The Adventure Guys

The inside story on outside recreation for South Puget Sound and beyond

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Archives: Aug. 2008


In Thursday’s Adventure section

The first of two stories from my recent trip to Vancouver Island will be our lead story in tomorrow’s Adventure section. My family and I explored from the northern tip of the island and then out to the west coast.

Jeffrey P. Mayor/The News Tribune

A group of kids use a broken section of dock as a raft while playing in the Strait of Georgia off a Vancouver Island campground near Courtenay, B.C.

Craig Hill talks to a former park ranger about safety in the campsite. A recent report said 11,000

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Road rage and bullets

Here’s something you don’t see everyday. One of our editors, Craig Sailor (Not to be confused with the mild-mannered Craig Hill), recently had a camping trip in the North Cascades he’ll never forget.

If you ever find yourself in this situation, we’re not sure this is a good example to follow. But it’s an entertaining story, so here it goes:

By Craig Sailor
The News Tribune

It was going to be a string of peaceful days in the North Cascades. Day hiking, lounging in a quiet camp, catching up on some books.

I had gotten a late start out of Tacoma and by the time I turned off Highway 20 in Marblemount it was nearly dark. About five miles up a forest road I spotted a turnout. The far end made for a perfect tent spot. I felt lucky. There wasn’t a house or another camper within miles.

I’d only been in my tent a few minutes when I heard a vehicle come up the road. It slowed and turned in to the clearing. My tent glowed in its headlights. Someone else wants to camp here, too.

But the driver didn’t stay. The vehicle backed out on to the paved road and sat there. A few seconds went by and then the stillness of the evening was obliterated with the sound of firecrackers. Local kids, trying to frighten the tourists, I thought.

And then I heard them. They were tearing through leaves and breaking branches above my head. By the time I even thought about hitting the ground the dozen bullets had long found their targets.

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It’s 80 degrees today. Time to think skiing.

We are down to the last few weeks of voting for the Best of the West skiing and snowboarding. I know, I know, it’s too hot to think about skiing. But I assure you that thinking of winter for a few minutes won’t jinx your final month of summer.

Thanks for voting.

Click below to take the quick survey. Your favorites will be featured in 2008-09 Ski preview sections in newspapers across the Northwest. Voters from around the region – Alaska, Idaho, Washington, Oregon and B.C. – are participating so make sure your favorites are well represented.

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Leg pain keeps Sherpa from breaking speed climbing record

Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa’s attempt to set a new speed climbing record on Mount Rainier didn’t go as planned this morning.

Gelu, the first man to climb Mount Everest in less than 11 hours, had leg problems at 11,200 feet. He finished in 5 hours, 39 minutes, 43 seconds.

Most people need two days to climb Rainier.

The unofficial record still belongs to Liam O’Sullivan who made the round-trip climb Aug. 5 in 4:46:29. O’Sullivan guides for International Mountain Guides and is a medical student at the University of Washington.

Gelu’s attempt was a fundraiser for school

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The rest of the story: Don’t even think about it

Still waiting to hear from . I’ll post something as soon as I hear.

Until then, I just noticed that the end of my story was cut from today’s paper. Apparently the story was too long. So, I thought I’d post it here for anybody who’s thinking of making a speed attempt.


As much fun as George Dunn has had watching his International Mountain Guides employees run up Rainier, he doesn’t want weekend warriors to get the wrong idea.

"I do not encourage anybody to

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Chad Kellogg: First under 5 hours

While we are on the subject of speed climbing, I thought I dig up a feature we did on Chad Kellogg in 2004. Kellogg is the first known man to climb up and down Rainier in under five hours.

It should be noted that this story includes extensive quotes from his wife, Lara, who died in a climbing accident last year.

Photo by Peter Haley, The News Tribune

By Craig Hill
The News Tribune

One of the world’s fastest mountain climbers gave his calculations for scaling Mount Rainier one last check as he stood in the Paradise parking lot just before 6 a.m.

It takes most people two days and 40 pounds of gear to climb the 14,410-foot peak. All Chad Kellogg had on Aug. 9 was unwrapped energy bars taped to his arms, two packs of sugary energy syrup, a pair of javelin spikes, customized ski poles and a mini-disc player blaring the inspirational tunes of The White Stripes.

That’s hardly enough gear to get average climbers out of the parking lot, let alone keep them alive overnight on the mountain. But for Kellogg it would be perfect, because his climb would be done in time for lunch.

Kellogg, 33, ran from his car to the summit and back in 4 hours, 59 minutes, 1 second, becoming the first person to climb Rainier in less than five hours. He broke the record of 5:06 he set in 1998, a year after getting into the sport of speed climbing.

The West Seattle resident is also the only person to bag Alaska’s Mount McKinley in less than 24 hours. And last summer, Kellogg traveled to Kazakhstan to win the world’s most prestigious speed-climbing competition.

“He’s a machine,” said Roger Strong, one of Kellogg’s climbing partners. “He’s absolutely amazing.”

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Legendary Sherpa will try to climb Rainier in less than 4 hours

Photo courtesy of AAI

Lhakpa Gelu Sherpa, the first man to climb Mount Everest in less than 11 hours, has turned his sites to Mount Rainier.

Saturday morning Gelu will try to be the first man to make the round trip from Paradise to Rainier’s 14,411-foot summit in less than four hours. Gelu is attempting to set the speed record as a fundraiser for schools in Nepal.

Even climbing guide Liam O’Sullivan who set the unofficial speed record Aug. 5 with a 4 hour, 46 minute,

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PHOTO OF THE WEEK: Lake Wenatchee

I took an early morning bike ride near Lake Wenatchee recently and caught the notoriously choppy lake (It’s always windy)as flat as a mirror. Thought I’d share: