California has 15 peaks over 14,000 feet, the so-called "14ers". Previously, efforts to bag all the peaks were hampered by the fact that the second highest, Mount Williamson, was closed much of the year (July 16 - December 14) to protect Bighorn Sheep. Climbing Williamson, which is close to Tyndall, adds a few hours. Some record-seekers (Florine, McBride) chose to respect the closure, and climb only the 14 "legal" 14ers, while others (McBroom, Swartz) have ignored the rule, tagging all 15 peaks. However, the closure has recently been lifted.
An additional difficulty for those aspiring to bag all the California 14ers is the technical nature of the five peaks known as the Palisades. Because of this, all successful records have been done by people capable of comfortably free-soloing mid-5th class rock in a very remote, high alpine setting. The CA 14ers are not the domain of pure ultrarunners!
Climbing the CA 14ers has not been complicated by the somewhat arbitrary rules set for the Colorado 14ers, where due to the presence of many roads, some all the way to the summit, minimums for elevation gain and loss has been established. All the CA 14ers have clear trail heads well lower than the summits, and most are long approaches, so each summit route can start at the easiest/normal trailhead.
|Sean O'Rourke||2d 14h 3m|
|Hans Florine||3d 12h 11m|
|Jack McBroom||4d 11h 19m|
|Hans Florine, Russ McBride, Tony Ralph||9d 10h 50m|
I'm not sure if the FKT community still prefers that we announce an attempt but the weather is looking manageable next week. So with the absence of excuses I'm going for it. This time I have my sights set on the fully supported FKT of the California Fourteeners starting July 26th.
Awesome Sam! I hope you'll use a tracker & post the link here. Good luck!
My attempt was not possible due to hwy 168 being buried by a rock slide and a forest fire burning at the shepherds pass trailhead.
Bummer! I've been expecting someone to break this one for a few years.
Wow the updated site looks great! I noticed that you have Andrea and my 2017 coed attempt listed as supported. It should be classified self-supported. Andrea and I were just reminiscing about how difficult it was to run our own shuttles, get a permit after one leg, and get our own groceries when we were tired. It easily added a day onto the attempt. Supported would be the version where you had someone helping out who would deal with picking you up, getting the permit, etc.