I am pleased to announce that my ex co-worker Shawn Forry has successfully broken the speed record of the fastest unsupported hike of the Colorado Trail. Get this – he beat it by four days. His official time was 10 days, 19 hours and 5 minutes.
For those of you not in the know, the Colorado Trail is a beautiful long distance hike that runs from just southwest of Denver (Waterton Canyon), to Durango. All in all, the trail is 486 miles. If you do the math, that means Shawn averaged around 46 miles per day in his hike. Pretty impressive, huh? The trail loses and gains around 89,000ft of elevation over its full length, with a maximum elevation of 13,271ft.
This type of hiking is referred to as ultra-lite thru-hiking. Like these hikers, most of the sport is dedicated to lightening your pack to a ridiculous degree and becoming very efficient in the backcountry. This can include anything from food rationing, stripping your pack of unnecessary materials, to even making your own down quilt (which Shawn has done). I guess all I am trying to say is that there’s a bit more involved than just cutting your toothbrush in half.
Shawn is no stranger to this sport, however. As I mentioned in a post a few months ago, Shawn hiked the entire length of the High Himalaya Trail, which is also no small feet. It almost feels wrong to call it a trail, and you’ll know what I mean if you watch this video of Shawn’s Himalayan journey:
All of this being said, it is very refreshing to see a “normal person” succeed in outdoor sports. Shawn is very much liker every one of us and he is very passionate about this sport. He is definitely one of the top thru-hikers in the entire world, and his resume proves it. Even if you don’t know this guy, you’ll see what I mean. Check out his website here.