The first three days on the 142-mile Northville-Placid Trail, “we had a nice crust,” said Henry Horvath, 15. “We made good time snowshoeing, and sometimes didn’t even need snowshoes.”
Day Four, “it warmed up. The crust was almost gone. We had two days of post-holing – stepping on snow and going down deep into snow. Even with snow shoes, we’d sink 6-7 inches.”
Until then, Horvath and his father, Tim, 50, had been hiking three miles an hour on roadway, two miles off-road – averaging 17.25 miles a day. That day, “it took five and a half hours to go eight and a half miles,” the son said, about half their best time.
But they soldiered on, the weather cooled, and on March 15, 2021, they completed the “unsupported” trek in 7 days, 9 hours, no minutes and no seconds, the first team to have recorded the accomplishment on FKT.com – for “fastest known times,” an international record-keeping site.
“Unsupported” means the Horvaths carried in lean provisions in 20-pound packs, including just two pairs of socks each – they slept in wet socks overnight, drying them with their body heat.
“They did something really amazing,” said Bethany Garretson, the Cherry Valley native, now a hiking enthusiast, an outdoor writer, a Paul Smiths College professor and a friend of the Horvaths.