the pfiffner traverse
77 miles, 57,000 feet of elevation gain, 5 13,000-foot peaks
In July 2018, Sunny Stroeer set the female FKT on the Pfiffner Traverse. Starting from Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park, she traversed the Rocky Mountains through a roadless swath of land (more than half of which is off-trail) 76 miles south to Berthoud Pass, right off I-70.
This weekend, she and Sara Aranda are going to help me break her record.
According to Andrew Skurka, who has documented the route extensively, "As an end-to-end effort, the Pfiffner Traverse is an expert-level project, requiring excellent physical fitness and backcountry skills, plus a favorable weather window. Forty percent of its length is off-trail, up to Class 3 in difficulty. Oxygen is always in short supply: the route drops below 10,000 feet only twice, and it climbs five 13,000-foot peaks. Vertical change is never-ending, with 760 feet of climbing or descending per mile. And there are no convenient resupply opportunities."