I had a lot of doubts about snagging the FKT or even completing this route. Wind was forecasted to be gusting in the 100-110mph range in the morning, so I purposely left a bit late at 8am. Wind on the Shavano saddle wasn’t as bad as expected, nor on the summit. Summited Tab at 2hrs (10am), then descended the north side. Very tricky talus slope at first, then noticed snowy gullies. I brought an ice axe and sit sled (about the size of my butt) thinking they would come in handy here. However the clouds and colder temps kept the snow surface firm, so I opted to stay on the ridges. Got to Browns Creek and came right up on the perfect log (love that). The gully up to the Antero plateau went smoothly, and summited at 4:25 (12:25pm). Had done the Nolan’s descent off Antero before, so it went well and the sit sled did come in handy towards the bottom of the gully where the slope mellowed to less than 30 degrees. Really hammered down to Baldwin gulch and was able to sneak under Chris’ time.
Thanks to Chris Fisher for giving me something to shoot for! Honestly wanted to get under 5hrs, but wind and some patchy drifts slowed me down. This route can definitely go under 5hrs with good weather and knowledge of the route.
Ran down Chalk Creek and linked back to Blanks on the CT. Very long day, I don’t recommend another 18mi after that Nolan’s section. Always nice to finish just before a big May snowstorm though!