The record is held by Andrew Thompson (2005 ~47.5days) who had support. The last hiker to do it unsupported was Ward Leonard in 1990Rockin Rex-"The record that is set right now is from someone who did it unassisted."
Benton MacKaye would be just as surprised that anyone would thru hike the entire trail and until 1948 no one thought it could be done. Earl Shaffer had trouble convincing people he actually hiked the trail. MacKaye envisioned a series of work camps (or communes) where workers could come and get closer to nature and escape the stress and competitiveness of the industrialized world.Rockin Rex-"...Just seems he is missing the whole idea of what Benton Mckaye meant for the trail to be..."
Although I will never speed hike the A.T., and actually can't, I see nothing wrong with what Karl is doing. It in no way affects my accomplishment where I fulfilled my dream.
If he wants to do it "his" way, well, whatever. It's just to prove it can be done. If I was physically capable of such a feat I'm not sure I would do it. It would be just to say I did. There would be very little time to enjoy what you were doing. To me, that would be the whole point.
There are 100 mile races in the mountains. After 30 miles they have to stop and lance their blisters and tape their feet so they can keep going. What fun!
There was a recent race in the Whites. Up under the gondola on Wildcat to the summit, down the Wildcat Ridge Trail to Glen Ellis Falls. Up the Glen Boulder Trail to Boott Spur. Down the Boott Spur Trail to the Boott Spur Link Trail and then down to Hojo's. From there along the Raymond Path to Huntington Ravine Trail. Up Huntington Ravine Trail to the summit. Down and over Clay to Jefferson. Down the Six Husband's Trail to the Great Gulf Trail, then up the abandoned Adams Slide Trail to the summit of Adams. From there over to Madison and down the Daniel Webster Scout Trail to Dolly Copp. About 20 miles and 16,000+elevation gain. Most finished under 12 hours. Anyone up for next years run?
Tim Seaver ran 21 4000 footers in 24 hours last year. Mats Roing hiked all 48 4000 footers continuous, unaided. This means he hiked all the distance between them, too, in 11 days last year, and it wasn't a record.
There's a lot of nuts out there!
It just goes to show if there is a record to beat somewhere, someone will try to beat it.
Is there really any BAD weather???
Keep close to Nature's heart...
and break clear away, once in awhile,
and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods.
Wash your spirit clean. - John Muir
Hiking photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/mtruman42
Hiking Blog: http://theramblingsblog.blogspot.com/
Seek the 2011 Peak page: Mark Truman's Pledge Page
Art not sure what you consider a support team? I would have to say Andrew would disagree with you. Karl is completely computerized and they know where he is every 10 minutes. He sleeps in a camper every night and did you check out what his menu is. He is eating better than I do at home. If you go to view from the top forum Andrew's record is talked about there and from I what I read it was what I would call unassisted. Ward Leonard I met and he was just a fast insane hiker. He did it like everyone else. Well I guess we will all see if Karl and his crew make it to Springer.
Wrong. You're looking at uninformed opinions from people who apparently aren't familiar with Andrew's speed hike. While many people may totally disagree with Karl's supported hike, the fact remains that Andrew Thompson was supported, as everyone, including Andrew Thompson, freely admitsRockin Rex-"Art not sure what you consider a support team? I would have to say Andrew would disagree with you....
...If you go to view from the top forum Andrew's record is talked about there and from I what I read it was what I would call unassisted...."
Andrew Thompson-"The AT was a two-man effort—me, the hiker, and my best friend Jon Basham, as support crew. We had one vehicle, a Toyota Tacoma, which we lived out of. Basically, we broke it down to 45-50 miles each day, and we went north to south. Jonboy would meet me where roads crossed the trail. Sometimes several times a day, sometimes never. Nearly every day ended at a road crossing where we camped (discretely and out of sight). Jonboy cooked on the tailgate, and we each slept in backcountry tents, always tucked out of sight. I couldn’t afford to be awoken in the middle of the night by police. We only had one situation when we were in Shenandoah, and a ranger was patrolling, due to severe weather. We were moved 15 miles up the road to the nearest campsite in the National Park. After many long days of repetition, we climbed Springer Mountain, GA, around midnight, to set the record, breaking the 48-day, 20-hour mark set by a friend of mine, Pete Palmer of Bar Harbor, Maine."
"I love the trail. I’ve lived within miles of it in five different states. My speed hike was another way to experience it. These words taken directly from Andrew Thompson site http://www.vtsports.com/features/1801. This is the difference. How many times has Karl done the trail before?? Karl doesn't love the trail. He only wants to beat Andrew's record. See those of us who have spent most of our lives hiking the A.T. know what it means to really love the A.T. I am so into the A.T. I named my kids after it. Baxter,Daicey and Madison. See For Andrew his passion was just taken to another level. Karl is a whole different story. Karl's passion is breaking a record. He could care less about the trail.
Rockin Rex, Sorry but I'm having trouble following you. You went from Andrew Thompson's speed hike being unsupported, which was incorrect, to what seems to be your real reason for disapproving of Karl's hike-you somehow feel he could care less about the trail. Now that you know Andrew Thompson's speed hike was supported do you despise him too?
There is nothing I have seen or read to indicate that Karl doesn't respect the trail and the other users on the trail. His doing the trail differently that most doesn't mean he doesn't appreciate it in his own way. HYOH-Hike Your Own Hike.
With over 6000 miles and thousands of hours of volunteer time over a quarter of a century I don't take Karl's hike to be an affront against God, MacKaye, or me. I can see that nothing anyone says will change your mind but it is unhealthy for you to obsess over this. Have a nice day.