This route is extraordinary.
It’s essentially characterized by tracing the interface between the Snake and Teton river basins, while never crossing a road. My unsupported solo Southbound travel along this route blended a diversity of natural movement-types, each cuing a distinct mode of inspection of landscape (eg, topography, geology, plant and animal ecology, meteorology, physiology, cognition), as well as a healthy degree of endurance.
The route presents innumerable exposed climbing sections, which deserve deliberate exact movement and attention to stability of rock.
- I scouted most of these sections earlier this season.
The route also presents innumerable opportunities for playful graceful movement, as well as bits of exploration.
- The environment was continually `popping’ for me:
- fauna eyes, predator prints;
- mica rich granite;
- pika chirps;
- geraniums & paintbrush;
- sharp Paleozoic limestone;
- shivering tanning green grasses;
- terminal little lakes encased by a veneer of top-soil atop old-but-not-ancient moraine;
- arresting information-rich skylines;
- precambrian pink swirls with black flakes;
- permanent clinging snow fields feeding turquoise lakes;
- clock-like Easterly then Westerly wind;
- moon rising, obscuring, glowing, and falling behind smoke-oranged horizon;
- sparse massive rain-drops;
- vertical Earth.
Given all this, a preoccupation with time strikes me, especially for this route, as dangerous and as missed opportunity. I moved efficiently while safely and playfully, indulging in exploring slightly more aggressive lines and saturating my vision with wildflowers. Once at Table Mountain, I started making decisions based on time.
A wise traveler of this route intending to set an FKT would
- consider scouting the technical sections and/or working with somebody familiar with them,
- research and identify where water can be collected,
- carry at least 2 liters of water capacity.
The fall-out of repeated long periods of rationing water fumbled my flow of running (constipation > build-up of gas > stabbing tummy pains > repeated squats over cat-holes), and I watched the 24-hour time-frame eclipse me. I’d be happy to work with somebody considering traveling this route without sacrificing safety or play, to complete it in under 24 hours.