxisoGfCUqosjBh26

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YO-YO Unsupported FKT attempt tomorrow on October 18th, 2021 starting at Davidson River. 🤙 not a women's time so just going to go out there and push as hard as I can. (All hiking) would like to go sub 30 hours if possible.