Post by Peter Bakwin on Sept 7, 2012 9:17:05 GMT -5
Andy Anderson, 2h53m02s, August 22, 2012 Women: Emelie Forsberg, 3h51m, August 11, 2012 Kilian Jornet, 2h54m01s, August 12, 2012 Bryce Thatcher, 3h06m, August 26, 1983
The Grand Teton (13,770') is the second highest peak in Wyoming and one of the most iconic summits in the United States. It is a technical climb by any route. FKT attempts are usually by the Owen Spalding route (YDS 5.4), which also serves as the standard descent route.
Bryce Thatcher, who held the FKT for the Grand for 29 years from 1983 until 2012, recounts some history of speed records on the Grand Teton here. Amazingly, just 10 days after Kilian Jornet finally bested Thatcher's record, Rocky Mountain National Park ranger Andy Anderson beat Jornet's time by just 59 seconds. An interview with Anderson on his Grand and Longs Peak (CO) records is on irunfar.com.
Swedish mountain runner Emelie Forsberg set the women's FKT at 3h51m on an ascent with Jornet the day before his record-breaking run.
*** Belt Buckle Route! ***
Rickey Gates and partner Elizabeth Thorp have created a series of custom belt buckles commemorating some of the most iconic and hotly contested FKT routes! This route certainly qualifies. Each buckle is awarded to the FKT holder, and passed on when that FKT is superseded. Currently this buckle is held by Andy Anderson for the men. Gates & Thorp are still working to create a buckle for the women.
EF wasn't supported by KJ anymore than Gatoroid or Solomon supported Kilian. She was simply accompanied by KJ. They like running together and living together. Her time would not have changed had she run by herself after getting a little familiar with the mountain. Unlike Andy & Bryce, KJ & EF had very limited experience on the mountain so their times are even more impressive. Perhaps clapping by spectators is considered 'support' in some circles but discounting an FKT simply because you ran alongside someone else would be like saying there's something wrong with every timed race in America that includes more than one person. This is the mindset of people like Bryce Thatcher who want to discount the achievements of others who don't follow in his exact footsteps.
Post by Peter Bakwin on Feb 20, 2016 14:53:59 GMT -5
There has been plenty of discussion around the issue of being accompanied (primarily it has come up when women have been accompanied by men). One example can be found under the John Muir Trail thread where the women's unsupported FKT is discussed. Note that under "Read This First" we say "Unsupported also means unaccompanied." Therefore, under our definition, Forsberg's FKT on the Grand would be "supported". I wouldn't say there's "something wrong" with Forsberg's climb, I just wouldn't say it was unsupported. I'd also say that when it comes to discussion of "style" history and precedent are important.
Unlike other FKT trailruns & climbs, there's no real benefit from support or company on a 3-4 hour Grand Teton round-trip unless you don't know the route. And I'm not sure that Emelie had any advantage from running with Kilian. They didn't even use the fastest route between the Lower Saddle and the summit.
Consider the example of Alex Honnold free-soloing and on-sighting a route by himself and nailing an FKT. Then he turns around and does it again with a friend and nails a faster FKT. Is his faster FKT ascent in any way associated with his friend tagging along? Probably not. It's probably due to his experience on the route. Being 'accompanied' is a silly category in this example. An FKT solo by a person on-sighting the route is vastly different from an FKT solo by a person who's been up and down the route two-dozen times.
If one party is on-sighting a route then that might be a worthy differentiation for an FKT and a better category than one tagged as 'accompanied'. 'Accompanied' tells you nothing about what the companion brought to the table that may have aided the FKT runner or hindered them. It's meaningless without context.