Four-Thousand Footers Speed Hike – The Plan

On Monday, September 8, 2014, at 11:30 a.m., my daughter Brianna and I will begin an attempt to improve on the Fastest Known Times (FKTs) for hiking the Four-Thousand Footers, a group of forty-eight mountains in New Hampshire that are at least 4,000 feet above sea level. The men’s FKT was set in July of this year by Andrew Thompson. His time was 3 days, 14 hours, 59 minutes. The women’s FKT was set in 2010 by Cath Goodwin. Her time was 4 days, 19 hours, 56 minutes.

Brianna and I plan to start our hike at the Unknown Pond Trailhead to Mt. Cabot and finish on the summit of Owl’s Head. The course we have planned is approximately 185 miles long with 58,000 feet of positive elevation gain. We will carry a SPOT satellite tracker to record our progress during our hike. The updates from the device will be posted here.

The following list shows when we need to reach the specified trailheads in order to be on pace to improve on the men’s FKT.

  1. Unknown Pond Trailhead (after Cabot): 15:37, Monday, September 8th
  2. Starr King Trailhead (after Waumbek): 19:38
  3. Carter-Moriah Trailhead, Gorham, NH: 04:21, Tuesday, September 9th
  4. Webster-Jackson Trailhead, Crawford Notch: 17:49
  5. Ethan Pond Trailhead, Willey House Station Road: 21:45
  6. Signal Ridge Trailhead (after Carrigain): 02:30, Wednesday, September 10th
  7. Oliverian Brook Trailhead, Kancamagus Highway: 10:30
  8. Hancock Trailhead (after Hancocks): 14:40
  9. Osceola Trailhead, Tripoli Road: 18:00
  10. Waterville Ski Area (after Tecumseh): 20:45
  11. Gorge Brook Trailhead (after Moosilauke): 00:55 Thursday, September 11th
  12. Old Bridle Path Trailhead (off I-93): 06:30
  13. Owl’s Head: 02:29 Friday, September 12th

The following is an alternate route that we may take, depending on weather, ending on Mt. Passaconaway.

  1. Unknown Pond Trailhead (after Cabot): 15:37, Monday, September 8th
  2. Starr King Trailhead (after Waumbek): 19:38
  3. Carter-Moriah Trailhead, Gorham, NH: 04:21, Tuesday, September 9th
  4. Webster-Jackson Trailhead, Crawford Notch: 17:49
  5. Ethan Pond Trailhead, Willey House Station Road: 21:45
  6. Signal Ridge Trailhead (after Carrigain): 02:30, Wednesday, September 10th
  7. Liberty Springs Trailhead (after Pemi’s): 23:55
  8. Lafayette Campground: 04:55, Thursday, September 11th
  9. Gorge Brook Trailhead: 08:42
  10. Waterville Valley Ski Area (after Tecumseh): 12:06
  11. Greely Ponds North Trailhead: 15:26
  12. Hancock Trailhead (after Hancocks): 19:30
  13. Mt Passaconaway: 02:29 Friday, September 12th

September 22, 2014: A report on the hike is now posted here.

4 Responses to “Four-Thousand Footers Speed Hike – The Plan”


  1. 2 Trish September 8, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Good luck guys! I am there in spirit. I work with Melanie and she just told us of your adventure. I wish you all the best and am living vicariously through you!

  2. 3 GerryD September 12, 2014 at 11:24 am

    It’s been fun following your progress this week although I feel totally inadequate sitting at my desk all week while you two slug it out on the trails. Looks like you’ve had good weather and that you’re in the last stretch. Very impressive. Congratulations ahead of time!

  3. 4 Andrea September 22, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    WOOHOO what a grand accomplishment and how special to be able to such a thing with one of your kids. I am also excited to say that I saw you as I was coming down the Avalon trail. I though I recognized you 🙂 !!


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