View Full Version : Supported PCT Speed Record Attempt

12-09-2004, 11:17
Word from the grapevine (ok, really the PCT-L) is that David Horton (former AT speed record holder) is going to make a speed attempt on the PCT this summer, with support. I do not know (but am not an expert) of any previous attempts with support. Brian Robinson broke Ray Jardine's record, and in 2003 Wall (Ray Greenlaw) broke Brian's record. I think it currently stands at around 83 days or something like that. Both Brian and Wall (and presumably Jardine) hiked just as a normal PCT hiker would do it, except that they were moving rapidly. Horton is shooting for something like 63 days, which would be a whopping 42 mile per day average. To make matters more interesting, another experienced ultramarathoner is also attempting a speed hike. Both are supposed to start out around June 1.

Lone Wolf
12-09-2004, 12:51
I heard from a reliable source that David is gonna attempt it. I"m gonna call him and offer my support services.

12-09-2004, 13:55
Definately doable. I never hike for miles but i had to make it to a meeting one day in Lake Tahoe and I was out for a stretch on the PCT/TRT around Barker Pass. I hiked 12 miles in three hours, hitched, showered and made it to my meeting. The grade is mostly only 10% so you can walk all day up hill and not get tired. There is a lot of daylight out there too. Maybe LW can use that as a marketing angle for his support venture

12-09-2004, 14:13
At least they are calling it a speed record rather than an endurance record. Good luck, David

The Solemates
12-09-2004, 16:26
Both are supposed to start out around June 1.

According to the PCT-L, it will be June 4 for those of you in the west who want to see them off.

Pencil Pusher
12-09-2004, 21:13
No disrespect to those involved, but a projected 63 days seems kinda slow, relatively speaking. As does the current unsupported record, if it indeed is the 83 days mentioned. But it will be good to have two people going for it, each weighing in on the other's competitive spirit.

Lone Wolf
12-09-2004, 21:23
Slow? Could you average over 40 miles per day for 63 days? Betcha couldn't.

12-09-2004, 21:49
Definately not as "easy" as it sounds. You can't really take a zero and kick ur feet up once you start, if you're serious about the record.

Pencil Pusher
12-09-2004, 21:53
Slow? Could you average over 40 miles per day for 63 days? Betcha couldn't.
Supported? Because to me that sounds like someone carries your water, food and gear, drives a support van, and has guidos going with you to do the route finding and such. So basically all you need to do is walk. And from the article comparing the AT to the PCT in terms of vert gain/loss, the PCT is a 'horse' trail. 2600 miles of 'horse' trail at that... no small potatoes

Now, as to whether I 'could' or not, yeah, I bet I could average 40 miles per day with a support crew. Now it's more a question of whether you can be of any use as support crew, eh?;) But just as well, barring unknown injuries, it sounds like you'd be capable of doing the same with your current health regime. Chris too, wasn't he averaging in the 30s for a part, if not all, of his trip?

The point being, these numbers sound doable for the mere mortals. I think if more people gave a hoot or a holler about these kinds of records, you'd see increased competition which would force these numbers into the "Holy crap, how'd he do that?" category.

Spirit Walker
12-13-2004, 17:59
Just the wear and tear on feet, muscles, tendons etc. with that kind of pace and no breaks is hard for me to imagine. How can you eat enough food to provide energy for that kind of pace? Supported or unsupported, that is still tough on the body. The difference in weight between a day pack with water and snacks (can't do without in the 25 mile waterless stretches of the PCT) and a light pack carried by a thruhiker isn't that great. Wolf did the PCT with a 9 pound pack (in a little over 3 months.) It's not that different except that you don't have to worry about hitching into town to resupply (which can cost time.)

Pencil Pusher
12-16-2004, 02:38
I imagine the hike to be just as tough mentally as physically. Given the duration, there is a significant difference between supported and unsupported. The logistics of attempting a supported record would be a nightmare, I think. Anyhow, whereas this Wolf dude carried his nine pound pack plus food and water, the supported dude wouldn't have to carry a thing as his buddy would carry it for him. I'm still a little unclear on how the support crew manages this feat. Perhaps LW could provide more insight as he has been on a support crew?