Ultra-Runner Michael Wirth Posts a Ridiculous New FKT on Colorado’s Elks Traverse

Nick DeRiso |
New FKT on Elks Trail CO
Michael is en route to a new FKT. Screen Grab Courtesy of michaelcwirth

Big congratulations to Michael C. Wirth and his incredible feat of posting a new FKT mountain running on Colorado’s Elks Traverse. Michael’s time clocked in at 22 hours, 30 minutes, and 50 seconds from start to finish, smashing notable mountain runner Rickey Gates’s previous record of 27 hours and 25 minutes posted back in August 2015. A Colorado native, Michael is no stranger to these rugged peaks nestled in the Rockies. A force in the mountains, he has already climbed and skied all 59 peaks above 13,000’ in the Elk Range in just 61 days.  

The Elk Mountains are located on the west side of the Continental Divide of the Rocky Mountains in west-central Colorado. The mountains sit southwest of Aspen, and west of Sawatch Range. A tumultuous pack of crumbling peaks, it contains seven of Colorado’s most celebrated 14ers. 

The Elk Range, Colorado
Photo Courtesy of Pikes Peak Photo

The Elks Traverse starts at the Capitol Creek Trailhead, end at ends at the Castle Creek Trailhead connecting all seven 14ers in the range. En route from start to finish, you summit all seven of the 14,000-foot mountains in the Elks. Castle, Conundrum, Capitol, Maroon, North Maroon, Pyramid, and Snowmass. The Maroon Bells are world famous and possibly one of the best-known tourist destinations in all of Colorado. The tallest is Castle Peak standing at 14,265′, followed by Maroon Peak at 14,156′, and Capitol Peak at 14,130′. 

Michael’s journey encompassed a total distance of nearly 55 miles and an accumulation just north of 23,000 feet of elevation gain. Awesome work, Michael, we’re looking forward to what you’ve got in store next!

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