The summer of 2008 saw a flurry of speed record activity on Rainier. Due to epic winter and spring snow, the DC route remained exceptionally direct even as the snow conditions stabilized late in the summer.
On July 9, 29-year-old IMG guide Justin Merle took about 10 minutes off the record, completing the route in 4h49m35s. Merle's trip report is here. He carried ski poles and wore light-weight boots and Kahtoola crampons.