Quick Verification Note: My watch died on my way up Tecumseh so I started my phone tracking immediately to catch the end- hence the two separate stravas. Also, my watch paused itself as I began to ski down wildcat because I had it in run mode and was going too fast.
This FKT was a blast and I'm happy to set a first women's time on this route. I hope it encourages more women to get after it too! These three mountains have a lot of meaning to me, as they are where I spent much of my learning to ski and ski racing as a kid. Because of this, I used this day as a physical challenge, but also as a nice reflection of where I came from and where it's all brought me. Sure, I could have pushed a bit harder, taken fewer photos, etc. but this one felt too special for me to rush. Maybe another day I'll come back for a true speed go :)
I started in the wildcat parking lot at 8:25 AM. It was windy but in the high 20's and tolerable as I started down the road toward the lost trail. I opted for trail runners with microspikes, which I wore for every hike on this day. I brought a light ice ax with me up the Wildcat Ridge trail which I admittedly used more for dry-tooling and hooking roots and branches than ice as I navigated around some of the icy ledges. I was glad to have spikes but there was nothing too technical. Luckily the wind was much better in the trees and I was even treated to some undercast views of Boot Spur
At the top, I ran up to tag the summit and then did my first transition of the day. I took Upper Pole to the cat track to the race hill. Not the shortest way down but I was trying to milk whatever skiing I could get! Conditions were classic east coast ice and it was still pretty windy when I got back to the car.
Wildcat car-to-car took me a little over 2 hrs
Once I got to cannon (after convincing myself to drive safely and the speed limit) I was able to jump right onto the Kinsman trail, which is the best hiking trail of the day IMO. Steep enough to get places fast but not so steep that you can't keep a tolerable pace, and the shortest distance-wise. It was nice to hike through the kinsman glades, which I really hope can be skiable this year with enough snow! Passed a good amount of people on the way up cannon before tagging the fire tower. Booted up and headed down upper & middle cannon (very icy) before having to traverse over on the cut-through from the front five, dodging snowmaking whales and some bare spots on my way to the tram. Luckily there were no ropes or obvious "closed" signs to duck or avoid so I felt better about my mountain karma on the way back to my car.
Cannon car-to-car took me around an hour and a half
Tecumseh started with the first couple of small brook crossings, but nothing eventful. The trail is very mellow (especially compared to the other two) and if I had had more in the tank I could see jogging it. Honestly, I think the best move would be to wait till there was enough snow that you could skin the whole Tecumseh trail up. I passed one guy on the trail who looked at my skis and joked "You know if you buy a pass they let you go more than once"- I didn't have the heart to tell him that that was my 3rd hike to ski that day. I went to tag the Tecumseh summit and was treated to some truly gorgeous afternoon light over the Osceola's and the tripyramids. I then headed over the Sossman trail to the top of Waterville.
Judging by Will & Zach's report I suspected high country was still going to be in rough shape, but boy was I in for a treat. The chewed-up ice chunks the boys had reported had further frozen and were covered in yesterday's snowmaking, which had solidified into a nice death crust. At this point, they had turned the guns back on for the night making for very little visibility and that wonderful sticky snowmaking snow on top. After debating it, I opted to take the safe route and not try to ski this minefield of hazards on tired legs and booted down all of high country to the top of the quad. There I transitioned, laughed at what I had just come down from, and began the enjoyable part of the descent. I opted to take some of my favorite trails (white caps and utter abandon) and had a truly pleasant ski down. I was actually surprised at how good my legs felt and it was BY FAR the best snow all day, not to mention I had the whole hill to myself at this point to rip some big turns. At the bottom, I waved at some patrollers (from a distance as to not prompt questioning) and headed to my car where I stopped my time at 3:57 pm.
Waterville car-to-car took me about 2 hours and 20 minutes (the boot-pack decent slow uphill pace hurt me here)
I have no doubt that in the right conditions this women's FKT could be claimed, along with the overall. I think the ideal day to do so would be when there is still a lot of snow so you could ski the fastest way down all the resorts and skin up Tecumseh. If you are real hardo (like Zach) you could do the thing in ski boots to save transition time, but for me, I think the ability to comfortably jog the flatter sections makes wearing trail runners worth it. I carried my boots in my pack and threw some large hand warmers in them when I wasn't wearing them, which kept them warm enough to slip on quickly. I also wore my helmet most of the day so I wouldn't have that added step (I'm a big proponent of always skiing with a brain bucket). I am excited to see how much people can widdle this one down, but even if not focused on the final time, it's a blast of a challenge! So enjoy!