FKT: Brannon Forrester - Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley (CA) - 2021-06-28

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5h 43m 41s

Half Backcountry Bliss, half backcountry humble pie!

An absolutely beautiful route, and a stunning tour of the Yosemite high country.  The views from Clouds Rest are iconic!

I felt great at the start, and pushed it a bit to get the Strava segment from the Cathedral Lakes trailhead to Clouds Rest.  The descent to the Merced crossing at Nevada Falls is mostly runnable, and I was hoping to make up more time here, but I suddenly began experiencing stabbing pains in my right ankle!  It was only on the heel strike, and I found that by landing on my toes, I could continue running at a decent pace, but running downhill with a toe strike began to blister up my toes and balls of my feet.

I stopped at the Merced to refill a water bottle (treated with iodine), and soak my shirt and hat.  Figuring I only had 10 miles left and I could walk the climbs (my ankle felt ok walking as well), I would still be able to come in under 6 hours at least, so I gritted my teeth and kept on going.

The heat wave was in full effect on the climb from Illilouette Falls to Glacier Point, and I realized I hadn't brought enough water!  90 degrees in the direct sun at 8,000 ft felt awful, but I finally hit the drinking fountain (right on the trail!) at Glacier Point and refilled and doused my head, and started running down the Four Mile trail on my toes.  At that point, I didn't care what my feet looked like as long as I was in the shade!

Finished with some new twinges in my left leg from overcompensating, but I finished nonetheless, and spent the rest of the afternoon in the river.  Thank you Yosemite for a humbling and awesome experience!

Began with 2 16oz handrunners and a small 16oz gatorade/redbull mix in my pack.  Refilled at the Merced River and at Glacier Point, but still finished very dehydrated.  Ate 5 220 cal Spring energy gels.


Brannon you are awesome. I am glad I learned from the master about the Red Bull/ Gatorade mix. It is my favorite hiking energy booster!