FKT: Cayla Kolbe, Emily Walsh - Presidential Traverse (NH) - 2021-06-17

Route variation
Presidential Picnic
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
12h 28m 4s

On Thursday, June 17th, 2021, we set out to complete the Presidential Picnic. The night before (June 16), we stashed our bikes at the AMC Highland Center at Crawford Notch, locking them up in the bike rack outside of the building. We left our helmets and bike shorts with them. On Thursday morning, we woke up pretty early, and got to the Appalachia trailhead around 4:45am. We officially started the trail at 4:57am. We ascended via Valley Way, although we did make a wrong turn pretty early on and had to backtrack a tiny bit to get back on the correct trail. We got up to the Madison Spring Hut around 6:45am, and stopped to refill water bottles at the public tap. We then ascended Madison and continued through the traverse, hitting Adams, Jefferson, Clay, Washington (stopped for water here), Monroe, Eisenhower, and Pierce. We then descended via the Crawford Path, coming out onto the highway and walking across the road to the AMC Highland Center. Here, we refilled water and used the public bathrooms to change into our bike shorts. We did spend a considerable amount of time pulling ourselves together before setting out on the bike - this was not a quick stop, but I did keep my watch rolling the whole time (although I did stop my watch and change it over from "Run" to "Bike"). We then biked back to the car, following US-302 W to US-3 N to NH-115 N to US-2 E. We got back to the car at 5:25:04pm, where we had friends waiting for us. We carried all of our own food, and just collected water from the public taps throughout the day. 

This is definitely a soft FKT. We spent most of the hike portion walking, and only ran a few descents and moderate sections of the trail. I also did the bike portion on a mountain bike, which was pretty brutal and significantly slower. It definitely held us back from moving more quickly. The weather was super clear, but definitely very, very windy throughout the trail. We also faced a significant headwind on the bike section.