FKT: Jamieson Hatt - La Cloche Trail (ON, Canada) - 2021-06-04

Route variation
out & back
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
2d 8h 51m 0s

The first thing I'll say is that this was an out and back, unsupported adventure. I started with everything I needed to finish. I DID NOT leave a food drop at the campground.  My base weight was a little over 9 lbs and my food weighed about 8 lbs. I started with no water and just waited for the streams.

I did a single go of this trail a few weeks earlier with some friends. It reminded me of how hard it just is! I have to thank that effort for my success in this attempt. It taught me to play it conservative and be smart. I thought before of doing a single push with a dirt nap for an out and back. Which I know can be done. With these current times though, I did not want to risk it. I first and foremost always want to finish and enjoy myself. This is all back backcountry with no roads, and the only chance to bail would be at my halfway point(campgound). So I decided to break this into 3 sections will 2 nights of full sleep. 

Day 1(37.7miles/7894feet of elevation gain)-I started at 4:51am on Wednesday. I chose to begin with the "easy" section on the west side. Things went well, although I was feeling the heat a little. I wore long pants and a long shirt to combat all of the bugs. Also, my bug net pretty much never came off the entire time. I got close up views of a moose and black bear early in the morning. I ate, drank, and climbed lots until I made it roughly 3/4 of the way. Which for myself doing an out and back, wasn't quite halfway. Time for some sleep. 

Day 2(37.6miles/8655feet of elevation gain)-Woke up at first light and got moving. This day would be the toughest day terrain wise. I would have to go down and then back up the crack. Going down it was all smooth sailing. The trail then gets a bit easier before my halfway(turnaround) point at the campground. Funny thing, I got attacked by a grouse. I saw the babies and mommy was going full attack mode on me. It got behind me and I turned around to see where it was, I then tripped over a root which caused me to fall and sprain my thumb. Best injury to have really since it didn't affect much. My yelling and flailing arms must have finally scared the bird away thankfully. I made it to my halfway point and turned right around and kept moving. I hadn't seen anyone on the trail up to this point until I got back on the crack portion. Then I saw quite a few people actually. Once I climbed up to the top, I was once again all alone and wanted to see how far I could make it that day. I ended up doing OK and knew I would only have about 20ish miles to do the next day.

Finish(21.5miles/3474feet of elevation gain)-Let's finish this thing! The bugs were really starting to get to me. Even fully clothed and my bug net on they were finding ways to bite me. I also knew the latter part of this day would get a lot easier terrain wise. I just wanted to enjoy the day and also try and move at a decent pace. I got to see another black bear which was cool. I brought 3 days of food to be safe, but really wanted to break 2.5 days. I realized that was going to happen. I didn't even end up eating a good amount of food. Better to be safe than sorry though. I'm really happy with how it all worked out. I finished back at the west side of the campground on Friday at 1:42PM. What an amazing, tough trail this is!