FKT: Michael Burke - Mt Sir Donald (BC, Canada) - 2022-08-08

Route variation
Northwest Ridge car-to-car
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 51m 16s

August 8 I made a speed ascent of Mount Sir Donald's awesome North-West Ridge, setting the FKT at 3:51.  This was 35 minutes faster than my previous time on this route.  Everything seemed to go perfect on the run, a great experience capped by a nice dip in the creek upon my return to camp.

Just a caveat about this fkt, to put my conscience at ease... the route is highly exposed and in most places on the ridge, a fall would not be survivable.  Sadly there have been numerous fatalities caused by unroped falls on this route.  Racing up and down the actual NW Ridge would be crazy.  There are just so many places where a trip or slip would be fatal.  I think the key to FKT's on routes like this is to really push as hard as physically possible on the trail up and down, and then focus on safe, efficient movement on the actual climbing route, without worrying about speed.  A strong alpine rock climbing background and very good route knowledge are also quite important to maintain a solid margin of safety.  Finally, there are grizzly bears all over the place at Rogers Pass and travel without bear spray seems quite risky to me.  Even though I carried almost no emergency gear, I did carry bear spray, and I waited until daylight to start up the trail.  It turns out I passed a grizzly on the way up but never even saw it.