I attempted the Elk Traverse on 8/30-8/31. Was aiming for sub 24 but managed a 27:25 (not 27:15 as I reported immediately after... brain scramble) after a long night of rain, fatigue, navigation errors and failing headlamp. Having grown up in the Aspen valley, this attempt has been on my radar ever since Neal B and Jeff H completed it nearly two decades ago. I was grateful for the help of my mom, Pete Gaston, Steve Denny, Neal Beidleman, Jordy Agamie and especially Michael Barlow who accompanied me through a truly miserable night up Castle Peak (whoever tells you Castle is a Cakewalk - have them ascend the west side tallus field through the night, in a rainstorm with virtually no headlamp).
I will be putting a report up on Trail Runner Magazine's website later today. Will move it over here after.
Both Neal and I look forward to seeing what sort of momentum this route might gain.
Andrew... no we did not stop in the hot springs. Yes, Neal has forgiven us.
Once again, we owe Neal a bit of gratitude - this is a true classic. Possibly every bit as much as Nolan's (having not done it, can't say for sure), with more diversity and a much larger array of options (trail vs. class 4/5 etc.).
This route WILL go under 24... who's going to do it?