Monday, October 15, 2012

Sierra Speed

A compilation of trail running and peak-bagging "fastest known times", speed-climbing records, and ski mountaineering feats.

Ken Etzel Photo

Killian and Ueli are tearing up mountains around the world while visitors and locals are crushing speed records up and down the Sierra.  Speedy endeavors in the High Sierra cross disciplines and seasons.  With a beautiful and fast network of trails, technical peaks of note, great weather and a host of talented multi-sport mountain athletes, the Sierra is ripe for even speedier times.  Sage To Summit has made efforts in the past to inspire and record fast times, and is doing a good job of compiling trail running and speed climbing records.  The idea of "fastest known time" gives credence to the very likely possibility that someone else may have done an endeavor quicker in the past.  Hans Florine keeps up to date speed records for Yosemite Valley (and some High Sierra endeavors) at

It is my hope that this page will serve a similar purpose here in the High Sierra, condensing and maintaining current info in a user-friendly package.  We'll keep it to the region covered in Secor's guide book (plus the Whites…), but remain open to technical climbing, peak-ascents, trail-running and ski mountaineering endeavors.  This is simply my best effort, although I feel pretty tuned in to the "scene" here.  Keep it safe, civil, and honest.  I'll try and link to outside references when possible, but those links may change with time.  Without further ado, lets start a list and get it growing even bigger and faster.  Some will likely fall by huge margins. Some are big, well known and virtually unattainable.  Others are small, obscure, and utterly attainable.  Git some!

At least mildly technical
  • California 14ers. 1st TH to final TH, any order.  All 15 of the "classic" peaks.  62 hours, 3 min. Sean O'Rourke
  • Cloudripper, S. Lake TH and back.  2:54:04 Jed Porter
  • NE Ridge Bear Creek Spire. Mosquito Flat CTC.  Jed Porter. 9/2014 3:47:53.  
  • Mt. Morrison.  Pavement at Convict, Roundtrip.  Howie Schwartz 3:48
  • Middle Palisade.  Car to car.  8:36 Hans Florine   (Can certainly be done much faster.  Probably has been... For instance, Aaron Richards says: "I don't remember exactly what my time was. I wasn't trying - took a 45 min lunch nap on top and was somewhere in the 1 hour range faster.")
  • Mount Sill. Car to Car. 9:17, Jerry Dodril and Hans Florine   (Same as Middle Palisade... Git some!)
  • Sawtooth Traverse.  North to South.  11:40, Sean Leary
  • North Arete Crystal Crag.  Lake George round trip.  Ryan Boyer 55:00
  • Mendenhall Couloir,  Mt Laurel.Convict Car to car.  Ryan Boyer 2:12
  • White Mountain Traverse.  Barcroft Gate to Queen Canyon Saddle. Jed Porter 9/2014 11:25:36* (The asterisk is for the fact that I started out with Jeff K. I finished under Crowley and Elam's time, but Jeff didn't. Jon Crowley and Jimmy Elam have a "cleaner" claim with a time of 11:39.
  • Nevahbe Ridge.  37º 33.376' N 118º 46.665' W to pk 3820+, RT Up the ridge, down whichever way. Jon Crowley 5:44
  • North Arete Matterhorn Peak.  Car to Car.  Scott Sinner 2013, 7:15
  • Evolution Traverse. Car to Car.  Austin. 23:58.
  • Mt. Emerson SE Face.  Pack station parking lot, round trip.  Peter Clark. 3:31:02 9/2014 
  • Chouinard Falls. 35m of toprope sending. Snow (or the end of the rope, whichever is further) to chains. 1:50 Jed Porter.
  • Mount Ritter. Agnew trailhead, round trip. Ian McEleney. July 2015. 7:18
  • Bardini Canyon, Table Mountain, on skis.  4 Jeffreys to 4 Jeffreys via summit.  ~1:10 Jed Porter
  • Punta Bardini.  Southernmost "No Parking" sign at the propane tanks to summit ("3115T" on USGS quad) and back.  1:08:42 Jed Porter
  • Mt. Abbott. Mosquito Flat RT.  4:00, Jed Porter
  • Skier's Gibbs.  Oil Plant Road (7049T on topo) to "summit" (12565T) and back.  7:10 Ken Etzel and Jed Porter
  • Mt Gabb.  Mosquito Flat Trailhead kiosk, RT.  9:10 Jon Crowley
  • Mt. Darwin.  North Lake trailhead kiosk, RT.  9:09 Jon Crowley
  • Earthquake Dome.  Pavement to summit and back. 26:34 Jed Porter
Let's see more of this!  But be safe.  You know, be safe, but go fast.  You have to go fast, but, well, be safe.  Other candidates ready for an entry:  

  • Chicken Wing, on skis.
  • Kid Mountain, on skis.
  • Towering Inferno, Owens Gorge.  Bottom to top.
  • And so on...


  1. Nice! Thanks for updating Jed. - Steve B

  2. Coming after that Punta Bardini and Earthquake dome times this year ;)