FKT: Chris Fisher, Erin Ton - Zion Downhill (UT) - 2022-11-22

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 59m 38s

We set out with the plan of doing this as a team effort between Me, Erin Ton, Jason Hardrath and Ashley Winchester but on the way to the starting line snow began to become deeper and the roads becoming more covered. Jason and Ashley concluded that their van probably couldn’t make it up the road and we started to think it might be a no go for everyone. I pitched the idea of letting Erin and I continue and having them park my Truck at the finish line, where their van was. I’m happy that they allowed us to go for this FKT and glad Erin was up for the adventure.

Around 7am we started up the snowy road, roughly 1.7 miles up the closed and snowy road, heading to the starting line. We followed Jason’s previous FKT gpx route. We decided to put our spikes on at the beginning so we wouldn’t have to mess with them later. We expected to be out of the snow fast as we began dropping elevation from the very beginning but man, we were wrong. We wore our spikes until about mile 16/17 before taking them off for good. As the route describes, there are mile long stretches of dense bushwacking on steep up and downhills. The narrower stretches of the canyons were filled with ice and snow which caused us to move a little bit slower.

After a little bit of route finding in some areas we continued for some time until we finally reached the warmth of the sun and dry ground for the remainder of the route. It was quite enjoyable and within a couple of minutes in the sun we cracked a Yerba Matte to get a quick energy boost, yum. The dry ground was much faster to move across even though there was still no trail and bushwacking for majority of the exit. On a steep downhill section, I rolled my ankle, that was fun, and after a few miles it started to feel pretty good again.

With the last couple of miles being a trail, we decided to speed our pace up just a bit to try and break the 8-hour mark, sure enough after I cropped the activity (cropped the 1.7mile entry to the start line) our time was set at 7:59:38, breaking the previous mixed gender time by about 8 hours I believe. IT was an epic adventure, and the views were spectacular. What a day to spend in a new to me zone, Zion NP.