John Muir Trail record attempt(s)

“I built a castle in the swamp and it sunk. I built a second castle and it sunk too. I built a third castle and it burned down and then sunk. But the fourth castle, Ahhhh! That one stood.”

—Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Well-written account of an attempt to speed hike the JMT by 49-year-old Al Shaver.

Before my attempt, Reinhold Metzger held the unsupported, unresupplied speed record for the 208 mile John Muir Trail at 5 days 7 hours. I hoped to best his time this September. After three valiant attempts, his record still stands.

I knew I wasn’t necessarily the person best suited to break Reinhold’s record, but I was drawn to the challenge and I thought it was possible. …

As it turns out, the third time is not always a charm. I could take the advice of Mssrs. Cleese et al and try one more time, but I fear I took on a 40 miles a day challenge with 30 miles a day feet.

Results: John Muir Trail (JMT) Record Attempt – Unsupported, Without Resupply @ Backpacking Light

Al Shaver and the gear

(via The Adventure Blog)

One Reply to “John Muir Trail record attempt(s)”

  1. Well, after reading your failed account I am simultaneously inspired and disheartened. I am planning to do the JMT for the first time this summer – solo. My current goal is 9 days with perhaps one cash at Reds Meadow (still considering a 2nd somewhere). Hopefully 9 days is a reasonable compromise between speed hiking and slow motion heavy hiking.

    I’m inspired because of your enthusiam and determination, but disheartened because your account makes it sound a bit tougher than I am imagining. I better start training harder.

    One comment on your attempt. From your account, one thing stands out in my mind – self sabbotage. You seem totally strong enough and determined enough. However, at numerous points you seem to have made decisions that significantly contributed to your failure. This is a really common issue when attempting personal goals.

    Best of luck in any future endeavors

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