This is a graduate level run (yes, like Hardrock). It is almost unsupported and unmarked. This CANNOT be your first 50 miler. This course is much, much harder than you expect. There are many cairns and you primarily stay on the ridge but with no ribbon it is still possible to get well off course. The "graduate" part is due to the requirement to carry what you need for 5 - 9 hours of running and once out on the course there is no easy way out until the turnaround. You are almost always above 9500 feet on a rocky (but beautiful) trail. Course starts and finishes at the Hyalite Creek Trailhead and is out and back on 100% trails with one significant climb to 10,300 feet and multiple short steep climbs totaling 11,400 feet. Though the climb is not huge, it is deceptively hard due to elevation and sometimes rocky trails. Please, experienced ultrarunners only! The course will not be marked except by FS blazes and cairns . It is generally well-worn except in meadows. Hand drawn and Topo maps available at the website. There will be nice streams multiple times in the first (and last) 7 miles. There is a murky lake at 11 miles (and 39 miles), and a very small spring a quarter mile later and lots of snow to put in your water carrier. There is a nice creek at the 25 mile turnaround point. Water has certainly been frequented by wildlife, especially the lake, so a filter is recommended. Cutoff is 9 hours at the turn-around cabin. Exposure is extreme in case of a thunderstorm. Possibility of elk, goats, mountain lions and bears (all seen in past few yrs) and the most beautiful views imaginable of Paradise Valley and the Absaroka and Spanish Peaks mountain ranges.
Relay: Two-person relay is an option for those not certain they want to do this course solo. The second relay person is responsible to drive to the Windy Pass cabin hand-off (see map). Relay members will be asked to help carry aid station and drop bag stuff up or down the trail to the turn-around. Second relay person can start when they choose on Saturday and time themselves. First relay person can drive their partner's vehicle to the start/finish or Bozeman. First relay person starts with the solo 50 milers. Though we prefer a true relay for traffic reasons, any teams wishing to run together can check with us. A time penalty of 30 minutes is added if you both start at Windy Pass and subtracted if you both start at Hyalite.
Local time: 8:20 AM