FKT: Sam Konowitch - San Bernardino 9 Peaks Traverse (CA) - 2020-07-18

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10h 42m 17s

Started around 6:30 in the morning with sore calves and blisters from not cutting my toenails and going on training runs.  Came in a little underprepared, poorly rested and slightly out of shape but with plenty water and food figured I could make it happen.

Actually wasn't quite ready to go when I started my watch and realized a half mile in I forgot my SPOT and to put on Sunscreen, big "uh oh" moment.  Too late to turn back, I started with the Moymer Ascent and descent via Vivian (Alltrails has the loop start here, so I blindly followed).  Future endeavors, HEED MY WARNING, take Vivian up, Moymer down.  My logic was (A) water refill opportunity on the way back (Only spots are on Vivian) and (B) Get the bushwhacking out of the way early as to avoid doing it on tired legs.

I tried to start off strong by taking the Strava crown on the Moymer Ascent, but sore calves held me back, made descent time at 2:52 (including the jog from Vivian parking lot), hit San Bernardino Peak around 3:30, returning to East SB Peak at 4:00.  I applied much needed sunscreen and blister care at this point and started making my way westward.

I was making great time at this point, as I anticipated 3 hours bagging peaks and 2 hours down, boy was I wrong.  Anderson was laid out nicely in front of me, but I was never quite confident until I reached the box.  I reached the top by 4:52 and couldn't figure the right way down, almost descending back to Moymer.  Shields (5:10) pretty obvious and famous for it's scrambling nature, I thought it would be the hardest, but was wrong again.  Alto diablo was easy though, straight shot off the trail.  At 5:40, I was a little behind, but confident the worst was over and I could pick up the pace on the way through Dollar Lake Saddle.

Reaching the saddle, I realized Charlton would be a great undertaking that I had not prepared for.  Desperately asking passersby and scouting the contour maps, I decided to use the saddle between Charlton (6:40) and Little Charlton (7:00) to bag both peaks.  This was a hard, steep, loose rock ascent, and as I descended, I noticed the trail made itself much more clear in the other direction.  Continuing on and now well behind the 9 hour schedule, I rushed to find Jepson, accidentally running past the turnoff (again obvious in the other direction).  Summited at 7:30, hopes dashed for 9 hours, and pushed for San G at (8:15).  At this point, I still thought I could push sub-10 hour, but neglected blister care reared its ugly head and I had to re-tape for the final downhill back to the car.  Water was available, but I didn't need it, due to the 5L of water I started with.

Solo run through and through.  Fell way short of my 9 hour and change goal, but still managed to make the time, and that's all that matters, right?  I'm confident this loop can be done in 9 hours with the right approach and preparation.