Last week I decided the PCT was officially out for me this year and the reality finally sank in. It’s been a hard pill to swallow and running has been tough - physically its easy, but mentally I feel lost.
But if there’s anything that I learned from completing the PCT last time, its that you gotta believe in yourself. Put your trust and energy into the things you love even if they feel terrible at the time. Pain is only temporary. And when life gives you lemons... you make some fucking lemonade!
Ruby Crest Trail Unsupported Yo-yo FKT 🏆- 75 miles, 19,000+ feet of gain completed in 1 day, 11 hours, 41 mins on 7/2/18
I began the Ruby Crest Trail run with a relaxed start shortly after 7am from the road at Harrison Pass. There's a bit of debate on what the true Ruby Crest Trail is, as you can see on the sign behind me says the trailhead's 2.8 miles ahead. With my lack of a jeep, there's no way I could drive to the actual trailhead in my Honda. Most posts I've read about people tackling this thru-hike include the jeep road section but to each his own (or her).
I had done some backpacking on this trail in 2015 but started at the Northern end and only made it out to Overland Lake, so the first 20 miles of this run would be totally new to me. It was extremely overgrown so I could not see my feet for a good chunk of it. A little spooky when you're running, but I just picked up my knees and didn't trip once.
At Overland Lake, I took about an hour lunch break. There are many places on this trail that are mind-blowingly beautiful, but this one may be my favorite spot to hang out.
Near Liberty Pass, about 32 miles in, I got a pounding headache, which slowed me down quite a bit. I think it was from the elevation. I wan't fully acclimated yet to the 10,000' ridgeline since I was in Los Angeles around sea level the week prior. I pushed through, and got to the end of the trail at the Northern Trailhead at 7:47pm. Total time for the day was 12:38:59.
My headache was subsiding as I set up camp - back up the trail about a half a mile. I cooked up some dehydrated chili and hit the sack. I was tired, but not overworked by any means.
I woke up around 7am the next day, made some oatmeal and coffee, and was on the trail by 7:44am. I felt great the whole day. Stopped to take lots of pictures, and enjoy the experience. My initial plan was to take only 10 minute breaks per water stop, but I let that slide a bit and had some great moments of just taking it all in. Since the day was going to be net downhill it wouldn't take as long, so I didn't need to rush.
I made it to the Southern Terminus at 6:47pm. Sunburnt, a bit worked, but feeling strong. I was happy to see that I hadn't lost too much fitness from the time I took off due to my appendicitis. This route had far more gain than most days I would've had on the PCT but it was close to the same amount of effort I would be putting in for a 12 - 13 hour day.
I knew going in that there wasn't any previously known Unsupported FKT out there, so I didn't go very hard. Just felt good to tackle something I'd been dreaming about for a couple years - a RCT yoyo. It's a great adventure run and a perfect 2 day Fastpacking trip.
Someday, I would like to run the route again to see how fast I can do it. I think it can "easily" be done in less than a day, in which you wouldn't need for an overnight setup, saving a bit of pack weight. We’ll see what the future holds.