Mt. Rainier:

The Battle For The Quickest Ascent Heats Up, More Climbers Join The ChallengePosted by Jason A. Hendricks on August 13, 2008Liam O’Sullivan’s recent claim of a new speed-ascent climb up Mt. Rainier is sparking some very intriguing interest. Liam O’Sullivan recently claimed the fastest time of 4 hours, 46 minutes, and 29 seconds. This bested the previous Mt. Rainier speed-ascent record by 3 minutes, previously held by Justin Merle. Merle’s attempt came earlier in July.Liam O’Sullivan’s attempt at the ‘unofficial’ record has drawn much interest around the climbing community, and has even sparked a bit of controversy as you can read through any of my previous posts concerning these speed climbs. Besides the interest and controversy it looks like there are a series of other climbers lining up to take a shot at O’Sullivan’s recent record. One attempt could come as early as Saturday.I think I might have to place my money on Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa. He said he is wanting to do the climb in 4 hours, and I am not going to be one to doubt him. I have covered recent summits of Mt. Everest by Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa and his SuperSherpa cohert Apa, who happens to hold the record for most sucessful summits of Mt. Everest with 18. Lhakpa Gelu is a very strong climber and has specialized in speed ascents before many were even thinking of heading in that direction. Come Saturday, Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa may make Liam O’Sullivan the shortest lived ‘unofficial’ record holder in Mt. Rainier climbing history.All of the guys involved in chasing this record are being very friendly about the whole ordeal and playing down the competitive nature of the climb. You can bet as the seconds and minutes start clicking off O’Sullivan’s record, that things are going to get serious. Justin Merle is already contemplating a second attempt to break Liam’s record, but that probably won’t happen until next year. With Lhakpa Gelu heading up on Saturday, he could end the quickly declinig climbing season on Mt. Rainier as the ‘unofficial’ record holder. The Adventurist wishes Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa the best of luck. I have supported Lhakpa Gelu and Apa Sherpa with each of their endeavors over the previous couple of years, and these guys never cease to amaze me. I will have my eyes on Mt. Rainier come Saturday and will offer up an update as soon as I get it.
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