I've been waiting for a chance to try this FKT up in the hills above Flagstaff. It took some additional planning and mapping, we were distracted by other adventures last fall, and then it snowed. I expect there were fairly deep drifts up in the Elden bowl over the winter. The topo maps would have to wait a few months.
Then it got warm, the snow melted quickly, my training and mileage improved, and it was finally time to see what it was like to roam around off-trail in the ponderosas at 8000-9000 feet.
Jason Henrie ran and posted this FKT concept in 2015, but no one has taken him up on it until now. It seemed like a great opportunity to explore, see what obstacles we might encounter, and set a "reasonable" standard for future adventurers.
Also a good distance and something fun for John - I was psyched to have his company. Not only that, but a couple friends were interested in joining us. They are training for their first ultra race next month, and this fit nicely into their ramp-up schedule. Super cool!
We gathered at the Sunset Trail parking lot for the first of many group selfies - meet Taylor, Andrew, and their running dog Basil:
Final tally = 16.8 miles, 3400 feet of climb, 8:18, and a ton of fun and good company