The Loowit Trail circumnavigates Mt St Helens. The Loowit Trail is used for the course of the Volcanic 50K race, which has produced the fastest times. We also track unsupported (non-race) times. Max Ferguson gave a little detail from his unsupported run:
From the climber's bivouac parking lot taking the Ptarmigan Trail to Loowit Trail 216 and running counter-clockwise. Upon reaching the NE section of the trail prior to the blast zone, I continued on 216 through Windy Pass, this is the shortest, most obvious route, and keeps you on the same trail number, however when running it the trail is fairly ambiguous so I prefer to clarify. There are numerous washouts along several creek crossings, so the trail is a little different shape in places than the Green Trails map 364S shows. These additions only add to the total running distance, technicality, and elevation gain in the entire loop.
Ferguson's track of the route is here: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/223722229
Announcement: I will be attempting the Unsupported FKT on the Loowit Trail at Mt. St. Helens leaving from the Climber's Bivoac at first light on Monday 7/22/19, running clockwise. Looking forward to another fun and adventurous loop around-the-mountain! More will be revealed...
It should be noted that the Volcanic 50 race starts at the Marble Mountain Sno Park and takes the Swift Creek Ski trail up to the Loowit trail, which is different to the unsupported times above which start at the Climber's Bivoac. Starting at the Snow Park adds ~2km/1.3miles and ~320m/1050ft gain.
I started at the same place as Max Ferguson in 2012 (Climber's Bivouac) but I decided to go Clockwise. I was hovering right around record-pace all day and as I navigated the technical terrain closer to the finish I knew it was going to be close!
I ended up sneaking under the Unsupported record by 42 seconds! https://gearjunkie.com/yassine-diboun-mount-st-helens-fkt
Who's next? ;)
Props to both Yassine and Eric!!! Thanks for putting on a show!