FKT: Sam Nicaise - Tarbell Trail (WA) - 2020-08-09

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 52m 34s

Trailhead around 8:30 am and it was chilly and clear. Yacolt Burn trailhead was about 1/4 full with lots of mtn bikers and trucks - only one other corolla! The early miles were easy with cooler temps and some cover - the trail from Yacold Burn Trailhead is pretty overgrown right now. Smooth sailing through the Tarbell Trailehead intersection and climb up to some of the earlier views of Mt. St. Helens. I missed a turn and accidentally detoured extra mileage and elevation up Silver Shadow but caught my mistake quickly. The drop down to Coyote Creek and Hidden falls (2h25m) were great with no one on the trail and tree cover. I made the climb up and over the ridge and quickly dropped down to Rock Creek (2:52:30). There were a few more people out closer to the Grouse Vista trailhead but not many. Climing up the side of Larch Mtn was definitely the hardest and had to pass some big groups of people. On the way down, I fell 4 times, but no big injuries and the mtn bike group was nice enough to make sure I was okay. Made it back to the car by 12:30 pm and chilled in the parking lot for a while some of the other early risers sipped the midday "drinks". Beautiful day! My legs were super tired from 3-4 weeks of solid training so I expect to be back with a better time, and I expect someone else can crush this route soon. I  was happy with my self-supported fueling - 2 bars, 1 L of water and 32 oz gatorade. I had originally planned to bring a water filter for refuel, but I think that bringing everything in my backpack was just good enough. Keep your legs kicking high on all those rocky decents!