FKT: Sean King - Martinez Mountain (CA) - 2022-12-05

Route variation
La Quinta round trip
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
4h 40m 28s

Wonderful route! I've been doing lots of running lately, but I haven't done any rugged, off-trail adventures in a few months so I didn't know how I would hold up. Very happy to get the FKT! 

I started at about 6:30am and made my way up the Boo Hoff trail. My legs were tight in the beginning and I was a bit worried that I didn't have it in me to do this route, but my legs loosened up after a few miles. After the easy cruise up the Boo Hoff Trail, I turned off onto the unmarked Guadalupe Trail. It was definitely unmaintained, but honestly not as rough as I expected. Given the steep grade and rocky terrain, it was hard to do much running on this section. Even so, I was feeling pretty good on this climb and motored up at a good pace. There was some really strong wind that blew my hat off at points and I even told myself if I got any worse I would turn around, but thankfully it died down before it got unbearable. The Guadalupe trail pretty much peters out at the cowboy camp at 4500 feet, but the last vestige of it climbs the south side of the gully here and is essential to find in order to avoid thick brush in the canyon. 

At this point, there's no more trail and it's choose-your-own-adventure to the top. I tried to follow Rob's route which was generally good, except for where the ridge from the Cowboy Camp meets the summit ridge. I tried to cut below the saddle to avoid some distance and ended up on really loose class 3 rocks. Each step sent huge boulders careening down the hillside. Once on the summit ridge, it's straightforward to the top. I topped out on the fun class 3 summit block after 2:33. I spent 10 minutes on top eating a cookie and calling my dad before heading back down. I tried to take a better route at the saddle, but I ended up climbing down a class 4 dryfall which was not any faster. However, once I got onto the right ridge, I found some really good boot-skiing that led to a nice sandy canyon. After reviewing Rob's route, it looks like he found this route down as well. It's not obvious at all and I'd recommend looking at a gpx track to find this descent, but it probably shaved off a good 15 minutes with how fast it was. 

Back at the cowboy camp, I started trying to run down the Guadalupe Trail. I say "trying" because, although the trail was fine on the way up, I had a difficult time running down and started to really dislike it. It's so rocky, hard to find, and full of cholla cacti which hadn't bothered me at my slower pace on the way up but was now getting old pretty quickly on the way down. I was fortunate to only run into the cholla once, but it was draining mentally to try to avoid the cactus. My ankles also felt this section since there's so much loose rock. Back at the Boo Hoff trail, I knew I was going to get the FKT, so I just tried to drop the hammer and see how fast I could get back. This section was a blast since I was so happy to have a cruiser trail again. It was also a bit comical since there were families out for a nice morning walk and here I come barreling past them while panting heavily and with my legs, all cut up from bushwhacking.

Once I reached the white gate marking the end, I laid down on the ground and let my heart rate come down for about 10 minutes. I was stoked on the FKT but even more grateful just to have a fun day in the mountains. Highly recommended!