Female Sierra High Route FKT Attempt Announcement… Technically

This week I am starting the Sierra High Route alone. The Sierra High Route is a 195-mile route (ie., very few trails) through the Sierra Nevada mountains. The route stays between 9,000 and 12,000 feet for the majority of the hike.

As part of my preparation I read Steve Roper’s wildly entertaining guidebook from cover to cover. I pored over Andrew Skurka’s maps. I read Wired’s meticulous blog of her 2016 hike. I also took a peek at the Fastest Known Time (FKT) boards.

According to the FKT boards, in 2016 Leor Pantilat set the male unsupported FKT  for the Sierra High Route at a brisk four days, 16 hours, and 21 minutes. And the female FKT is… empty. There is none. I couldn’t find any record online of a solo woman completing the Sierra High Route. I think you see where this is going.

On the old FKT boards, it was recommended that you follow these three rules for FKTs:

Be an open book. Invite anyone to come and watch or, better yet, participate. This makes your effort more fun and any result more believable.

Announce your intentions in advance. Like a true gentleman, pay your respects to those who came before you, and tell them what you intend to attempt and when.

Record your event. Write down everything immediately upon completion. Memory doesn’t count.


So, with the technicality aside that I am competing against no one…

I am officially announcing my intention to try for the female self-supported FKT of the Sierra High Route. 


Self-Supported Details

I am going solo and will be resupplying twice. I sent a box to Red’s Meadow and I will buy a resupply at the Tuolumne Meadows store.

Verification Details

I am bringing a Garmin inReach Mini and will turn tracking on. For my safety as a solo woman, I will not make my tracks generally available until after I complete my attempt. I will be taking many photos and will be posting (when I have service, which will likely be only once or twice) to my Instagram account @there.tofu.goes. I will keep a daily journal, which I will turn into blog posts for The Trek.

How Fast Will I Go?

I don’t know. Maybe two to three weeks? This will be my longest route-finding trip. If I successfully finish this trip, I look forward to a more badass lady looking at my pathetically long time and kicking my butt.


Wish me luck out there!

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Comments 1

  • Karl D : Jan 7th

    Hi, Since the SHR is a ‘route’ in which everyone chooses his or her own path, a FKT wouldn’t readily be relevant. Further, ‘racing’ the SHR would only encourage injury on the difficult and slow talus fields. Maybe a trek on the JMT would be better for what you seek?


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