FKT: Aubri Drake, Justin Martino-Harms - Long 7 Sisters 22 (MA) - 2021-12-04

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 29m 58s

We met at Harris Mtn Rd and got a start around 10:30am, each carrying 2.5 liters of water. We didn't bring our headlamps or water filters, assuming we would finish in 6 hours or less and the day would be cool enough we wouldn't need too much water. 

We went hard in the first 2 miles in our excitement. We slowed down after that and settled into a more sustainable rhythm. The dry oak leaves made for some oddly slippery conditions and hiding rocks underneath; they also made the trail harder to see. We ended up off trail a handful of times, but never more than 100'. We made the road turnaround point just a bit past 1:30pm.

With the turnaround, we then had to climb all the way back up to Mt Holyoke and then back over the Seven Sisters course. It was a rough slog, but we made the best of it. By the time we descended to the Notch, it became clear we'd be racing daylight. The sun had just set as we passed the summit of Long Mountain, and we ran downhill towards the finish as quick as our legs and the oak leaves would let us. The descent was in the mountain's shadow, so it was already darker than most of the surrounding area. Halfway to the road from Long Mountain, we had to pull out our phones to use as flashlights.

We arrived at the road around 5pm, glad for the water awaiting us in the car. It was a tough course, but it was a lot of fun to see how hard we could push ourselves. I definitely underestimated exactly how challenging this would be. I'd definitely bring my water filter next time.

It was interesting to compare this run to other challenging runs in the White Mountains, since there aren't any other local runs that compare. The Long Seven Sisters route is 735' of change/mile, with 370' gain/mile. A Pemi Loop is 633' change/mile, with 316' gain/mile. A Hut Traverse is almost identical in elevation (while much more technical), at 740' change/mile, with 363' gain/mile. A Swan Song (which is the most technical thing I've ever done) is 1139' change/mile, with 569' gain/mile.