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: Mike Murphy – 3:44 (Prev. 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 seems to be captured by two segments, S2S Cut and EVAC. Best practice is to record an actual time from the trailhead at the bottom to the signpost/fence at the top (times listed above are actual, not Strava). The Strava segment will show a slightly shorter time.
- MEN: Jessie McAuley – 1:44:45 (Prev: Eric C – 1:45:49, Jessie M – 1:49:41, Eric C – 1:53:50)
- WOMEN: Hailey Van Dyk – 2:34:33 (Prev: 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 ?
- MEN: Nick E – 6:54.00
- WOMEN: ?
- 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 ?
- 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: Eric Carter – 2:04:52 (Prev. Mike Murphy – 2:12:38)
- Women: ?
- 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: Ross Berg – ?
- WOMEN: ?
- MEN: Sean O’Rourke – 4:37:30
- WOMEN: ?
- ~13.5hrs Christian Veenstra
- Troy Jungen et al., ~80hrs
- 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: Jason Dorais and Tom Goth – 3:24 (Prev. Eric C – 3:51; Jason & Andy Dorias – 3:57)
- WOMEN: Katie Bono – see below.
- MEN: Peter Butler – 3:15 (Prev. 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): Colin Mother Fucking Haley – 8:07! (prev – Jonathan Griffith & Will Sim 14:40.0)
- 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!