FKT: Marc-Andre Briere, Raymond Lanthier - La Grande Traversée des Sentiers frontaliers - SF1 - Chartierville à Woburn - 2023-05-27

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
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Total time
16h 40m 58s

The SF1 - Sentiers Frontaliers is a beast of a trail. The distance 82km and vert approximatively 4000m is gnarly in itself, but what makes this route so difficult is the technical aspect and the challenging navigation. Most sections of the trail, except for Mont Gosford assent, have very low foot traffic and is only lightly maintained. The vegetation quickly overgrows in the spring making the foot path almost impossible to see, and the leaves hides many of the small red trail blaze. The trail follows the US-Canada border on a ridge line up and over a few peaks: Salmon, Trumbell, d’Urban, de Marbre, Saddle. The trail is partially on the clearing of the Canada-US border and partially in the woods on the Canadian side. The trail then enters the ZEC Louise-Gosford and climb to Mont Gosford and over the Petit Gosford before returning to the border ridge line.

We opted for a late May attempt when the majority of the snow has melted, ferns and vegetations are still low. We left on May 27th at 3h31 AM little before dusk from Chartierville with our headlamps and finished at 8:10PM at sunset at the Woburn border crossing. There were a lot of fallen trees likely due to the ice storm and bad weather during this past winter. The new (2023) Avenza map was a huge help for navigation since most of the trail has no cell service. The recon day we did a week prior also was a good help especially for the first section we did in the dark and the most technical section around the Trou du Diable. We carried a Garmin InReach for safety and to help the crew track out progress. We planned to for 5 crew aid-stations (Km: 13-26-53-64-72) but we had to skip the last one near the Trou du Diable, where the crew would not have had enough time to meet us. We use BeFree & Salomon XA Filter at the Lac Danger & a few streams along the way. We did not use poles but could have been helpful Saddle & Gosford not so technical climbs. The weather was good, cool in the morning and sunny. It did get little hot in late afternoon especially on the more exposed ridge on the boarder but overall could not have hopped for a better time and weather window!

David Bombardier’s FKT is a very impressive solo accomplishment, especially in the late June vegetation and heat while using only 2 crew aid station. It would have been very difficult to beat this for us in these conditions.