A 20 mile dayNormally I don't like to do anything above about 12 miles in a day simply because it pushes me beyond where I like to be. However, this year I have already had several 20 (or near 20) mile days and each time I do that distance I ask myself "WHY?"
In this case, I knew it would take a big effort to get the three peaks needed for claiming both Madison and Teton counties in Idaho and I was mentally prepared to deal with it. Adam Helman from San Diego was going to go after them and so I went to "tag" along. Dennis Poulin and myself had done two big efforts just a week earlier in picking off Big Baldy in Valley county, a 32 mile backpacking effort spread over three days and then an 18 mile dayhike of Snowyside Peak in the Sawtooth mountain range. I knew I could do the hike with Adam despite the fact that Adam is a lot faster and somewhat younger.
I met Adam at 6 a.m. at the trailhead and it wasn't until 7:30 p.m. when we saw the cars again. If you take out the 30 minutes each that we spent on the summits of the three peaks and several 5 to 10 minute rest breaks, we had an actual hiking time of under 12 hours. Since this is not meant to be a trip report, but rather a place where I can store the pictures until I can put together a SP mountain page, I'll not go into any more detail. Suffice it to say that we were pretty tired when we finally got back to our vehicles but it was a "happy" tired.
Dan Robbins wrote a Trip Report (see day 3) wherein he called it "The Endurance Challenge". His report was what really helped me to understand what we were going to face when Adam and I did this hike. Interestingly enough, he notes the distance as 22 miles and that might be a bit more accurate than what I ended up with.