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Author Topic: Gary Scott 1986 Denali West Buttress, Still Record Holder  (Read 5310 times)

sevenhighestpeaks

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Interesting post at the alpine/ice section of rockclimbing.com:
Basically asserting that Gary Scott is and since 1986 has always been the Denali speed ascent record holder with a time of 18 hrs 29 minutes, and that Chad Kellogg due to many compelling factors is not the current record holder.  It appears that there's also debate/question whether Chad has any record at all given what ensued with his climb.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/topic/87727

A new discussion is taking hold in the US about mountain speed climbing.  Prior to Dan Howitt's 2003 official speed records on Mt. Rainier, Shasta, Adams, Hood, and Aconcagua in 2003 the sport was mainly governed by very vague "rules", if any.  And several major record-claims from the far past to more recently were shown through professional analysis and fact/proof gathering to raise many questions (to say the least).  These include several past Rainier claims such as the 1998 one by Chad Kellogg about which Bill Wright said "bogus...I don't consider it the record" after Wright saw the simple proof against him.  Wright is a distinguished and pioneer rock speed climber, as well as an excellent alpine speed climber, author of the book "Speed Climbing."

It should be said that NO ONE like Wright has ever made a public statement about a climber/speed climber like this, denouncing a record pubically on his very well known speed record website.  Denouncing it and removing it from his website.  The proof was conclusive and Wright saw it was time.  Speculation is one thing, proof is another thing.

SHORT CUTS
More recently many are talking seriously about how many very reputable speed climbers/alpine climbers/guides have claimed to have beaten new records when, in fact, the climbs these new people did were NOT THE SAME AS THE PREVIOUS RECORD CLIMBS.  Take Gary Scott's precedent and legendary 1986 Denali speed ascent on the standard route the West Buttress.  Scott did the first ever one day ascent of the mountain.  Ground breaking effort.  Scott's time which is official as established with clear proof provided by Scott and Roger Robinson (Chief Mountaineering Ranger at Denali) was 18 hours 29 minutes.  Now, Scott did his speed climb UNSUPPORTED also termed SELF-SUFFICIENT.  The 2003 ascent of Chad Kellogg (who's mentioned above) was SUPPORTED and as such DID NOT BEAT SCOTT'S RECORD.  The difference between support vs non-support is SIGNIFICANT, especially over a climb lasting 15-20 hours from basecamp to the summit.
Despite this, Chad's claim has been promoted throughout the climbing press, and he has obtained sponsors from Deuter USA, Feather Friends, OR Gear, The Boukreev Fund, and wide spread press attention.
A true SHORT CUT.  It was PUBLICALLY known that Scott did his prescedent Denali world-record in 1986 UNSUPPORTED.  Still, Chad did his with gear/water/food/clothing support available at all of the camps along the way to the summit.

Is this cheating?  Clearly so.

Buzz Burrell, great alpine speed climber and ultra-distance trail running record holder, has come forward to say IT'S NECESSARY FOR A CLIMBER TO SAY WHAT HE DID AND WHAT HE DIDN'T DO; HONOR AND RESPECT DEMAND IT.  The fact about Chad's support was not published or made clear IN ANY WAY by the Boukreev Fund, Mounteverest.net, Climbing Magazine, Sports Illustrated Online, etc.  These press and organization outlets were informed of the facts but no corrections were made.

The climbing community in the US and beyond has and continues to be mislead by the 2003 Denali claim by Chad Kellog.

What should Chad have done?

He should have done the speed ascent as did the previous record holder.  The same method.

Or, he should have ensured that EVERY press report included this fact about his climb.  "IT'S NECESSARY FOR A CLIMBER TO SAY WHAT HE DID AND WHAT HE DIDN'T DO; HONOR AND RESPECT DEMAND IT."  Again, none of the approximate dozen press articles mentioned ANYTHING about it.

Now, what about Chad's claim of 14:22min?  This is a separate issue, but as proven here with photocopied email statements from the reported timers of his climb, Lisa Roderick and Mark Westman, CHAD KELLOGG WAS PROVEN TO HAVE NOT DONE THE CLIMB IN 14:22MIN.  http://www.mountainspeedclimbing.org/controversy.htm
RATHER, it appears that the more accurate time is 17 hours 37 minutes.

Yes this time is still better than Scott's, HOWEVER, again, Chad WAS SUPPORTED AND SCOTT WAS NOT.  So Chad's supported 17:37 PALES in comparsion to Scott's unsupported 18:29.  Support on Denali over this many hours translates into a much easier climb.  Non-support translates into a much more difficult, challenging, and time-consuming climb.

After being apprised of the facts about Chad, GARY SCOTT, A CLASSICAL MOUNTAINEER, GUIDE, ATHLETE, STILL CLAIMS THE DENALI WORLD RECORD, as seen on his website www.summitcoach.com.
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