On Saturday, October 14, 2023 as the moon was fully eclipsing the sun, I took off from the Mount Rose Summit trailhead to attempt the 8 Petals of Mt. Rose FKT. I had the downloaded route from the male route FKT holder, Jacob Cooper, saved to my watch but at several points felt as though I was slowed down by trying to stick to his route rather than eyeing the next peak and heading that direction.
Immediately off the start I made a wrong turn as I was socializing with many people about the solar eclipse, but then got back on track as I made my way to the first summit of the day, Tamarack Peak. Once I connected with FD Road 051 the route to the subsequent three peaks (Relay, Houghton, and Rose) was smooth and primarily on trail except for the scree chute from Houghton to the Rim to Rose saddle. The chute was covered with a dusting of snow and ice from a storm that had rolled through earlier that week.
The descent from Mt. Rose to Chocolate Peak was slow going, but something that I had done before so I knew what to expect. While heading towards Church Peak, I filled water twice in the Whites Creek spring area. The Church Peak ascent was enjoyable because the destination was in sight, and I headed in that direction directly. The ridgeline between Church Peak and Snowflower Mountain provides spectacular views of the Reno Tahoe Basin. There is a faint trail that follows the ridge, but I do wonder if taking the Rim to Reno trail then taking a straight line to Snowflower Mountain would be quicker (but greater distance).
Just beyond the Snowflower summit is the ridgeline descent to the final peak of the day, Alpine Walk Peak. This section is dreadful as it is covered in dense mahogany brush. From previous experience on this section, I knew to wear pants but still ended up with bloodied legs and arms. After reaching Alpine Walk Peak the descent towards Thomas Creek Trail remains off trail but opens up significantly in comparison to the thick brush encountered over the previous mile and a half. The intersection with the Thomas Creek Trail was welcomed with complete joy – the fastest three miles of the day.
Looking at the Strava heat map post run, I would have stayed on the northeast side of the chute while descending Houghton, and at Contact Pass looked south of the mahogany brush for a clearer path to ascend/descend Chocolate Peak. Additionally, I think there is a more direct route to the Thomas Creek Trailhead during the final miles.
This was a successful adventure. I’m excited to see how other ladies approach this adventure!