Who would enjoy running this FKT course? Someone with a solid send downhill who enjoys really runnable Catskills trails.
Trail conditions: We had near perfect trail conditions out there today - what a blessing! Trail was clear and dry except for a few places past Diamond Notch that are a bit boggy. Logs placed throughout make it easy to traverse. The cairn marking the herd path to SW Hunter was no longer there, but we had no trouble finding Leavitt. Going counterclockwise, if you get to the lean-to, you've gone too far. There is a still a flat slab rock where the cairn used to sit that marks the path to SW Hunter.
Report: We were the first ones to arrive to the trailhead on this bright warm morning. We opted to do the loop counterclockwise given previous reports about the horse trail (last 3 miles) being more runnable. My teammate Matt and I are happy downhill runners so we felt this direction would be more strategic for us. We enjoyed the push up from the trailhead, though very rocky not quite a difficult ascent compared to other climbs in the Catskills. The herd path leading to SW Hunter was straight up fun - I love a rocky, rooty single track!! Then gentler incline from Leavitt up to Hunter was beautiful and the smell of pine was a welcome surprise. We climbed the firetower, took some great views on this rather clear day, then made our way to the downhill. Thank you to Mike Siudry, Ben Nephew, and Jen Thomas for their previous reports of this route - it was so fun adventuring here today.
MAD RESPECT to Ja Shua Reid's run of this loop just 2 days ago in which he pulled a 17:43 for the downhill segment - AMAZING, MAN!! The horse trail downhill is loose rocks and I'm in awe of anyone holding a sub-6 minute mile down that track. Well done.