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US speed climber opens new 20 pitch route at Kichatna Spire

Posted: Jul 26, 2005 09:01 pm EDT

Word has reached ExWeb that American speed climber Chad Kellogs with partner Joe Puryear put up a new 20 pitch route on the SE side of Kichatna Spire. The route is rated 5.10, A2 and goes all the way to the true summit.

Chad got back to Colorado from the Alaska Range the day before yesterday. "We are very excited about our results. We climbed the route in a 25.5 hour roundtrip push," he told ExWeb.<cutoff>

<b>North America's hardest mountain</b>

Kichatna Spire is the highest peak in the Kichatnas at 8985 ft. and has been touted as North America's hardest mountain. Only 8 parties have ever reached the true summit including Chad and Joe.

This year, one of the Mugs Stump awards went to Sean Isaac and Rob Owens for an attempt on an unclimbed couloir on the North Face of the Spire. On May 1, Roger Strong, Rob Owens and Sean Isaac climbed a new route on the northwest face naming their new line "The Voice of Unreason" (ED2 M7 A1 WI5, 700m). The climb required a 25-hour round trip to complete. The 13-pitch route was terminated at its juncture with the 1966 original route up the north ridge about 200 meters below the summit.

<b>US fastest climber</b>

Chad is possibly the fastest climber in North America today. On June 17th 2003, he broke the speed record for the West Buttress route on Denali with a time of 14 hrs and 22 min. The previous record was 18.5 hrs. Chads round trip time was 23 hrs and 55 min. Lisa Roderick (the Base Camp manager at Denali), rangers at 14,000ft and a National Geographic crew witnessed him.

That same year, he continued on to win the Khan Tengri speed climb, made a traverse of Khan Tengri, a summit of Peak Pobeda, and an attempt on Lenin.

Last year, Chad went straight from climbs in Karakorum to Mount Rainier for a speed record, capitalizing on his acclimatization. Monday, August 9, he broke his own old Mount Rainier record at 4hr 59min 1sec roundtrip!

<i>Chad Kellogg is a native of Washington State. He has climbed Ama Dablam, Aconcagua, Denali, and won the speed climb on Khan Tengri in 2003. Longer-range goals include speed ascents on 8,000-meter peaks and alpine style first ascents. </i>

#Mountaineering #feature

Chad did an Everest speed attempt in 2011 but got stuck in traffic jams.