Summered in Nye, MT for many years and have always been interested in this run. Never hiked the trail before so this run was a first time through for me. Parked a car at Alpine Wednesday and left Nye 4:30 am for a 7 am start at the Clarks Fork trailhead. Road closure at Beartooth Lake Campground put me back 2 hours (arrived at the road block at 6 am and road opened 8 am)
Cast off out of the Clarks Fork trail head at 8:30. A little route finding in the first 50 yards and across the bridge. It had rained all night and the fist couple of miles were super muddy and horse travel had made it a bit messy. Blew out the side of my TIMPS mile 2 :(. Felt pretty good up to Russel Lake and then the climbing really started but I was able to hold it together over the pass where there was a 6 foot patch of snow. The downhill was much tougher than I expected, steep in spots and super rocky and sharp in the blasted areas. Creek crossing all went dry feet with a little looking and hopping. Last hour was a bit of a trudge but I fished fairly well. I carried 70 oz of water in my Nathans and 5 luna bars (only choked down 3) and because it was early and pretty cool I was able to stretch it and make it last. I walked a bunch of the steepest uphills but only stopped once quickly the splash some water on my face at the Rimrock Lake bridge.
The trail is super beautiful and a bit of shame to run it fast but...Will be back for another go next summer and a slower trip with the family.