Route: Rainier Infinity Loop (WA)

Washington, US
143.7 mi

The Mt Rainier Infinity Loop is an unusual challenge dreamed up by iconic Washington climber Chad Kellogg, but which he was never able to complete due to his untimely passing. The essence of Chad and the Infinity Loop is captured beautifully in "To Infinity" by Dirtbag Diaries - a podcast responsible for inspiring almost every person on the record board below to attempt this effort - it should perhaps be considered essential listening for imparting on this FKT or challenge.

Almost every successful FKT you see below was honored with nomination to that year's FKT of the Year Celebration. The route has become common knowledge among FKT enthusiasts, mountaineers, and even in trail running circles. This has grown into an iconic route for the PNW. Thank you to Ras and Gavin for seeing Chad's original vision through.

Chad Kellogg's original 4 part concept is to:

1. Ascend Rainier and then descend by a different route approximately on the other side of the mountain.  For example, starting at Paradise, ascend Disappointment Cleaver and descend Emmons Glacier.
2. Run the Wonderland Trail back to the starting point.
3. Repeat the ascent & descent.
4. Run the Wonderland Trail the other direction back to the starting point.

It works out to 143 miles or so, with 44,000+ feet of elevation gain.


Red Tape Considerations:

Information on the cost and availability of climbing permits for Mount Rainier can be found on the Rainier National Park Website linked here.

If an individual hopes to attempt this record solo, a separate solo permit must be applied for here.

Climbing weather can be reviewed here 

One of the interesting conundrums of this route is balancing ideal conditions on the Wonderland Trail as well as on both the Disappointment Cleaver and Emmons routes of Mt. Rainier. - this can be accomplished by reading trip reports and calling in to the ranger station.

The Rainier Infinity Loop Challenge: 

Aside from FKT chasing, this effort was originally done with each of the 4 parts taking roughly a day, this itself is an audacious challenge for partners set out to complete to participate in this community. This sub-5 day - sub-120 hour - timeline feels like a meaningful challenge as a way to plan, execute, and experience this incredible mountain, allowing each part to be completed in daylight hours.

Rainier Infinity Loop in the News:

"Bringing a Vision to Life" by The Mountaineers on Gavin Woody and Ras Vaughan's establishment of the Rainier Infinity Loop

"To Infinity" by Dirtbag Diaries

All-Women's Team Completes Rainier Infinity Loop in Spokesman Journal

First All Women's Team - Kaytlyn Gerbin, Alex Borsuk - interview on Ginger Runner
Jason Antin on Rainier Infinity Loop
"Suffering and Serenity on the Rainier Infinity Loop" on Essential Strength Podcast

Further Research:

GPS Track


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Myself and Alex Borsuk plan to make an FKT attempt as a self-supported female team on the infinity loop starting on Thursday 7/25. We plan to use the same route order as the current FKT by Jason Antin and Erik Sanders. I will share tracking information before we start! 

Myself, Kelsey Wilmore and Minda Paul plan to make an FKT attempt as a self-supported female team on the Rainier Infinity Loop next week. If weather and climbing conditions are favorable we plan to start on Wednesday, July 31st. We will follow the same route as the current FKT (Antin and Sanders). Our tracking link will be

I've been geeking out hard on the Infinity Loop thanks to all this awesome activity from amazing athletes!

I have a question about the current FKT for Self-supported Male Team (for Antin/Sanders). Shouldn't that actually be a "supported" FKT?

If you read their awesome detailed trip report here:

You'll see that they started as a team of 3 with another athlete Sam Ritchie on the rope with them. But Sam bailed after the first climb and the short part of Wonderland.

So he technically didn't finish with Antin and Sanders.

Doesn't this mean that the trip is actually "supported" instead of "self-supported".

"If a person is accompanied or paced for any distance, it automatically becomes a Supported trip."

Technically, yes, you could say that the remaining 2 were supported.  But, I'd call it a bit nit-picky!  The next folks can decide how they think of it.  If it were me, I'd want to beat their time.

Peter, maybe we can get a clarification in the rules on this. The idea of a team of people starting out with a goal of unsupported or self-supported, but some members of the team dropping out mid effort, seems like that can happen often in these types of big objectives. And I agree that in this case, it seems like the final effort sure "feels" like it was still essentially a "team self-supported" effort... Maybe the wording of this rule can be improved.

If it was a team of two, and one person dropped, and the other person finishes the effort... is it still "team self-supported" or is it "solo supported"? Seems less obvious.

Anyway, sorry if this seems nit-picky, agreed that going out an running a faster time is always a more compelling response, but it seems like this team member dropping scenarios could be quite common.

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I will be attempting Chad Kellogg’s Rainer Infinity Loop this week solo and self-supported (?due to my in ability to hand the stress of which box to check if I or my partner dropped out ?) 

as the African proverb goes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”

guess it’s the first half that is important this week ??

and remember,

”you are the story that you tell yourself” - Chad Kellogg


With nervousness, stoke, and respect for the mtn,


Formal Submission and write up to follow but,

WOW!!! what an experience to do Solo and Self-Supported!

I think I am awake again...after sleeping from 5pm until 7am this morning.

The initial data says:

I started at 8:23:XXam 8-14-19

and finished at 4:03:45pm 8-16-19

If my math is correct, 55:40:45 is how much time elapsed between the two...

so there is the sneak peak for the folks who care,


PS...inside fact to drop at the bar, if it comes up: I listened to no audio (no books, no podcasts, no music) the entire effort.

Michael Brown and I will set out tomorrow morning, July 9, 2021, for an unsupported attempt at Chad Kellogg's Rainier Infinity Loop.  

Can follow here:

Beautiful day.  Post heat wave conditions were rough down the Emmons, and after some discussion, we weren't comfortable going for round two.  "Crevasse too open". Hard but safe call.  The Mother of Waters has humbled us to wait for a better time.  Schedules and conditions will tell.  Pretty fun when you only do the short side.