Route: Mt Williamson (CA)

California, US
30 mi
Vertical Gain
11,150 ft

Mt Williamson (14,375') is the second highest peak in California.  The most common route is from the Shepherd Pass TH, about 50km round trip, with over 8000' of elevation gain.  Including Tyndall adds about 2 miles and 1500' of elevation gain.


Note - Eric Jesse's 1 Aug 2020 FKT effort included a summit of Mt Tyndall

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Profile picture for user CHRISTOPHER C GORNEY

So I am  confused about this one. Does the FKT include Mt Tyndall or not? It seems there are 2 different routes recorded on this page. I am interested in making an attempt on this route next week, and I would like to know what the true FKT is here? is it just Williamson, or is it Tyndall also? TYIA!

I think the standard route should be Williamson only

And Williamson + Tyndall should be a variation here with its own tab

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The standard route that is posted is for Mt Williamson only, originally submitted by Brendan Harrison. The stats & topo of the route are for the Mt Williamson West Face (Class 3 ) route via Shepherd Pass.

Eric Jesse also ascended Mt Tyndall's Northwest Ridge (Class 2) & descended The North Rib (Class 3) which isn't part of the route. I believe Eric Jesse should've submitted the effort as a separate route altogether. 

There are several routes for Mt Williamson all varying in difficulty and entry points. Mt Tyndall also has a wide variety of routes to the summit. For this reason, I believe Mt Williamson + Mt Tyndall should be a separate FKT altogether. One could summit Mt Williamson via the Northeast Arete(Class 4) and Mt Tyndall via the Selters-Knight Route(IV, 5.10) then later summit Mt Williamson via the West Face(Class 3) and Mt Tyndall via the East Face(Class 4). 

Future entries that include new routes and combinations of routes to summit each separately and both together would be best to keep all the information organized and honest. I'm looking to submit a route for both Tyndall and Williamson via Shepherd Pass in the future. I hope this will prevent any future confusion and allow everyone the freedom to play around with combining routes on these two beautiful mountains.

I ran the standard route of Mt Williamson's West Face, Class 3, via Shepherd Pass TH - TH. I created a variation for the fastest ascent time up this route to help keep the data organized & track ascent times. E Jesse summited Mt Williamson via the standard route in 00:05:40 before I made the summit in 00:04:58:24. 

I hope this helps clear things up!

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Profile picture for user Vitaliy Musiyenko

On the day Canaan did his impressive run my climbing partner and I hiked in to do a few first ascents on mountains of the Great Western Divide. Because I waited for a while for my partner to show up I talked to a few people in the parking lot. One identified himself as a morning pacer. 

After we started the approach we ran into Canaan running down with another pacer and a few hours later a bunch of other people coming down that were in Canaan’s crew. No clue what their role was.

Because rules of FKTs could be hazy at best, I think there may be some confusion about what is considered a supported, self supported or unsupported effort, so my comment is not aimed to put Canaan’s accomplishment down in any way, but I feel like it is technically a ‘supported’ effort because he was running with other people, which my climbing partner and I saw. If people are going for all these, it should be accurately filed. 

This situation is a bit tricky.  Canaan believed he was following the Guidelines for an unsupported trip.  There were numerous people involved with his run only for purposes of documentation (making a video), which was allowed at the time for an unsupported trip as long as no material, navigational or pacing support was provided.  It is apparent that one of those people did run along with Canaan for some miles, following behind at various distances and sometimes catching up to take video.  This is a pretty gray area, but it is fair to say that this qualifies as pacing, even if that was not the intent.  To be fair, we have decided to characterize Canaan's trip as "Unknown" style, which really means that people can make up their own minds about it (as is always true, of course).

Unrelated to this particular situation, we recently changed our Guidelines around unsupported and self supported trips to better reflect what we believe to be the community view and spirit of these styles, to provide greater clarity and fairness, and to avoid unnecessary conflict.  Please see the Guidelines page for details.  While Canaan's trip would be characterized as supported under the new Guidelines, it is important to recognize that he was operating under a previous set of Guidelines, which did allow for limited participation of photographers while traveling in unsupported style.

The question here is what is considered pacing? When I saw Canaan on the way down, he was running with another kitted out runner who was not carrying a large camera but looked as much as one imagine a pacer to look. From his partner’s Strava segment posted it looks they ran side by side for close to half the route. In addition, as I said in the comment above, in the parking lot earlier in the day I talked to someone else who said they paced Canaan in the morning. Their words. So I don’t really see the logic in logging this run into an unknown category. Either people are allowed to run with others on unsupported FKTs or these are labeled as supported, if not. Reason I bring these things up in the first place is because I feel like it is deceptive to not mention any of this in Canaan’s report. A huge crew shouldn’t be simply left completely out of the report IMO.

If it is up to an individual to interpret people they are running with as support or not support, most would not define them as support because they are not physically helping the person they are running with to put one foot in front of the other. So this area can be very much gray unless there is a well defined rule which either allows others to run with on unsupported efforts, or doesn’t. If categorized as supported under the rule, the previous FKTs which were categorized as unsupported in the past have to be labeled appropriately so that future runners can compare apples to apples, not oranges. Otherwise it is a bit unfair for runners in the future to not have anyone to run with, while someone in the past had that luxury.

Consistency is the only way to be credible in a world where these feats are recorded and compared across a vast field of athletes. Athletes whose feat becomes labeled as supported under new rules shouldn’t take it personally IMHO, it’s just a label to define something appropriately.