On Sunday July 30th I completed the AMC 3 Huts Loop unsupported. I carried all my own food and filtered water.
I chose to start and end at Nineteen Mile Brook Trailhead. I set off at about 6am down route 16 to the Great Gulf Trailhead to get the presis done first.
This entire summer has been very hot and humid and unseasonably wet and rainy. However, it was a crisp 50 degrees that morning. The higher summits forecast had called for high winds and temperatures close to 30, rising to 40. Clouds were thick and moving quickly once I finally broke above treeline. I put on all the layers I had: a light sweatshirt, shell, buff, and gloves. For a while it was very unpleasant up there. I got really cold and hit a low early on. Luckily, it finally started to clear up once I got to Jefferson. Winds were whipping still, but the sun felt warm.
Once I started to descend down from the presis I could feel the warm air again. It was only in the low 70s, but after being in the cold temps all morning it felt quite warm.
Climbing up Wildcat Ridge Trail is never fun. This time it was even less so. Endless ups, endless PUDS. That range is so brutal. After Wildcat D I ended up stopping to chat with some thru hikers. It's always super fascinating to hear about their experiences. Maybe not the best thing to do while you're trying to set an FKT, though.
Finally once I got down to Carter Notch Hut it was mostly smooth sailing on out. There was lots of what felt like swimming through mud on this side, but that's been the theme all summer. I was relieved once I could hear the traffic on 16 and made it back to my car.
This is quite the route. The elevation gain is no joke. However, my time is definitely very soft. I spent a lot of time dealing with layers and getting knocked around by wind in the morning. With it being a weekend the trails were annoyingly crowded which slowed me down more than I would have liked. My advice? Pick a day when it's not 30 degrees and 50mph winds and not on the weekend. Regardless, I had so much fun playing around in the mountains all day.