Trans-Zion (UT) Nov 1, 2009 21:51:58 GMT -5
Post by Peter Bakwin on Nov 1, 2009 21:51:58 GMT -5
Mike Foote & Justin Yates, 7h22m08s (East to West), May 26, 2013
Joelle Vaught, 8h26m09s (East to West), May 20, 2016
Previous: Travis Macy, 7h27m46s (West to East), April 5, 2013
Previous: Luke Nelson, 7h48m47s (East to West), May 3, 2012
Previous: Bethany Lewis, 8h32m (East to West), April 21, 2013
Previous: Krissy Moehl, 9h09m (East to West), May 3, 2012
Craig Lloyd & Jennilyn Eaton ran a double Trans-Zion in 24h50m on November 7, 2014.
The Trans-Zion Trek (sometimes also called the "Zion Traverse") is a 48-mile route across Zion National Park in Southwestern Utah. It runs from Lee Pass in the Kolob Canyons section of the park, to the East Entrance Trailhead, though stunning and diverse high desert landscape. The route is typically done as a 5-day backpacking trip.
West-to-east distances are approximately as follows. Much more detail (and maps) is available on Joe Braun's site.
*** Belt Buckle Route! ***
Rickey Gates and partner Elizabeth Thorp have created a series of custom belt buckles commemorating some of the most iconic and hotly contested FKT routes! Each buckle is awarded to the FKT holder, and passed on when that FKT is superseded.
|La Verkin Creek Trail||6.5 miles|
|Hop Valley Trail||6.5 miles|
|Connector Trail||4 miles|
|Wildcat Canyon Trail||5 miles|
|West Rim Trail||15 miles|
|Zion Canyon Road||1 mile|
|East Rim Trail||10 miles|
The crossing was apparently first done in a single day in the early 1990s by Terry Tucker. The idea was picked up by Bo Beck, and dubbed the "Far Far Fest". Beck and friends have made the trek several times, and in both directions. Beck's fastest time is 14h25m, set April 28, 2007 (west to east).
The route was "rediscovered" by Jared Campbell while studying maps of the park. Campbell and champion ultrarunner Karl Meltzer ran the crossing from west to east in 10h24m on April 19, 2008. The two were resupplied by friends at the West Rim TH (near Lava Point), and at the Grotto in Zion Canyon.
On May 2, 2009, a large group mostly from Boulder, CO, tackled the Trans-Zion. 14 runners started at the Lee Pass TH, and 3 at the East Entrance. The west-to-east runners had support at the Hop Valley TH and at the Grotto, but the east-to-west runners were unsupported. Conditions were excellent, with generally cool and overcast weather but little rain, and many water sources running. The Telephone Canyon Trail was closed, so all runners used the West Rim Trail (as did Campbell & Meltzer). All-star backpacker turned champion ultrarunner Andy Skurka ran east-to-west (unsupported) in a new record time of 9h27m. Ever the trip planner, Skurka has detailed information about the route on his website, including a map set and databook. He also posted a nice YouTube video & spectacular photos from the trip on his site. Other finishers of the Trans-Zion that day were Jason Chapman, Greg Poettgen, Peter Bakwin (10h29m, west-to-east), Carol Gerber (13h00m, west-to-east, women's FKT), John Prater, Mark Oveson, Eric Lee, Paul Grimm, Stephanie Ehret, Kari Fraser, and Chris Gerber (the last 5 also did side trips to Kolob Arch and Angel's Landing). Dan Brillon, Jonas Fast, Kristen Alvarez, Louisa Jenkins and Tressa Breindel started at Lee Pass and stopped at the Grotto.
Jared Campbell took back the FKT, with his friend Christian Johnson, on November 27, 2009, running west-to-east in 9h08m. They had about 1.8 "bonus" miles to get aid from Campbell's fiance at Wildcat TH, since her car couldn't get to the West Rim TH.
Campbell & Johnson's FKT held for less than half a year, as Matt Hart became the first to go under 8 hours, running east-to-west in 7h58m on May 14, 2010. About 2 years later, Luke Nelson took 10 minutes off Hart's time, running 7h48m47s on May 3, 2012, as reported below. Nelson ran east-to-west, which seems to be the preferred direction for going fast. His run was supported. Nelson's FKT lasted only 11 months, when Travis Macy ran 7h27m46s west-to-east, supported, as reported below. As the overall FKT, this time lasted less than 2 months, and was broken by Mike Foote and Justin Yates in 7h22m8s east-to-west, supported, as reported below. Macy's time remains the west-to-east FKT.
Carol Gerber set the first known FKT by a woman (13h00m, west-to-east) on May 2, 2009. Her report from the run is below. Candice Burt set a new women's FKT at 11h47m (west-to-east, unsupported) on November 16, 2011. Her report is on her blog. Krissy Moehl demolished the previous women's FKT on May 3, 2012, running the route in 9h09m (east-to-west). Moehl started with Luke Nelson, but they only ran together a short time before Nelson pulled away. Like Nelson, Moehl's run was supported. Bethany Lewis reported (below) that she lowered the women's FKT to 8h32m on April 21, 2013. Her run was self-supported and partially paced. Montrail athlete Joelle Vaught took another 6 minutes off the women's FKT on May 20, 2016, as reported below (east to west, supported, partially paced). Montrail produced a nice video of Voight's adventure. In just a few years this has become a highly competative and sought-after FKT!
Craig Lloyd did the first known double Trans-Zion in 26h55m03s on May 11-12, 2012, as reported below. His full report with photos is at www.refuse2quit.com/2012/05/zion-double-traverse-report.html. Lloyd's trip was supported. Lloyd returned with Jennilyn Eaton on November 7, 2014, and completed the double Traverse in 24h50m (supported).
Carol Gerber's run report:
My time was 13 hours (exactly, I think!). I took off at 5:20ish a.m. with 8 other runners. When we were running we were going at a good pace, but we stopped a lot it seemed to take pictures and admire the views. We also took the 1/2 mile Kolob Arch detour. When Peter, Dan & Jonas caught us, Chris mentioned that he didn't think we'd get caught within 10 miles [Peter, Dan & Jonas had started about an hour later than the others]. I looked at my watch and it was 8 a.m. and that meant we had only gone 10 miles in 2h40m! I told Chris we needed to pick-up the pace and he said our pace put us at a 15 hour finish. I decided I didn't want to be out there for 15 hours, so I took off and tried to keep Peter, Dan & Jonas in my sights. I ran solo until mile 15, where Mark's parents provided water. Peter, Dan & Jonas were there. I quickly filled my water bottles and said I'd try to keep up with them until they caught Mark & John. Peter, Dan & Jonas dropped me within 10-15 minutes, so I followed the map and ran solo to mile 37 - The Grotto. It was absolutely wonderful to be out there running by myself. There were quite a few backpackers and I met Andy, Jason & Greg going the opposite direction at one of the water places, so we chatted a bit. I didn't expect to see anyone else that I knew once I got to mile 37, so I went to the restroom, filled my water bottles and ate some food. I didn't see the trail, so I asked a park ranger where it was. He wasn't familiar with Zion... he was a Grand Canyon park ranger, so he wasn't much help. I started walking toward where the shuttles pick folks up to ask someone and low and behold there's Mark's parents and Mark! He was just leaving, so I asked if I could join he and John. We caught up with John at the next shuttle stop and the 3 of us started the climb up the East Rim Trail. Part way up, Mark suffered from dehydration and slowed down a lot. John and I kept going, but we kept Mark in our sights. John and I were talking non-stop catching-up on things, as he and I had met earlier this winter on a snowshoe trek up Quandary peak. We got water at the top of the climb. Mark was feeling better and moving faster at that point. Mark insisted that he was fine and that John and I should run to the finish, which we did. It was a great descent and I finished at 6:20 p.m. Mark's parents were there and it was great to see Dixie walking up the trail! I knew I was close to the finish when I saw her! Mark's parents gave me a ride back to The Watchman campground, which was great as I didn't want to hitchhike or run! Great run overall - great weather - overcast with a nice breeze. Great scenery! -- Carol Gerber
Zion Canyon, photo by Andy Skurka
East Rim switchbacks, photo by Kristen Alvarez