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NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

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NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby fatdad » Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:59 pm

Sorry I couldn't figure out the exact link, but on today's (10/18/11) NY Times' website, there's an interesting video piece on Chad Kellogg, a climber from the PNW who's training to solo Everest in a single 30 hour push. Worth checking out.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Alpinist » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:09 pm

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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby blazin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:12 pm

Story and video.

The NYT has been doing about a story every month or two on supposedly new and revolutionary developments in climbing. It's nice that climbing is getting this exposure and cool that they're reaching out to the likes of Steve House for comment--and I wonder what's behind it--but the stories are often...dated. This one isn't as bad as the one earlier this summer about the radical, cutting edge sport of bouldering.

By the way, Michael Ybarra (a member here) used to write great columns for the Wall Street Journal. Any one know what became of him?
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Bruno » Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:50 pm

fatdad wrote:[...] a climber from the PNW who's training to solo Everest in a single 30 hour push. Worth checking out.

Thanks for the interesting story, but just a small remark: it's not a solo attempt he will be making. As I understood, he'll go the normal route during the high season.

For a solo climb you would need to be alone on a non-equiped route. To my knowledge only Messner in 1980 has soloed Everest.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby fatdad » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:11 pm

Bruno wrote:For a solo climb you would need to be alone on a non-equiped route. To my knowledge only Messner in 1980 has soloed Everest.

Well, that is true. That's a purist's definition but generally the one I ascribe to. Nevertheless, despite the climb being equipped, his ascent will be far more committing than one in a train of climbers being shepherded up (or should it be Sherpa'ed up?). I don't think anyone is going to confuse his ascent and Messner's.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby radson » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:39 pm

In May 2010, Kellogg made his first attempt on Everest but stopped short of the summit, hampered by other climbers on the route and bad weather

hmm..not quite true...in his own words

I made it just below the Balcony and decided that Wednesday the 23rd of May was not going to be the day for the speed ascent. I looked at my watch and realized it was 11 am.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby fatdad » Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:51 pm

Radson, your post doesn't estabish that his story is untrue. If he was slowed down lower on the climb because of other parties, that would explain why he arrived at the Balcony at 11 a.m. rather than an earlier planned time. There certainly can be a lot more to the story but the NY Times clip does show a number of people moving slowly in front of him on fixed lines thru what appears to be the lower icefall. I can't imagine the clusterf@$% that arise on good day thru sections like that, not to mention the impossibility of passing.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Damien Gildea » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:44 pm

fatdad wrote:... clusterf@$% that arise on good day thru sections like that, not to mention the impossibility of passing.


And yet you need all these uncool people to tread down a nice firm path for your extreme ascent. Hmmm...

To be fair to Chad, he makes no grandiose 'solo' claims in that article, and 'solo' is only mentioned once later in the piece. Otherwise it's one of the better articles you'll find in the mainstream press on climbing.

Given House's pompous crap in this woeful commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk67p19Co0Q&NR=1 he has no right criticising other climbers about sponsorship.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby radson » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:32 pm

Good points Fatdad and not to denigrate Chad as he is 100 times faster than me. That quote I guess just struck me as a bit funny as May 23rd was probably the best weather day of the season. Also he got through the icefall in 2 hours, so that wasnt the issue. The Icefall is the one huge bottleneck of the climb, the next one, probably just the schrund at the base of the Lhotse face. He starts to encounter traffic on his way up to the balcony. This is probably the easiest area on the whole mountain to jump of the fixed ropes and climb at your own pace. Basically I think the lack of oxygen caught up to him. The times to Camp 2 and Camp 3 were brilliant, thereafter it all caught up with him.

Good luck next time.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Vitaliy M. » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:59 pm

How long did he spent acclimating before this and did he do an treks high up Everest or did he climb other peaks to acclimate?
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Marmaduke » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:22 am

Bruno wrote:
For a solo climb you would need to be alone on a non-equiped route. To my knowledge only Messner in 1980 has soloed Everest.


What about Unsoeld and Hornbein in 1963, first to climb the West Ridge and if I remember right they actually summited sperately as they got split up and Unsoeld ended up being 20 hours behind Hornbein. Did I recall that correctly or no?
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Bob Burd » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:20 am

Chad Kellogg is the guy who exposed Dan Howitt as a fraud on the Rainier speed record some years ago. The old timers around here will remember the drama that Dan (and his dog) played out on SummitPost. Since the Rainier and Aconcagua fiascos, Dan has spent his every waking hour denigrating Chad all over the internet. If you type in "Chad Kellogg" in google, the first suggested item that pops up is "Chad Kellogg controversy" which provides a compilation of Dan's work over the past ten years. Way to hold a grudge Dan!
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Bruno » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:32 am

fatdad wrote:
Bruno wrote:For a solo climb you would need to be alone on a non-equiped route. To my knowledge only Messner in 1980 has soloed Everest.

Well, that is true. That's a purist's definition but generally the one I ascribe to. Nevertheless, despite the climb being equipped, his ascent will be far more committing than one in a train of climbers being shepherded up (or should it be Sherpa'ed up?). I don't think anyone is going to confuse his ascent and Messner's.

Agree with you. I was't criticising Chad Kellogg, but just wanted to correct the use of "solo". By far his attempt was not solo, neither "unsupported" or "self-contained" as he received support throughout his climb at the different camps (food, hot water). Such support can shorten your ascent of several hours compared to if you have to boil the water yourself.

I just read Chad's blog, and found him extremely honest in his description, he is not trying to display his ascent as something different from what he did (as some have done in the past). I also appreciate his analysis on why he turned back at the Balcony:

"I reflected on the combination of problems at hand: wind, snow, traffic and fatigue. The ascent had a combination of issues that I could only learn from for the next ascent."
Source.

I read his blog a bit further, and found his acclimatisation really good, reaching South Col during the process (on 7th May). Climbing without O2, I found he was careful enough to carry the extra pound for feet/hand warmers and not scarify his toes to save weight and time.

My only "suggestions" is that even though he arrived early at BC this year, for a future attempt he should better be ready for a summit push before 10 May. That's the only way to avoid the traffic jams always occurring during the good weather window(s) in the second half of May.
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Re: NY Times piece on Chad Kellogg

Postby Bruno » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:37 am

radson wrote:as May 23rd was probably the best weather day of the season.

May 11 was almost perfect, but just a bit too early for most teams.

radson wrote:This is probably the easiest area on the whole mountain to jump of the fixed ropes and climb at your own pace. Basically I think the lack of oxygen caught up to him.

Agree with you. Without supplemental O2, it's around the Balcony that the climb really starts.
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