FKT: Jack Kuenzle - Mt Hood (OR) - 2022-04-24

Route variation
South Side, car-to-car (on skis)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1h 31m 31s

Mount Hood ascent record by any means 1:16:40

Previous Alex King (running) 1:23:41

Mount Hood round trip by any means 1:31:31

Previous Jason Dorais (skiing) 1:44:03

Alex King had the ascent record, he started physically on the asphalt in the parking lot. Due to recent snow, there was a 5-6 ft wall around the lot. He OK’d me starting on top of the snow bank with my skis on versus in the lot slick and having to step up and put my skis on. I started as far down the cliff as I reasonably could have. I estimate that this cut 2-3 seconds off his route and is worth mentioning. 

Another admin thing, guidelines state that anyone meeting you on course is a form of support. Technically, therefore, this is supported. I didn’t check with Jason, but I feel the informal rules for this record are anyone you want meeting you on course or blocking, but no material or physical aid. I had two friends stage at the base of the gates and ensure they were clear when I came. Despite that there was a dude wedged in the worst spot on both the up and down haha. Fortunately, he was very nice and let me pass but it was tight. My friends obviously cheered me on but didn’t give me anything or help with my transition. So technically supported but not completely. 

This was mentally so hard. I came up here in January hoping to do this and it was too icy in the gates. This is probably obvious, but as more snow falls the conditions in the gates improve (wider and less ice) and the angle gets less steep. But this isn’t linear and there are other factors. I’ve been watching the weather ever since and this was the first real good window. It’s snowed over 100 inches here in the last three weeks up here and that definitely helped. To anyone attempting this, the conditions in the gates very wildly, I hit in January and it was like WI2 and tricky on race crampons and light tools. Sometimes you can get away without crampons or axe.

Like for Shasta, I was well acclimatized for this. I came straight up from mammoth and slept at timberline parking lot starting Thursday night. Did a practice lap Friday and then sat around jittery all day Saturday.

What gear to take was a huge consideration. Jason Dorais did not use crampons and only a whippet. I ranted about the whippet on my Shasta activity, so I felt it was axe or nothing. On the crampons, I decided regardless of conditions I would bring crampons so I could move faster. Same with the axe. I was able to run from the summit to the top of the gates and couldn’t have done that without both. I also couldn’t do that in January.

This effort is tricky on conditions especially. You want it to be warm enough that the snow softens, but not so much that you’re punching in though or sinking. The bigger issue is the shedding up top. If it’s too warm then ice will be falling down the gates and it’s impossible to get up. 

Despite the high at 9,800 being 39 degrees, cloudless, with light winds, I didn’t notice any softening. I started at 9:48 ish. I talked to Ben Americus who started punching through while skiing later in the day, so I’m happy I started when I did. Predominant condition was windboard. Probably would have been slightly better without the high winds on Friday. Saturday was quite warm but didn’t produce any ice/sun crust except for immediately below the gates.

Took the beat in/groomed ish climbers trail from the lot to Palmer. 400 ft above that was no skinner just going like straight fall line up windboard. Shitty from here to DK. Windboard and postholed skinner. DK to Hogsback was best skinner I’ve seen there, a couple of techy post holed sections. Far side of the hogsback I went to poles and crampons, dumped skis and pulled axe at gates. Ski down I just took it easy. Skied from immediately below gates. Not always possible but saves at least a minute or two (versus upper hogsback). Cut two minutes off Jason descent but I think that came from my summit to gates split. Ski was only marginally faster than a casual lap, it was variable and punchy above Palmer and I almost fell twice. I knew I had the record I just couldn’t crash. Fast below Palmer, although lots of people to swerve around. 

It is possible to ski from the top of old chute but definitely think it’s slower. 


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Profile picture for user Jason Hardrath @jasonhardrath

This! Stuff of legend. You are a hero, Jack.

Awesome work!  Seems like this would be a great time for fastestknowntime to revisit the rules about requiring FKT's to be at least 50% on foot (running specifically) as it disqualifies many potentially awesome routes (Denali being a big one, but any snowy route really) and styles (ie skiing).

"Primarily entail running and hiking. One may use any means of self-propelled travel during a FKT attempt, provided that:

  • At least 50% of time must be running and/or hiking, vs. other sports."


I can say we (Outside + FKT + plus invested FKT enthusiasts) are wholeheartedly consideeing these guidelines, with the potential for increasing the creativity of the sport. However, any changes will be rolled out slowly, listening to the community feedback. 

👊 good eye though! 

Glad you like the idea of more room for multi-sport efforts.

I have to admit that the multisport routes rule already has a bunch of grey area in it. Like, we've had "Colorado 14ers biking between trailheads" as an FKT variation for many years, is anybody absolutely sure whether Joe Grant or Justin Simoni spent more or less than 50% of their time on foot versus on the bike? I doubt it. We've got a couple other ski variations other than Hood as well - for example, Shasta doesn't have a reported time for its ski variation, but it's a listed option. Rainier has a ski variation with recorded times. I'm sure there are others that I can't think of. 

The challenge is when we get too far out of the "mostly running" wheelhouse and get too far into other communities that have their own established norms and customs. Like when you look at all the controversy around Lael Wilcox's recent bike ride on the AZT - bikepack racing is a complex community with a bunch of history about how they do things and how they consider their times and their styles, and in my opinion it's not our place to barge in and say "we're going to start being the repository for times of a whole bunch of bike routes!" Maybe someday we will, but not now. 

In the meantime, if somebody has a good multisport route, I'd encourage them to make a case to their regional editor for why it's appropriate for the site, and we can gradually move things in one direction or the other as the community pushes for it. Personally I've approved a couple multisport routes as regional editor that I'm pretty sure could be less than 50% time on foot because I thought they were cool, creative, in character with the rest of the site, and not stepping on the toes of other established adventure sports communities. But it's also not really fair to conduct the site in a way that's out of line with the written guidelines. Agreed they are in need of a refresh, but it's not a simple process to do.