FKT: Jason Hardrath - Washington Bulgers (WA) - 2021-08-03

Athletes
Route variation
Standard route
Multi-sport
No
Gender category
Male
Style
Supported
Start date
Finish date
Total time
50d 23h 43m 0s
Report

Short: 50 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes for 869.77 miles with 411,757 feet of gain, putting in 594 hours of foot time...largely off-trail on bushwhacks, ridge climbs, talus fields, scree slopes, glaciers, and open forest.

This was a harrowing undertaking, the 100 tallest peaks of Washington (Bulgers List) for my 100th FKT, a cumulative test of all the skills I had refined in my 99 prior FKTs and so so so much more. 

First off some massive thanks are in order,

I have to profusely thank Ashly Winchester (IG) for single-handedly providing basecamp, resupply, driving, cooking, and even occasionally massage support during the course of these 100 peaks.  Ashly, this wouldn't have been possible without you!!! Thank you for carrying a heavy pack so that I could do big peak link-ups with a light one. Thank you for caring. Thank you for your pervasive stoke, and your love for being out there exploring. Your tenacity and compassion are unmatched. Its a rare person who has both the desire to help/be a part AND the strength to actually follow through on it (not to mention actually being excited about what you were experiencing through the process). Mind, Body, and Spirit you are an amazing person Ashly Winchester! 

Also, Nathan Longhurst, you were an unbelievable climbing partner.  Being a kid (21 yrs old) who showed up on day one to run and tag some peaks with me after some short instagram messages back and forth, to climbing 65 Bulgers together over the course of this effort is insane. We forged a friendship thorough a very firey crucible that few could endure. Your partnership out there was unspeakably important.  You are an amazing young man.  I am happy that my preplanned logistics, funds, and drive for this project has helped you to become the youngest person to ever finish the entire Bulgers List AND the second person to ever finish the whole list in a season. It makes me immensely proud that my efforts elevated and empowered you too.  It makes this record all the sweeter. I hope we have many more mountains and FKTs in our future. 

Bill Shufelt and Athletic Brewing Company, Bill your support with some of the prohibitive costs of this project for myself and my 21 year old climbing partner was awesome.  I never imagined to find myself on a sponsored expedition.  But your contributions helped keep fuel in the van, cover boat costs, and kept the insane number of calories flowing to make this dream into a reality.  Athletic Brewing makes an amazing, life-changing Non-Alcoholic beer but it is your heart and spirit for doing everything you can to promote more good in the world that moves me the deepest and makes me proud to be associated with Athletic. Thank you for sponsoring a film crew to help me tell my story. I am honored to be a representative of a company that believes in not compromising on your dreams or values. I hope that my pursuit of this overwhelming 100 peak dream as the crown jewel of a 100 FKT journey represents the organizations values well.  I think it does. 

Alden Grant Ryno, you were an amazing help, from planning to execution. you poured so many hours of logistics phone calls and me frantically calling you when fires broke out, during the time both nathan and ashly were gone and I had to change my plans....you were a hero during this process.  I was amazing to know you were only a message or a call away.

Anders Mavis, showing up during the middle of this effort, when I was tired, with all your stoke, crushing the entire INSPIRATION TRAVERSE car-to-car in a day, then carrying a camp with ashly for the next two, cooking amazing food....dude you re-stoked the fire on this trip at a key time!

Sean O'Rourke, you are a legend. a legend that just came out of the shadows to climb with me on the Inspiration Traverse, Rainier (damn those mash potatoes), and Little Tahoma.  Thank you. Your presence was fortifying during the fatigue, sleep deprivation, and technical terrain.

Thomas Klemz, thank you for building me a website that helped communicate this effort to the world. You are a good man. I am proud to call you a friend.

Alex King, Thanks for taking time from your volcano records to come out and move at "old man pace" with me through that brutal backcountry Entiat Group push!  You are a "legend in the making" of the Cascade Volcanoes! keep crushing.

Thank you Eric Gilbertson, for helping me with the logistics that would lead to me beating your record.  It is a rare person who cares about the sport and the process more than their own ego.  You were an amazing help, you are a remarkable human, I experience nothing but respect for you.  thanks for seeing me off on this record the night before I started.  It felt good to have you show up.  There is something right about those kind of exchanges before an undertaking like this. 

 

Back to the short write up:

In the planning stages (November 2020-June 2021) in thorough conversations with Eric Gilbertson, Matt Lemke, Alden Grant Ryno, and Sean O'Rourke:
 

- I knew I would be throwing myself into a true test piece of mountaineering, choss, talus, epic rock climbs, and HEINOUS BUSHWHACKS to do this thing efficiently, not to mention repetitive days of 12+ hours movement time with over 8000 feet of gain (sometimes over 12k) through unrelenting off-trail terrain. 
- I knew 98 of these peaks would be "onsight" climbs, having never seen them before, testing my route finding and orienteering. 
- I knew I would need to access peaks like Dome and Sinister from a non-standard route due to trail closures.I knew the Canadian border was closed demanding a brutal day long bushwhack just to gain access to the foot of the peaks (the infamous Silver Creek). Then a day long exit.
- I knew I would want to climb classics such as the "Bonanza - Dark Traverse", "Ragged Ridge Traverse", "Inspiration Traverse" and the "Northeast Buttress of Goode" which would test my rock skills, glacier skills, and mental fortitude with exposure (sometimes on bad rock)
- I knew I would face sleep deprivation, logistical stress, potential fire closures, glaciated terrain, and routes being in poor condition towards the end. 
 

All in all, I knew this would be a test of my dedication and determination to a cause...to a purpose. What was my purpose?

1. To redefine the "Bulgers List" from something that "took years, or at least a year" into something that can be done in a season for the community (and future athletes)

2. As a teacher, to be able to authentically approach my students about dreaming big and taking on audacious goals (that others may think are impossible) and being willing to endure whatever may come to see them through

3. To push out an effort, on the biggest project I could see in front of me with a chance (even a small one) of success, in a fashion I could be proud of my "hard work, well done"

A huge part of why I chose the 100 FKT project, and then this near impossible 100 Peaks project to become the 100th FKT of the FKT project, is because as I look into my past, I was "the kid who couldn't sit still".  My ADHD was a source of perceived failure in society. My need for movement and brain that bounced around seemingly entirely unstructured, impulsively was supposed to be the reason I "didn't make it in the world".  So looking into my past, I know movement and fluid/unstructured "game time" decisions are where I am meant to thrive...and therefore could become an area I could contribute some inspiration to the world. We all hope to have our lives be worth some kind of a damn to someone, to not just be a burden on the world around us, to contribute some good.  This is just my way of finding a path to that.  I can't tell if I have done a good job or not, I suppose time will tell.  I am satisfied with the authenticity of this effort to myself though, I am satisfied with "hard work, well done", I am satisfied with others being lifted up because I chose to take on something difficult.

So...it became obvious that to take on a project with a thousand moving parts, where anything could change in an instant due to weather, closure, fire, routes melting out, etc that requires near constant movement for 12+ hours a day for 50 straight days on wild, novel terrain was the perfect sort of frontier adventure for my dispositions.

It seems that even if people are not versed in the intimate details of a thing, they still have some internal measure for the enormity of a thing.  We all can sense when something is a big deal. 

This undertaking of 100 peaks in 50 days, triggered this sense of "whoa, thats big" in me...and in the community around me.

Is it possible? Is it possible for me?

The answer...

Here is a caltopo map of my 50 days, 23 hours, 43 minutes

Longer write-ups, storytelling, and Trip Reports to come on www.jasonhardrath.com 

Interviews with me can be found on the FKT Podcast, (and other outdoors podcasts)

photos and GPS evidence can be found in Strava.

This effort was live tracked/followed during the effort by finishers and current attempters of the Washington Bulgers list as well as on the Fastest Known Time Website here.

A documentary will be released by WZRD Media

Look for me to continue establishing and breaking FKTs on some rad routes in the near future!

with stoke and gratitude to all reading this,
Jason Hardrath

Comments

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Profile picture for user David Bone

Even the FKT entry itself is EPIC! Sir Jason Hardrath - you are the MAN - forever in our UK hearts - for blasting into the 100th FKT with a quite surreal and electrifying Washington Bulgars cements your legendary status. Has anyone in the history of FKT completed a more impressive 50 day challenge - take a bow buddy

David, 

Dude! I appreciate your stoke and the mutual respect as we have raced, from across the oceans, to 100 FKTS. It has been amazing to see how this Bulgers 100 peaks FKT and the 100 FKT project has been received by people. I am still processing it all. Your kind words do put a smile on my face though.

Here is the Trailer Video for the "Journey to 100" Film I think you will be stoked!

with gratitude,
Jason