I've been interested in the FFF (Flagstaff Fearsome Four) FKT since we were here earlier this year. It looks straightforward enough, summiting each of 4 tall peaks in the area and running in between. Mostly on trails, but with options for optimizing the route in some places. I'm liking the "Open" FKT courses more and more, where there are specific locations to reach (and specific start/finish spots) but you can decide how to get from one to the next. Like a giant rogaine course. The H2H2H route I did earlier in November was on defined trails so I couldn't make modifications - still enjoyable, but with less thinking involved.
So I spent some time scouting a few sections and playing with maps, which is great motivation for some longer runs and also quite a time suck, but it's my kind of fun. It turns out that all this pre-work was important, at least for me in late-November mountain conditions. I knew I was probably running out of time before the arrival of winter. We had a dump of snow a couple weeks ago and one of my cross-country training slogs made me think I was actually too late. But then most everything melted out down low and I decided "what the heck", let's see what happens.
I picked a day based on John's availability to crew for me, overlapping what looked like a decent wind window on Humphrey's Peak. I've heard stories of major gusting and blowing up high and hoped to avoid that. Temperatures looked cold but doable with enough clothes (we've had some mountaineering experience and should have a decent wardrobe to choose from). The forecast suggested possible snow on the mountain for Thanksgiving night. So I aimed to start out the night before and be well away from the highest reaches before any precipitation fell.
On Wednesday night we had supper, napped a couple hours, and got up to drive over to Kendrick Peak. I am so lucky to have a husband who doesn't mind doing these things with (for) me. He even brought a handsaw to do some trail work in the middle of the night while I was going up/down Kendrick - yes, we both are a tiny bit crazy in our own ways.
Working around a timing chart to be on Humphrey's early in the daylight, I aimed to begin the adventure around midnight. 11:45 pm and I was ready to go, let's do this:
More importantly - super huge thanks and hugs and love to my husband John, to whom I'm forever grateful and indebted. What a joy to have such an amazing partner in grime :)