FKT: Alex Wright - Backbone Trail (CA) - 2020-06-16

Route variation
one way
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
14h 29m 47s

I started at 7:55 AM on the nose. My friend Andrew Tyler ran out with me the first few miles. The temps were cool but the humidity was over 90%. I made it to my first water stop 8 miles in within 1 min of my projected time.

On the climb up Boney Mountain, there was a fair amount of bushwhacking through scratchy chaparral. Mostly likely from a lack of trail maintenance.

I arrived at my first cache 22 miles in at Yerba Buena Rd and found that the water had been taken. Ironically, there was a trail maintenance crew nearby and I figured they took the water thinking it was trash. The next 11 miles would need to be done without water and without half of my nutrition, since 50% of my calories are taken in through nutritional drinks. Fortunately, I came across a stream 5 miles later (glad I brought my Katadyn BeFree filter).

32 miles in at Kanan Rd I was happy to see my cache was still there. It had water and nutrition for the remaining 37 miles. I was on track for a 12 hr finish and felt great.

I got lost around mile 55 in Topanga Canyon. There were a lot of side trails leading to neighborhoods without any markings and my map on Gaia was glitching – sometimes it just wouldn’t show up. This set me back about 15 minutes and added 1 mile.

When I got to Tippet Ranch, I was happy to see some friends who had come out to cheer me on. I was dehydrated and down about 2 hours of nutrition from an upset stomach. I decided to rest for about 30 minutes, drink up, and get some calories in before pushing on.

I felt good for the remaining 11 miles, but was slowed down significantly due to bushwhacking through overgrowth in the dark, which made it tough to see the trail. I finished strong and still had some fire left in me by the end.