With all the crazy publicity stunts that go down on Mount Everest every year (like the 13 year old who summitted last week…don’t get me started), I think this is a cool one to watch. I’m always interested in speed ascents and physical challenges and I’ve heard a lot about Chad Kellogg over the years, most recently of his solo mission to establish the “Medicine Budda” route on the South Face of Aconcagua.
Currently, Chad is attempting to set a new speed record for an ascent of Mount Everest from basecamp and back, without the use of oxygen. It appears as though the current speed record for Mount Everest is 18:20, set by Lakpa Gelu Sherpa on May 26, 2003 (10:56:46 to the top) and Chad hopes to break that record any day now.
Follow this url to the most current update from Chad:
Chad set off to attempt the route this past Sunday, but was forced to turn around due to 40+mph winds at 12hrs at the Balcony area which sits about 1K' above the South Col. It is unclear as to whether he will make another speed attempt or just climb the peak for fun, but let's wish Chad some luck on his next attempt anyway. Follow along with updates at OutdoorResearchVertiCulture.com.
Breaking it down, it took Chad 7hrs to descend back to camp, so added to his ascent time, that equals 19hrs...and not a record breaking time. Now obviously Chad probably wasn't pushing it too hard on the descent, since he didn't make the summit, but to me it sure sounds like Lakpa Sherpa's time of 18:20 is going to be pretty darn hard to beat. Granted the wind may have been slowing him down, but Chad still had 1500'K to go to reach the summit, which probably would have taken another 2-3 hours...really just a guess though. Impressive feat non-the-less Chad and I hope you get another stab at the record. Good Luck!!!