Father of the FKT – Buzz Burrell

The poster boy for Fastest Known Times is Kílian Jornet Burgada.

As I post, Kilian holds the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of MatterhornMont BlancDenali and perhaps Everest.

But it’s  Buzz Burrell who really popularized the concept, co-founding fastestknowntime.com with Peter Bakwin and Jeff Schuler.

Buzz Burrell

Those three run the site on a voluntary basis.  And it’s a ton of work.

Buzz himself had been racing routes for decades. He set the FKT on the Colorado Trail in 1999.  The FKT on John Muir in 2000. 

This interview with Buzz will fill you with respect.  Buzz co-hosts his own audio show called the FKT Podcast

18. Courtney Dauwalter (w/ co-host Abby Levene) Out and Back

What drives people to set seemingly impossible goals, and what fuels them to succeed? Shanty and professional ultra runner Abby Levene dig into these questions with the queen of ultra running, Courtney Dauwalter. Courtney is renowned in the ultra running community and beyond for her definitive wins at everything from the Moab 240-mile trail race, to the Western States 100 Endurance Run, to the 100-mile Ultra Trail de Mont Blanc. Courtney takes listeners through her Colorado Trail FKT attempt this summer, and her recent win at perhaps the strangest running event of all: Big’s Backyard Ultra. The ultimate test of the mind, athletes at this event run a 4.16-mile loop every hour on the hour until only one person remains. This year, it was Courtney — 68 hours and 283 miles later. Runners and non-runners alike won’t want to miss this episode to catch Courtney’s infectious optimism, learn what drives her to push barriers, and to pick up some tips on training your brain to endure when your body tells you to stop.
  1. 18. Courtney Dauwalter (w/ co-host Abby Levene)
  2. 17. Buzz Burrell – "Father of the FKT"
  3. 16. Grizzly 399
  4. 15. Zach "Badger" Davis and The Trek (w/ co-host Real Hiking Viking)
  5. 14. Scott Turner: National Parks and Day Hikes

Croatian Long Distance Trail

The Croatian Long Distance Trail (CLDT) was pretty much invented by Nikola (Tesla) Horvat.

Nikola

Croatia shares a maritime border with Italy. The capital city is Zagreb.

As I post the trail is not recommended due to COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully it will be possible again starting 2021.

  • approximately 2200 km (1400 mi)
  • mountain trails, wild trails, hard rock, forest roads, fields, gravel roads and sometimes asphalt roads
  • mountain huts, hotel, hostel, private accommodation, official campsite
  • many settlements so resupply should not pose a problem

As very few have hiked it yet, you’ll be pleased to hear there is a Guthook Guide. There are some blazes and emblems, as well..

Details on the official website

Glorious Rathtrevor Beach at Dawn

Dawn low tide at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville on Vancouver Island.

I’ve been walking early morning at Rathtrevor for months during COVID lockdown. This edit gives you a good feel for the glorious setting.

I’ve not yet tired of taking a morning walk in exactly the same place each day. Every dawn is different.

Low tide here stretches nearly a kilometre out into the Strait of Georgia.

Thousands of birds are here Spring and Autumn during migration. This video shot in November.

Rathtrevor has a terrific campground, if you ever get the chance to visit.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Why (Do I Hike)

Nikola (Tesla) Horvat hiked the Colorado Trail in 2019 putting together this award winning video

Very philosophical. Nature, Time, Community, Mental Health and Final Chapter.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Nikola Horvat is a successful PCT and Colorado Trail thru-hiker, authorfilmmaker, and founder of the Croatian Long Distance Trail.

He pioneered the CLDT upon returning to Croatia from the PCT in 2016.

He mapped the route himself, authored a guidebook, and founded the Croatian Long Distance Trail Association, of which he is the president.

Two others have thru-hiked the CLDT after him—no foreigners yet, though Second Chance Hiker is on-trail at the moment.

The Trek

Lantzville Lookout, Nanaimo B.C.

Lantzville Lookout is a popular day hike off the Copley Ridge network of trails near Lantzville on Vancouver Island.

Regional District of Nanaimo is still trying to make the Lookout official, as of August 2020.

In the meantime, signage is home made. I can’t say it’s easy to find.

I went in November. A relaxing day hike.

It’s a steady climb. But getting to the Lookout makes it worthwhile.

Some young people had set up at the campfire on the Copley Ridge trail. They had just departed as I returned.

It was a mellow hike. So I put together a mellow video. As always, audio is just as important as video.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Troubridge Trudge – Sunshine Coast Trail, B.C.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

click for larger version

I’d previously hiked two other sections of the (roughly) 180km Sunshine Coast Trail:

Sarah Point to Manzanita hut (2015)

Mowat Bay to Lois Main (2016)

Pestered by wasps and other biting insects on those two earlier trips, I deliberately returned late season. No bugs.

This time I headed for the Troubridge Trudge section:

Oct 24 – Lang Bay to Golden Stanley hut (km 145)
Oct 25 – Golden Stanley to Mt Troubridge hut (km 158)
Oct 26 – Troubridge to Fairview Bay hut (km 173)
Oct 27 – Fairview to Lang Bay (km 180)

You can hike 42km in either direction. It’s called the trudge as this is the highest section of the Sunshine Coast Trail.

click for larger version

More maps.



Having reached the Sunshine Coast via ferry from Comox, I stayed in a Powell River hotel.

Harbour at dusk

Weather forecast looking good next morning, I cycled down to Lang Bay.

A lovely autumn day.

Hid my bike in the trees close to the highway near Lang Bay.

Walked the gravel road called Canoe Main to join the Sunshine Coast Trail on Lois lake. (I could have walked Lois Main, the older road.)

Lois lake was created by a dam.

The mountains beyond the lake look tempting.

You eventually turn uphill inland on a trail towards Elephant lake.

It’s steep but not all that far to Golden Stanley hut, completed 2016. It’s not mentioned in my guidebook published 2013, of course.

I was carrying my tent as I’d seen online that the huts were closed due to COVID-19.

But the hut was open after all. Since I was the only person there, I moved in.

Impressive pit toilet.


Oct 25 – Golden Stanley to Mt Troubridge hut (km 158)

Mt Troubridge is the highest point on the Sunshine Coast Trail. I was happy to have good weather.

On the other hand, surprised to see snow at such low elevation in October.

It was Ho Ho Ho. 😀

In 2020 everyone takes the newer of two possible trails to the summit. The best route is always well signed.

I still easily reached Troubridge hut by early afternoon.

Here’s how it looks in summer.

And here’s how it looked when I arrived.

Mt Troubridge hut was flown up in pieces by helicopter.

It replaced the Troubridge Hilton, a small communications hut that’s now more used as an emergency shelter on the top of the mountain.

I assumed I’d have Troubridge hut to myself again when Chris and his dog arrived. Rather than sharing a small space, Chris took the A-frame. I stayed in the hut on my own.

He had the views of Jervis inlet and could see all the way to Powell River.

Turns out winter camping is quite comfortable — when you can sleep in a hut rather than a tent.

I took plenty of winter wonderland video. And later managed to accidentally delete most of it. Somehow. 😕


Oct 26 – Troubridge to Fairview Bay hut (km 173)

More good weather. I was worried the descent might be slippery, but new snow was mostly grippy. No problems in approach shoes.

Navigation no problem in winter either.

I stopped 800m lower for lunch at Rainy Day lake (km 169) which has a hut.

Winter hiking is much different than doing the same thing in summer.

Eventually snow disappeared. Went away. Like magic. 😀

It got easier on the way down to Fairview Bay.

Again I had the hut to myself.

And again I had plenty of time for photos.


There’s the ferry I’ll be catching to North Vancouver.

Next morning a leisurely 2 hour walk out. Autumn is my favourite time of year for hiking.

This is the end of the South Coast Trail. But I have one section left to finish, close to Powell River. Looking forward to it already.

I had to telephone the bus for pick-up. But it only cost $2.25 to get me back to Lang Bay where I retrieved my bike.

If you want to learn more about Canada’s longest hut-to-hut hike, check first the official website and our own information page:

BestHike – Sunshine Coast Trail

sunshinecoast-trail.com

Willingdon Creek Trail, Powell River B.C.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles.

If you ever get to the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, there are two unique attractions in Powell River you might easily miss:

  1. Powell River Giant Hulks breakwater
  2. Willingdon Beach Trail

First, Willingdon.

Though it’s an easy, flat 1.2km stroll one way, I still rank Willingdon one of the best hikes in North America because it’s so unique. Historical.

Started 1910 as a logging railway along the coast, today it’s an outdoor museum of forestry technology, gradually being consumed by temperate rainforest.

Start at the main coastal park in downtown Powell River and walk towards Willingdon Beach Campsite (excellent, by the way).

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

After you finish the trail, if you continue walking towards the Pulp Mill — staying as close to the water as you can — you’ll get some distant views of the largest floating Hulk breakwater in the world. Very cool.

It’s used to protect the Pulp Mill’s log storage pond.

While nine of these ten ships were built during the Second World War, the tenth ship, the S. S. Peralta, is the last remaining WWI concrete ship afloat.

Click PLAY or see them on YouTube.

related – trip report – Adventure Awaits – Willingdon Beach Trail

Hiking Skookumchuck Narrows, B.C.

Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park is a little known highlight of the Sunshine Coast of British ColumbiaCanada.

It was established on August 25, 1957 to protect the Sechelt Rapids located in the Skookumchuck Narrows between Sechelt Inlet and Jervis Inlet.

Famous with the surf kayak crowd.

However, these waters are dangerous. People have drowned.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hikers enjoy an old-growth rainforest hiking trail leading to this powerful tidal phenomenon.

Each day, tides force large amounts of seawater through the narrows

The difference in water levels can exceed 2 m (6 ft 7 in) in height. … It is sometimes claimed to be the fastest tidal rapids in the world.

Click for larger version.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I got to the jumping off point, Egmont, early morning.

Because Egmont is off the main highway, most people speed past. It’s got an interesting end of the world vibe.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Hid my bike in the trees close to the nearby trailhead.

Enjoyed the wide, easy trail to North Point lookout.

Many turn back at North Point. But I continued on the rough trail to Roland Point.

Click PLAY or get a glimpse of my October hike on YouTube.


Related – Likely the world’s most powerful tidal current is not Skookumchuck, but the Saltstraumen maelstrom in Norway.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.