FKT: Ryan Thorpe, Jessica Simao - Bear Mountain State Park 7 Summits (NY) - 2023-03-25

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
6h 55m 28s

On March 25, Jessica Simao and I (Ryan Thorpe) successfully broke the unsupported mixed-gender team FKT for the Seven Summits route. We carried all of our food from the start and filtered water from a spring.

We started around sunrise on a chilly overcast day with rain in the forecast. Jess led through most of the early section since she has more familiarity with the area and is a stronger climber. We made it through the first 4 summits with just a brief flurry of hail, which thankfully didn't affect our footing. Popolopen Torne in particular is a little scrambly and would have been more difficult had the rain started earlier.

The water fountains at the Bear Mountain zoo and picnic areas were not yet turned on for the season, so we filtered from a spring on the ascent of Bear. This probably cost us 5 minutes, but otherwise there wasn't much downtime during this run. The rain started in earnest near the summit of Bear and continually worsened for the rest of the day. We took the last two descents cautiously, but we made up for it by pushing hard on the climbs. The final descent on the abandoned Dunderberg Spiral Railway bed is not for the faint of heart. Thankfully we made it to the road with all limbs intact.

The route lends itself well to a team effort since navigation is tricky in a few sections. Jess was already familiar with most of these trails, but it also helped to have the GPX loaded onto my watch. We had done Popolopen Torne earlier in the year and that course knowledge helped us avoid getting turned around on the descent. We  just barely missed the sharp right turn from the 1777 Trail onto Cornell Mine (mile 22), but quickly realized it and didn't really lose any time.

We highly recommend this route to anyone who wants to explore the Hudson Highlands. Thanks to Kim Levinsky for creating it and to Jana and Brandon for setting a strong time for us to shoot for!