Written by Cave Dog


No organizing body regulates, promotes, or records this record.  It is up to the individual challenger and his support crew to hold up to the ideals of The Long Trail Record (LTR) as they have been passed down through heritage and tradition.  It is a natural tendency of competitors to try to trim the effort required to break a record.  As a record becomes more finetuned, there is inevitable disagreement between challengers as to when it is acceptable to cut corners.  No one has written down the rules of the game for this informal record.  This piece has been written in an effort to explain some of the idiosyncrasies of this record to the public and to reduce any confusion between future challengers about what it takes to set a new record.


    To hike all of The Long Trail in the least amount of time.


1.  The Route

    The route is the current route for The Long Trail.

Every foot of The Long Trail must be traversed in a fashion suitable to the mountaineering ethic.  The overall route can be hiked either northbound or southbound.  The Long Trail must be hiked on foot, in one footpath, in the same direction, and in order.  One may not cut switchbacks or use parallel woods roads or ski runs.  The challenger must use the current route for The Long Trail regardless of any changes made since the current record was established.   The Long Trail Record has evolved over the years to meet the expectations of the Green Mountain mountaineering community.  This evolution has occurred by one record at a time.  If there have been relocations, it is up to the challenger to update the record with the new portions of the route.

2.  Provisions

    Provisions may be given at any point during the challenge.

3.  Vehicles:

    While on the route, one cannot use any form of mechanical or biological devices for propulsion.

No vehicles can be used for propulsion at any time during the course of the LTR.  A vehicle is any mechanical device such as cars, trucks, ATV's, bicycles, helicopters, etc., and/or any animals such as horses, mules, people, etc.  If one uses a vehicle, they must go back to the point of departure from the route before starting again.  The route cannot be done in sections, out of sequence.  The route most be traversed by foot in the same direction in the same order as one continuous footpath.  This is a record set by the skills and power of the individual mountaineer not through the use of mechanical or biological aid.

4.  The Clock:

    The clock starts at one terminus of The Long Trail and stops at the other terminus.

The clock never stops until the entire Long Trail has been hiked in accordance to the rules.

5.  The Least Amount of Time:

        To set a new record, a challenger must finish The Long Trail in less time than the current record holder.

6.  Notification
        Notify the current record holder of intentions to challenge the record before the attempt.

A challeger, out of respect, should make an effort to give the current record holder a couresty call before an attempt.  In doing this, the attempt is tied to the history of the event.  It also makes for an easier acceptance of a new record.

7.  The Honor System:

    The Long Trail Record rules are informal and essentially voluntary.

In fact, in the attempt all is essentially informal and voluntary.  The Long Trail must be hiked; however, there are no officials to record the times, no competitors alongside to provide a gauge of reference.  There is only you, the inanimate trail, the currently recognized record, and your word of honor that you have actually done what you report to have done.

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