Regarding your comments above about www.mountainspeedclimbing.org
(USA Mountain Speed Climbing).
I think his intent in discussing "mounteverest.net" and "everestnews.com" is to try to make these news services more accountable for what they report, and also reveal their inconsistencies and poor assumptions. IThe intent is to improve the quality and consistency of their reporting, and show where they may have gone wrong....
Indeed, Chad Kellogg's June 2003 Denali climb received a formidable dispute, and while mounteverest.net full covered his speed climb and spent months reporting that it was "official" (timed by basecamp managers Roderick and Westman), they never did a report about the dispute, etc. The dipute consisted of direct statements, written, from the reported timers saying that they did not in fact time him. And there's a 3 hour 15 minute discrepency with the time based on Roderick's recollection of when Kellogg started. The point is that mounteverest.net failed to cover this and in doing so has perpetuated a "record" that has been disputed in a good-faith and intelligent way, unlike other disputes, such as the 2003 Everest dispute between Pemba Dorji and Lhakpa Gelu which consisted of repeated allegations of "lying" and "cheating", as seen in the linked articles and audio-clip at www.mountainspeedclimbing.org
So it is important to comment on the media once in a while. I think the comments made at mountainspeedclimbing.org are appropriate and have a good purpose.
Finally, you quoted an article from mounteverest.net about Dan Howitt. (Incidentally, Howitt simply stopped communicating with mounteverest.net about his Aconcagua and Rainier speed climbs due to their very unprofessional way of handling the matter which included a surprising kind of adolescent, emotional approach showing no respect for him whatsover but instead more interest in the fury of a dispute). Anyway, as well seen on his site, he has done very well to evolve
into a successful speed climber. Yes he acknowledges that a couple 2002 and 1/2003 climbs didn't go well with the organization of the verification. But he was breaking new ground with time-verificatiion, and, importantly, learning. Essentially no one else in the world ever tries to get their speed climbs verified, but still, he decided to try it. It is a formidable challenge, getting your speed climb time-verified. Not many people know this, or can imagine the challenge, or the money involved in hiring third-party time-officials. Also, Howitt started climbing just months
before these first speed climbs of his in 2002 and 1/2003. By the summer 2003 season, he showed that he learned much about organizing a thoroughly verified climb, and the need to use third-party official, and the money involved. I think, 7summits, that Howitt should be looked at as a person who has evolved a lot, and who, through his learning process, has broken new ground and shown what is involved and needed to have a speed climb thoroughly verified. Yes people make mistakes early in their careers, but when anyone tries something completely new, mistakes are bound to happen. What is important is how a person responds to those mistakes. Not only has he evolved into a sucessful speed climber, he has in a good-faith way, shown the real follies of the speed climbs of many distinguished speed climbers on some of the world's most difficult mountains. These are people with 20 times the experience and technical talent over him, and yet their speed climbing times are subject to very important, good-faith criticisms and rejections. All of this is done to improve the sport, which is his main intent.
I think the situation in 2003 on Everest shows real clearly that third-party verification is necessary to bring in the needed certainty.
What do you think of how Babu Chiri's 2000 Everest record has now been reported to be cut in half with an 8 hour 10 minute time? Babu's record, set just four years ago, was considered a landmark of accomplishment. Do times like these raise the need for solid verificatiton, rather than what's seen here: http://mountainspeedclimbing.org/MtEverest2004_speedascent.htm