Anja Petterson Blazes through the Enchantments

For most people, this 24-mile hike is a multi-day backpacking trip. A few hearty souls can hike the Enchantments in a day. But it’s well known for its physical challenges and roughly 5,000 feet of vert that include boulder hobbling, scree bounding, and a lot of nasty roots that make it quite an adventure. At the same time, it’s an ultra-runner’s paradise with moderate altitude and brilliant alpine lakes with beautiful rock formations. Wenatchee runner Anja Petterson finished the route in 4 hours 55 minutes this summer to become the fastest female time on record. Previously, Candice Burt held the record at 5 hours 18 minutes. In case you’re curious, the men’s record is 3 hours 56 minutes. Anja reports she went off course four times and possibly climbed a bit higher than necessary. According to Strava, she averaged 12:26 per mile, but that’s mostly due to slow progress up Aasgard Pass. Most of the time she was running under a 9-minute mile pace on technical terrain. In her Instagram post, Anja wrote, “24 aggressive point to point Enchantment miles, 5 gels, 11 goats, 2 bloody spills, and 7 ingested mosquitoes later… I did it! Women’s #FKT of 4:55 from parking lot to parking lot.” 

Photo by Jon Jonckers

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