Post by Peter Bakwin on Nov 2, 2009 16:48:39 GMT -5
Keith Knipling holds the record, 14h46m30s, set Sept. 6, 2008
The Massanutten Mountain Trail is a National Recreation Trail. It is a 71-mile loop in the George Washington National Forest, on the ridgelines of the eastern and western ranges of the Massanutten Mountain. According to the Virginia Happy Trails Running Club (VHTRC): "The 'trail' is hard, rocky, and slow. Sections of the trail have been around in some cases for centuries, but the entire, uninterrupted, 71-mile Massanutten Trail was not completed until 2002."
With the close proximity of a very active group of ultrarunners (VHTRC), the MMT ring was run by Chris Scott and Anstr Davidson (27h51m) even before it was officially dedicated in 2002. Since then, VHTRC organizes a race of the route every September, and some fast times have been recorded. Here is a list of winning times for each year, from the VHTRC website:
The problem with hiking this unsupported is there's no reliable water on the 71 mile loop, aside from the loop around Strasburg Lake. A winter attempt (with snow/melt to source from) would the way I'd go about it. Totally doable in the winter in less than 18 hours by starting with 4-5K calories...if you can get the H2O along the way.
There is very reliable water at the spring near mudhole gap, also a reliable spring coming down from Powells Mtn into Edinburgh (or up depending on direction). I have used both these a number of times with no issues
There are also the streams at the base of waterfall and coming(leaving depending on direction) into Camp Roosevelt(Duncan Hollow) as well as Veach Gap.
I am going to try a self-supported Ring this Saturday (6/25). I am planning to plant aid at 3 places along the route. I will start at Signal Knob and go in the clockwise direction. I'll use my phone, watch, and Garmin to record time. Happy Trails!