Woof, big day number 3 in a row! Once the sun came out it was actually quite warm and I ended up wearing shorts for the FKT, which got a lot of interesting looks.
I started out very easy hiking/jogging out/back on the route to warm up and make sure I knew where I was going. Legs felt a bit tired from the last few days, but not terrible.
Again, when I started the FKT, I did a 1’/1’ pattern of fartlek all the way up. This route was significantly more challenging than yesterday, as it started higher, finished higher, and was more vert, but the trail was relatively similar. Very obvious and smooth trail, with a lot of spurs/cut-throughs. Much less crowded though, as we were off the EBC corridor.
Not much to report, except it was hard and I felt surprisingly decent. The first chunk up to the little shoulder felt great and I was running a lot. From there, it was more like a jog/hike pattern until the ridge at 5350m, and then it was a bit confusing whether I wanted to hang down to the right or follow right along the ridge. It was quite windy, so I ended up staying on the right side of the ridge until hitting a final gully just before the summit, which I cut up.
Hit the Stupa at the top of the mountain and stopped my watch there in 45’28 (NB: If you look at the strava segment, for some reason it logged me at 49’, probably because the finish point is too far to the north. If you look at my activity, the whole ascent is Lap 1 and you can see it finishes in the correct place. Someone should probably re-do that segment).
Anyway, had a great time up top, taking some photos and chatting with some Spaniards who were up there at the same time (felt great to speak Spanish for the first time in a while!).
Took the descent easy with still one more FKT to go for this block. Luckily, I finally have a rest day tomorrow!