FKT: Anna Maxwell, Emily Hamlin - South Sister Summit and Circumnavigation (OR) - 2021-07-22

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
10h 31m 26s

Where to start… we had planned to attempt to summit all three sisters, but people did not want any part of the class four scramble up north sister. So… change of plans. Then I saw South Sister Summit then Circumnav - on the fkt website summited by A Trail Running Guy. So that was the plan. Emily’s longest run up to this point was her marathon last year (in which she got an Olympic trials qualifier) and I had run Loowit 5 days ago (7:19), so we knew this wasn't going to be a super fast attempt. 

 The summit of sisters was great:  2 miles good trail running  from the TH, then 2 or 3 miles of power walking in sandy/rocky stuff. I think we made it to the top of South Sister in about 1:33 ( Emily dropped my ass on the way up and I dropped her on the way down- classic). By the time we got off sisters and were on the loop we were around 10/11 miles in. Miles 11-17 were mostly downhill and just solid nice miles on fab single track trail. The only complaint was there were a lot of downed trees to jump. We stopped at a river around halfway  which was amazing! I carried about 3.5 liters of water but was worried I was going to run out as we had 18 miles left so I filled up my bottles with unfiltered river water.. yes I did drink at least one bottle of this water ( turned out just fine but wouldn't recommend). After this stop Emily took over the lead and crushed it ie dropped me constantly on the uphills for miles 17-20 ish. Around 20 there was a lake and we went on the longer route on the left side which was not actually a route which was annoying. I stopped my watch here so it’s a mile off (which is why I submitted Emily's strava and not mine). Mile 20-24 were annoying because I started getting a side stitch and then more ab cramping. Problem was solved by the real MVP - salt/ electrolyte tab. Miles 25-30 were better because we actually talked and my cramps stopped, these miles were stunning as well. Great single track trails though lupin fields. Took another break at 30. There was so much beautiful stuff out there! Lupin meadows, wide open pumice fields along the PCT trail (: we walked the last mile till the turn off back to the devils lake TH because Emily hadn't brought enough food or water and bonked hard. Then on the last two miles we ran into an amazing trail runner for Brooks who lives in Bend (Mario Mendoza who I think has the South Sister Summit FKT) and got to chat with him on our final miles. Biggest take away- salt / electrolyte tabs are extremely important on long, hot sandy treks like this. There were more than enough places to get water if you came prepare for that, even in late July. No snow. Just need a crew to go clear some trees and this would be perfect. Much more enjoyable than a Mt. St Helens Summit and Loowit circumnav would have been simply because the trail is much better.