Kit: Leki Micro Trial Vario Carbon Poles, Dynafit Ultra 100s, COROS VERTIX, Tailwind Nutrition, Justin's Honey Almond Butter, NW Alpine Gear Rock Hoody, Path Projects Sykes Shorts and Torch Base Liner
3pm - get off work in Klamath falls, drive to MFR
5:10pm - arrive at MFR
5:20pm - through security already, await flight
5:40pm - flight leaves to SEA
7:10pm - flight touches down, do some quick googling to find a nearby gate with an earlier flight, get a seat, let Rob know I will touch down in PSP at 10:30pm instead of midnight.
10:30pm - touch down, find Rob, bathroom, eat a burrito, prep kit and hydration
12:00am - try to sleep a few hours near C2C trailhead, broken sleep at best
3:30am - Wake up down some simple calories
~3:59am - Start from Museum Lot in front of North Springs Sign (photos in Strava)
~4:21am - arrive at “Bench”
~5:30am - arrive at “First Top Ridge”
~8:05am - arrive at top of steepest climbing near tram, cruise to ranger station (stop off at ranger station to fill out permit)
~ 9:15am - refill water at spring two miles up trail from ranger station
~10:09am - arrive at First Summit of San Jacinto
~ 10:40am stop off at spring on Deer Springs trail to refill water again
~12:44pm - arrive at Deer Spring Trailhead turn around point (it was hot)
~ 3:22pm - Stop at spring along DS trail again, Meet Marquis and Chad who are doing the same route as us in the opposite direction!!! WILD!!!
~ 4:33pm - arrive back at San Jacinto Peak
~ 5:20pm - refill again at spring above ranger station
~ 5:46pm - pass by ranger station and drop off permit stub
~ 9:00 pm - finish back at North Springs sign in Museum Lot. (it was HOT)
~9pm - ~10:30pm - get Jason fed and Rob rehydrated/cooled off
~11pm - get to Rob’s house, eat more, hydrate more, shower, socialize about adventure, try not to have Rob be in trouble with his wife ;)
~12am - 4:30am - Sleep
4:30am - wake and drive to airport
~ 5:10am - enter airport, go through security, wait for flight
~6 am - nod off on flight to SFO
7:30 - nap in SFO
~10 am - catch flight to MFR
~12:30 - hit the ground in Medford, meet up with ashly, go get a little shake out walk jog then drive back to klamath falls
~7pm - arrive back in Kfalls
For more details on the day read Rob’s report below
Kit: Black Diamond Z Poles, UD Adventure Vest 5, NF Vectiv Enduris Shoes, Coros Apex, Adidas Running shorts, shirt and hat, Infinit Nutrition Go Far, Stinger Waffles, 2L Bladder, 2 17oz soft flasks
I reached out to Jason concerning a different route and through conversation found out that we both had our eyes on the SJT O&B for the spring, so we decided to team up. Since I was the local, I would pick him up when he flew into town. My friends joked that it was the ultimate blind date. I picked him up at 10:30pm with breakfast burritos and we drove the 10 min to the trailhead. Already, streams of headlamps could be seen ascending the lower section of the trail. We hoped to get 3-4 hours sleep, but with constant new comers pulling to park, pull gear, talk and start on their trip, 2 hours is probably all I got.
Woke up at 3:30am and started up at 4am. It felt a bit warm coming off the desert floor. The air temp was supposed to be high 60s but with heat radiating from the rocks from the prior day’s sun, the first 3k felt much less comfortable. We passed a lot of people heading up (40?), and most were kind to step aside or call out, “Fast hikers!” We continued to make good progress until the last 1500 ft below Grubbs Notch when I started to notice my heart rate climbing excessively. I realized I stopped fueling efficiently and it sent me over the 200 range. I had to slow down a bit which hurt our time on the last stretch up the Skyline portion of the trail. As Jason filled out the permit at the ranger station, I laid on my back with my feet up for a minute and got back into better condition to pick the pace back up. Since this was an unsupported effort, out water came from two sources. Our first stop, before hitting the San Jacinto peak (10,834 ft) was the spring at Round Valley. After finishing our ascent to the peak, taking in the incredible views and a little conversation with others, we ran down to our other spring crossing 2.5 miles toward the town of Idyllwild on the other side.
We were making pretty good time, but could feel the temps rising as we dropped below 6500 ft. We snapped a couple of pics at the 243 Hwy, turned around and silently dreaded the return through the still warm air and little shade for the next 1500 ft. Not much was said through that portion. We just focused on moving forward. We were confusing people however, when they would see us on our ascent, having just seen us passing them on our descent to Idyllwild. We would run by and they would call out, “Looking good!”, “Keep going”!, “Almost there!”, only to see us come back up and hear us make jokes about forgetting a cell phone on the peak or something. If I had a dollar for every time I heard “almost there” with a half-convincing smile, I could’ve paid for the 2 packs of Tailwind Jason gave me.
The craziest part was when we returned to the spring 2.5 miles before our 2nd ascent of SJ. As we watered up, two guys stopped by and we greeted each other. They asked how it was going and we said it was good and it was a “big day”. We told them what we were doing and you could see the wheels turning. They started telling us what they were doing too, and to both our surprise, we figured out we were doing the same FKT route but in opposite directions! What are the odds?! The route has been sitting on the FKT site for a long time with no takers, and BOOM, two groups go for the OKT/FKT. (Mad Props to Marquis and Chad) Well, we knew they would get the OKT since they were closer to the finish, but it looked like if all went well, we should end up with the FKT, so time to go….
We finished out 2nd ascent of SJ, stretched out a bit to prepare for the loooong descent and got moving. We were making good time on our way to our last water stop at Round Valley, but just before reaching the spring, my leg punched through one of the dense snow patches causing my knee to hyper-extend. Painful! Thankfully no rips or pops, just pain. After fueling up, I had to start off a tad slower but was able to regain full mobility after a few minutes.
Dropping down Grubb’s Notch is the final 8k of drop in about 9 miles. The top section is a bit technical, so after all the miles accumulated to that point, it can hammer you a bit if you’re pushing downhill. I had re-torn my medial meniscus a month prior but it had been feeling much better until I caught a rock below Grubb’s and tweaked it sideways. At this point, with the finish so close, I just stopped to throw a brace on and kept going. Below Table Rock, the trail grade mellows a bit and we picked up the pace again. I had a toenail coming off (lost 4 by the end) and felt it digging in to my skin with every step so I tried tearing it off but, with no luck, put my shoe back on and kept running. I caught back up to Jason as we started down the final 4k that forms like a wall above the desert floor. The sun had gone down but the temps were warm and we were aiming for a sub 17hr finish. Jason kept his eyes on the remaining mileage as I would call out our current time, all while flying down this difficult and dark path to the end. We knew we could make it if we gave it everything, but I started to get nervous when I ran out of water 2 miles to the end. In that last half mile, my body started slightly shutting down. I started to notice Jason’s headlamp moving further from me in the last couple of minutes while hearing him encourage me, “You got this!” It was a rough finish for sure, but thankfully, we got it done! We took a pic at the bottom sign and I looked like I just pounded 10 shots of Cuervo! Thankfully, Jason was staying at my house that night, because I had to have him drive me home. I was spent for sure. Had a great time with Jason crushing and getting crushed on this route!
I am stoked to be partnering with the following brands as I finish the Journey to 100 FKTs and on throughout the amazing adventures of 2021: