See Photos in Strava, include the photo on the true summit of Thielsen! couple videos here: https://www.instagram.com/p/CB_6Q8uHdAF/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
The "Diamond Double" is a super fun day out! This was an amazing one to get to establish on the FKT site.
Woke up late, skipped breakfast to get on the road, it was already hot by the time I got started (foreshadowing)...
After scouting a variation to shorten the amount of deep bushwhacking (but lengthening total running) between the Thielsen Trailhead and Diamond Lake, I chose to start where Silent Creek Trail intersects Diamond Lake Loop Road at the little pull-off. Went shirtless with 600ml of water and Tailwind Nutrition in my Ultimate Direction Hydro Shorts (which have integrated water and cellphone pocket), was happy to not have anything on with the heat that was already starting to build.
I chose to start with Mount Bailey, got off to a fabulous rolling start up and down Bailey. I had forgotten about the "keyhole" on Bailey that perfectly frames the lake and Mt. Thielsen. The trail is usually fast nearly all the way up, but I ran into snow on the last quarter of the way up which definitely cost me some time between it being slushy and losing the trail. Made for quick-goings on the the way down though.
Cruised the buttery-fast trails (probably a bit too fast) back down to my car, swapped water bottles...ate some gel-chews, pounded some extra water/tailwind (as I was already feeling the heat and lack of breakfast starting to take effect) then proceeded to try to hold a good tempo across the South Shore of Diamond Lake.
Took the link-up of forest roads and a short bushwhack to get to the Thielsen Trailhead where I had a cached bottle of Tailwind, drank half, left the rest there.
The first mile up Thielsen went alright, even with downed trees to hurdle, but about 1.2 miles up the wheels came off the bus and cramping started. Shifted down to a walk. My silly morning decisions were now hitting me full force. I grinded on, occasionally stopping to enjoy the view while massaging out cramps in various major muscle groups. Made the summit of Thielsen in far from my fastest time ever from TH to Summit. On a positive note, it is impossible to not be in awe of how the whole world drops away from you for thousands of feet when you reach the true summit of Thielsen. (Seriously, look at photos). I cruised back down, staying away from being too aggressive to stave off any worse cramps.
Snagged my bottle at the TH, and carried it with the intention of using it to fill and pour over myself at one of the spigots along the lake, which felt AMAZING.
All in all, I loved this route. There may have been someone who has completed this on foot faster in the past. I was on a great pace for the first half, but gave up some time on the second half.
Moral of the story, Eat breakfast and start before the heat
Car to Bailey summit: 1:24:02
Bailey Summit to Thielsen Summit: 3:38:03
Total Time: 6:55:39
If I were to run it again, I would start from the South Shore of Diamond Lake so I could enjoy a swim in Diamond Lake when I finished without any driving.
I think that any fit runner with a good head for exposed scrambling who can manage a 3:20 marathon, could potentially pull this route off in sub-6 hours.
I think someone with great legspeed and a good head could likely see sub-5
It's up here now, Who's Next?
Ultimate Direction Hydro Short with multiple 300ml flasks I swapped out throughout the day
Ultimate Direction 500ml Bottle
Tailwind Nutrition - about 600 calories throughout the day
Ultimate Direction FK Ultra Poles- used on Bailey, probably not necessary for this route
Celebrated the finish line with:
Athletic Brewing "Wild Ride" non-alcoholic IPA at the finish www.athleticbrewing.com (code: JASONH20 for 20% off your first order)
I love how good Athletic Brewing tastes after a big effort, while still not having the alcohol
Tailwind Rebuild: Chocolate and Vanilla mixed
Top Ramen: dry, right out of the package