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. This acknowledges the fact that fast ascents may go unrecorded and to claim to be the fastest ever in a sport with no officials may be difficult. There are still however those of us who care and keep track of things like speed records. I doubt anyone could give a reasonable argument that interest in records is not rooted in our desire to impress upon others that we are the best at something; recognition always feels good. I believe that for myself the interest stems 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 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 (so don’t complain about my choices).
I try to keep abreast of changes but leave a comment if I am missing something! Time are usually car-to-car (or trailhead-to-trailhead) unless noted. Generally, I try to avoid Strava segments as a method of tracking but with some, they become the de-facto speed record. They often don’t capture everything however and sometimes shorten times (see Evac route notes). Try to start/stop a lap timer at the noted start and finish points to confirm your time!
- MEN: Alexandre Ricard – 17:19 (Prev. Nick E – 17:35)
- WOMEN: Krissie Saba – 21:56 (Prev: Abby Morgan – 24:00)
- MEN: Scott McGuire – 3:33.xx (Prev. Mike Murphy – 3:44, Nick E & Eric C – 3:51, Gary Robbins- 3:45)
- WOMEN: Alicia Woodside & Tara Berry – 4:28:15
- MEN: 45:29min Nick Elson
- WOMEN: Brooke Spence: 1:01:55
- MEN: Alexandre Ricard – 36:00 (Prev. Alexandre R – 37:36, Eric C – 37:47, Nick E – 37:55)
- WOMEN: Abby Morgan – 49:51
The Evac route has evolved significantly over the years (and likely will continue to). This record represents the fastest overall time from Base to Summit Station.
- MEN: Jessie McAuley – 1:44:45 (Prev: Eric C – 1:45:49, Jessie M – 1:49:41, Eric C – 1:53:50)
- WOMEN: Kyle Kirkegaard – 2:24:27 (Prev: Hailey V.D. – 2:34:33, Sarah H – 2:41:38, Kyle K – 2:45:54, Sarah H – 3:20:18)
- MEN: Nick Elson – 1:47:27
- WOMEN: Anne Marie Madden – 2:02:50
- MEN: Nick E – 6:54.00
- WOMEN: ?
- MEN: Eric C – 8:59.06 (Prev: Eric C & Nick Elson – 11:21)
- WOMEN: Sarah H and Jenny A – 12:39 (Prev: Sarah Hart and Jenny Abegg – 14:38)
- Ross Berg ~45min
- Andrew Rennie ~30hrs (?)
Sebastian Selas – 0:23.48(DOPER) Reverts to old Record by Jonathan Wyatt – 24:22
- WOMEN: Madison Sands – 29:10 ?
- Thomas Morrissey – 10:10:00 (Prev: Brendan Armstrong & Jessie McAuley – 11:06.23, Eric Carter – 11hrs 49min *accompanied partially by Matt Hall)
- Eric C & Nick E – 12:08:23 (Prev. Peter Croft – using a direct line up Sphinx N Ridge so better style!)
- Men: Jessie McAuley – 1:49:35 (Prev. Eric Carter – 2:04:52, Mike Murphy – 2:12:38)
- Women: Emma Cook-Clarke – 2:16:45 (Prev. Amber Brown – 3:07:43)
- Note: Nick Elson set a fast time on the West Lion via the NE Buttress, a technical climbing route that he soloed in 2:42:24 round trip.
- MEN: Eric Carter – 1:11:41
- Women: Kyle Kirkegaard – 2:11:54
- MEN: Ross Berg – ?
- WOMEN: ?
Roger’s Pass Horseshoe:
- Sean O’Rourke?
- ~13.5hrs Christian Veenstra
- MEN: Eric Carter – 3:59’45 (Prev. Nick Elson – 4:27.00)
- WOMEN: Kyle Kirkegaard and Katarina Kuba – 6:19.31
- MEN: Eric Carter & Nick Elson – 3:10 (Prev. Greg Hill – 4hrs ish?)
- WOMEN: ??
- Brendan Armstrong and Jessie McAuley – 6:27:16 (Prev. Brad Schalles ~6.5hrs) *Preferred SPEARHEAD FKT route*
- MEN: Guy Edwards, John Millar – 5mo. 14 days.
- WOMEN: Martina and Tania Halik – ~6mo (?)
- MEN: Hamish Fraser – 33min (Diedre + Squamish Buttress)
- MEN: 38 minutes Alex Honnold
- MEN: 1:08 Marc-Andre Leclerc
- MEN: Jack Kunzle – 3:04 (Prev: Jason Dorais and Tom Goth – 3:24, Eric C – 3:51; Jason & Andy Dorias – 3:57)
- WOMEN: Katie Bono – see below.
- MEN: Peter Nowicki – 3:01:30 (Prev: Peter Butler – 3:15, Nick E & Eric C ~3:37)
- WOMEN: Katarina Kuba – 4:10 *accompanied for glacier travel but unsupported by Jessie McAuley.
- MEN: Eric Carter – 3:38 (Prev. Peter Butler – 4:10* did not summit; Nick E & Eric C – 5:14)
- WOMEN: ?
Grand Teton (Owen Spaulding Route):
Teton Grand Traverse:
- MEN: Nick Elson – 6hr30m (Previously Rolo Garibotti – 6:49)
- WOMEN: Jeanelle Smiley – 12:17?
Denali (Cassin Ridge):
- Men: Colin Mother Fucking Haley – 8:07! (prev – Jonathan Griffith & Will Sim 14:40.0)
- Women: Chantel Astorga – 14:39
- Men – Karl Egloff – 11:44:xx (Prev: Kilian Jornet – 11:40)
- Women – Katie Bono – 21:06
- MEN: Nick Elson – 2:03:52 (Prev. Dean Potter – 2:19 *via a more direct but also more technical route – Snake Dike)
Mt. Shasta (ascent only): Ryan Ghelfi – 1:36:13
This page has a discussion on ethics and style for FKTs. Really though, the key is being honest. Otherwise, part of the fun is that the rules are there are no rules!