6/16/2022 FKT ON SST.
2 Days ago (6/14) it snowed a foot up high. I went to scout Hunt Lake zone to find out I was in full winter conditions. Absolutely dumping. I went as far as I could see and turned around way before the lake. Saw the boulders were melted out besides new snow and figured they'd be doable in a couple days of melt. 6/15 I went over to Fault Lake to check that one. I ended up climbing about 2k through new and old snow to look at a frozen Fault Lake and look down on Hunt lake. The cirque surrounding Fault was shedding a ton of new snow. I decided I would bypass Fault during my FKT because theres no trail (4-5feet of snow) and Avi conditions on a couple of pitches surrounding the area would've been a little sketchy. After looking down on Hunt Lake I realized immediately that the route was in, but, had to be done tomorrow (6/16) Due to snow melt and it warming up to 80 on Friday. The weather said go NOW while the snow can support you from post holing to your neck. After 11 miles and 4k of scouting I decided I had to put my attempt up the next day even though I was not going to be fresh.
I didn't scout the first 10 miles at all. There's a rumor of a long lost White Mountain Trail (ICT) that's been hidden due to massive logging operations in the area. The last people to do this FKT and attempt it never found the trail. I ran into a local around 10PM and told him what I was planning on doing and he gave me beta on how to find the trail. We didn't look at any maps together but figured I'd try to find it based on the information he gave me. Sure enough I trekked through logging and walked right up on the trail. Flow state route finding in a sense. I was banking on finding this trail to really help with route time and distance. It did. The trail was unmaintained and several parts I did extreme bushwhacking to get through. I doubt anybody has been on it in years. I was mad stoked to follow that trail to the top of White and over to Dodge.
During the traverse to Dodge I followed lion scat the entire few miles. Lots of fresh tracks in the wet, muddy, ground from the recent snow and rain. After getting on top of Dodge I dropped down the north face until I hit the forest service road. That long downhill was a beating after pushing it all of the way to dodge. As soon as I got down and started my climb back up the lactic acid went away and I was back to cruising. I freshened up in the river and refilled water ect.
Bypassing Fault lake was 100% the move given the current conditions. The snow climb and travel was exactly what I expected.. A long slog. It zapped my energy nice and good. I was able to glissade most of the way to Hunt Lake which was fun. From the lake to the trail head most of the boulders were covered in snow so I was able to travel easily besides a few hundred yards. I traveled a coupled hundred yards of boulders. From the TH down to Priest lake was long and boring to be honest. The miles were too flat for my liking. Used to a lot more steeps up and down.
Awesome adventure. Someone else go and get some!
*Open course - Get from McArthur Lake to Priest lake. I followed the other route for the most part expect the Fault Lake bypass and some extra steep bushwhacking to cut out a few miles.