Because with a trail as stunning as the Teton Crest Trail, why do once what yo can do twice? From the incredible August wildflowers, to deer and moose along the trail, it was a beautiful - if grueling - day out.
I started early in the morning from String Lake and the Leigh Lake TH, heading south to Phillips Pass and back. Things went quite smoothly for me for the first 20 miles, then started to deteriorate bit by bit. What I had hoped would be a cool and overcast day was in fact quite humid and hot, with the exposure getting to me in the middle 20 miles after repeated climbs. Things were drier than I expected near Phillips Pass, meaning the streams were fewer and farther between, leading me to ration my water a bit more in that section. (I did the out-and-back as an unsupported effort, only filling up from streams along the way.)
My first time running for so long, and in the dark, was an extreme mental challenge. But I dug deep and managed to pull it off. The final climb back up to Paintbrush Divide from Solitude Lake as the fatigue truly set in had me questioning things, but a stunning full moon above made up for it.
Not quite as quick of a time as I had hoped for, but after having learned of this trail and first visiting these mountains a little over a year ago, I've been obsessed with giving it a try for some time now.
As it was a slow and steady day for me, I'm sure that there's someone out there who can easily break this time. I look forward to seeing who gives it a go!