Fastest known time (FKT) is a phrase used by mountain runners, ski mountaineers, and climbers, among others, to refer to what is known to be the speed record for a given peak or route. A FKT acknowledges the fact that many fast ascents routinely go unrecorded and to claim to be the fastest ever in a sport with no officials may improper. It is a nod though to those of us who care and keep track of things like speed records.I doubt anyone could give a reasonable argument that interest in speed attempts and FKTs is not well rooted in our desire to impress upon others that we are the best at something, recognition always feels good, however I do believe that for myself, the interest may also stem from my time as a competitive nordic skier but also from a deep desire to sleep in my own comfortable bed each night. I do enjoy camping but generally have the philosophy that if something can be done in a day (IAD) then why prolong the suffering? I would rather cruise around the Spearhead in 5 hours with a 5 pound pack and be back to the village for a burger and home for a movie than slog around it in 3 days with a 25 pound pack suffering a snoring tent-mate and dehydrated food. Below is a collection of FKTs for peaks and routes in my area and others that I am interested in. They have no particular significance aside from the fact that I have heard of them and they seem fun. I try to keep abreast of changes but leave a comment if I am missing something! All times are car-to-car (or trailhead-to-trailhead) unless noted.
Grand Wall (base to top of Roman Chimneys) – 38 minutes Alex Honnold
Slesse, Northeast Buttress (base to summit) – 1:08 Marc-Andre Leclerc
Grand Teton (Owen Spaulding Route): Andy Anderson – 2:53.02
Teton Grand Traverse: Nick Elson – 6hr30m (Previously Rolo Garibotti – 6:49)
Denali (Cassin Ridge): Colin Mother Fucking Haley – 8:07! (prev – Jonathan Griffith & Will Sim 14:40.0)
Denali (overall): Men – Kilian Jornet – 11:40; Women – Katie Bono – 21:06
Half Dome: Dean Potter – 2:19
Mt. Shasta (ascent only): Ryan Ghelfi – 1:36:13
One of the best parts of this sport is that there are no firm rules or officials. Timing is up to the athlete and the rest of us just have to trust each other. A watch like the Suunto Ambit is a big help to athletes looking to record FKTs.
This page has a discussion on ethics and style for FKTs.