Here is Alex MacPhail's 2007 account of his 1963 trip (from www.vftt.org/forums/showthread.php?18973-A-M-C-Hut-to-Hut-traverses/page4&pp=15&highlight=traverse):
I left Madison Hut at 5:30 am on August 16, 1963 (didn't log in), timing myself with two devices, including a stop watch in a cardboard case that I recorded Hut2Hut times and a Movado wrist watch for total elapsed time (12 hrs. 11 mins.). The difference in Hut2Hut time versus elapsed time was 40 minutes accounting for 10 min.-long rests at Pinkham, Lakes , Zool, and Ghoul.
I wore a "fanny pack" containing the stop watch, an ace bandage, a Gerry squeeze tube containing evaporated milk that I replenished at each hut, and 3 to 4 fig newton bars that I also replenished at each hut. At each hut I ate a large bowl of Elberta cling peaches, and at Ghoul I ate a ham and cheese sandwich and drank lots of water and a cup of cocoa.
I wore my black Limmer's from Madison to Carter and then switched to Adidas (Romas named after the Rome Olympics) track shoes for most of the trip. I switched off three pairs of Adidas. One pair fell completely apart on the A-Z Trail. I wore my brown Limmer's from Ghoul to Flea and Adidas from Flea to Lonesome.
My route and times were as follows:
From Mad House I went down the Madison Gulf Tr to the Great Gulf Tr to the Glen House then up the Aqueduct Tr to 19 Mile Brook Tr. to Cata (1 hr. 55 mins.)
From Cata I took the Wildcat Ridge Tr to the gondola station and ran down the Wildcat Ski Tr to Rt. 16 and then ran up the road to Pinkham (1hr. 15 mins [3 hrs. 10 mins.]) arriving there at 8:40 am.
I rested/ate at Pinkham for 10 mins and then climbed to Lakes via Tuckerman's (47 mins. [4 hrs. 7 mins.]) arriving at 9:37 am and rested at Lakes for 10 mins.
From Lakes I took the Crawford Path, Webster Cliff Tr (To Mizpah Shelter) and Mizpah Cut-off, and the A-Z Tr to Zealand (Zool) arriving there a few minutes after noon (2 hrs. 15 mins. [6 hrs. 32 mins.]).
I took a quick bath in the river at Zool before proceeding on to Galehead (Ghoul) arriving there at 2:04 pm (1 hr. 52 mins. [8 hrs. 34 mins.]) I was getting cramps in my thighs and calves and I rested at Ghoul for 20 mins. and rehydrated.
Ghoul to the Flea was the most difficult part of the trip. The rest at Ghoul was not long enough but I was trying for a time of under 12 hours or an average speed of 4-5 mph and needed to keep moving. I left Ghoul at 2:25 pm and arrived at the Flea at 4:40 pm. I rested less than 5 minutes, just long enough to change shoes again.
I made it from Flea to Lone (the old hut on the north side of the lake) in 57 minutes arriving there at 5:41 pm for a total elapsed time of 12 hrs 11 mins, 15 minutes longer than my target time.
I then went to Jo's Snack Bar in Twin Mountain and ate/drank two cheeseburgers and two or three milkshakes and was back at Pinkham by 8 pm. -- Alex MacPhail
After finally getting a fast go on the standard route, I must say, your split from Lakes to Zealand is bonkers fast! I thought I was moving along well and purposefully hammered over Mount Tom and I was 16 minutes off the back of your pace. I came through Zealand in 5:55 and Liam recently came through in 6:31. Looks like we both may have had a little more juice on the second half as it took each of us just over 5 hours to reach Lonesome from Zealand.
I've been holding out on the Wildcats for another adventure, I'd love to try the classic MacPhail route as it means getting to not only spend a night up at Madison, but the course goes right by Tucks (my second home after Zealand).
Kudos Alex. Thanks for keeping the history and tradition of this run alive.