I used what I think is essentially the route Dean Potter descended during his record. Starting from Happy Isles I followed the Mist trail until just after the bridge above Vernal falls. I then went directly up the creek bed that comes down from between Broderick and Liberty Cap (there's a tricky move that the climbers trail avoids by starting a bit further up towards Liberty Cap.) After crossing the flat, boggy area near Lost Lake I ascended the hillside directly to the base of the subdome. From there I followed the trail and cables to the top.
On the descent, I retraced my steps until Lost Lake where I got a bit further left than I had planned. In the spur of the moment, I opted to take the standard Snake Dike approach trail back to the hiking trail. While it is definitely longer, it is also far less technical than descending the canyon between Broderick and Liberty Cap and since my legs were already quite wobbly it may have been a good decision. I then descended the JMT/Mist trail back to Happy Isles.
- I started my watch where the trail leaves the paved road. I believe that in the past there was a bridge a few hundred meters further along the flat trail, right before it starts to climb, and this is where previous records have started (although Dean may have started a hundred metres further at the Sierra Point trail sign). My time from where the bridge used to be was 2:02:16 (see "laps" in my strava file). However, it seems intuitive to me to start and stop at the current trailhead going forward.
- My ascent time was 1:20:57
- I think it would be worthwhile to acknowledge FKTs on different routes on Half Dome. In particular, the standard trail is not the fastest possible route to the summit, but I think that trying to run a fast time up and down it is still a worthy objective in its own right.
Here's Nick's report on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bj8zHefjJd3/?hl=en&taken-by=nicksethelson