SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

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SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by mtn_nut » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:05 am

Some of you may know Sean O'rourke (seano is his user name here). He's a pretty prolific peakbagger and holds some pretty substantial speed records in the USA. His California 14ers speed record has stood for almost 8 years after beating Hans Florine's record.

This summer, he has decided he is going to try to set a fastest known time (FKT) for the self supported climb of all the 4000m peaks of the Alps this summer, biking between all of the peaks.

If anyone is interested in following along, there is some more information about his plan here on the attempt - http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/03/05/hum ... peaks-fkt/
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by Scott P » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:49 am

mtn_nut wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:05 am
This summer, he has decided he is going to try to set a fastest known time (FKT) for the self supported climb of all the 4000m peaks of the Alps this summer, biking between all of the peaks.

If anyone is interested in following along, there is some more information about his plan here on the attempt - http://www.drdirtbag.com/2020/03/05/hum ... peaks-fkt/
Which list is he using by chance? There are a lot of 4000 alpine peak list out there and they all use different numbers of peaks.

His link says the following, but it doesn't say which list he is using:

The UIAA list contains 82 4000-meter “peaks.” However, many of these are minor sub-summits included for subjective reasons. Using a threshhold of 100 meters prominence, there are 50 Alpine 4000-meter peaks. See Wikipedia for more.

Anyway, good luck to him on his endevour.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by pvnisher » Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:37 am

Aside from the logistical and weather challenges, that's a real technical endeavor, too.
The easiest 4000er is substantially in a different league than the hardest 14er.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by CaptCO » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:38 am

Good luck SeanO, hope you crush it
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by JtheChemE » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:11 am

There is already a FKT 62 days, human powered Ueli Steck and Michi Wohlleben:

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/speedy-asc ... s/41599482
https://www.82summits.com/de/

I met Michi Wohlleben at a hut in Switzerland and chatted about his project. Even for people that run (literally) up and down the 4000ers every day, he said this was an enormous challenge. Not having this day to day familiarity with these moutnains is a disadvantage from the onset, but also you are completely at the mercy of weather in such a short time period.

I've spent ~1mo climbing in the alps each of the last 4 yrs, and weather has always been a factor. In 2018 the only reason I was able to climb anything is I had planned so many contingency days. That year during high season, a snowstorm put down 1m of snow and put all of the majority of the 4000ers around Chamonix and Zermatt out of condition, and this is not rare. So between unfamiliarity with the peaks/routes, as well as weather it will be really tough to best 62 days.

Unless his FKT throws in some significant difference, he is not setting a FKT he is trying to beat one. 82 peaks is the widely accepted 4000er list among all the European peak baggers I've met over the years. This is why Ueli and Michi used this figure. Its a cool project though, and he is going to have a blast (assuming enough people crowdfund him).
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by Monster5 » Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:47 am

^Agree 82 is the precedent and matches up with Valic's and Steck's precedent, much less the UIAA's list.

I did some internet searching to see if I could find any basis for the "100 m" suggestion listed above and came up with nothing substantial nor relevant to the Alps.

Wikipedia references Peakbagger. So throw that out. Some other American site (peaklist dot org) suggests: "One hundred meters should serve as the de facto separation of individual summits from sub-peaks, much the way that 300 feet has been used as the criterion in the Rocky Mountains for some time." Applying idiotic arbitrary US peakbagger cutoffs to the Alps, with a mountaineering history far exceeding the Rocky Mountains' in any qualitative or quantitative assessment, is hilarious.

Numbers aside, Sean has a pretty darn good resume for the project.

My first trip to the Alps had 50/50 climbing weather (July 2014), whereas my second trip (July 2019) was plagued by increasingly-common warm temps which rendered many of the glacier approaches exceedingly hazardous. In fact, the Italians closed down the standard approach/descent from Grandes Jorasses and evacuated the valley below late last summer.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by justiner » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:07 am

JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:11 am
There is already a FKT 62 days, human powered Ueli Steck and Michi Wohlleben:

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/speedy-asc ... s/41599482
https://www.82summits.com/de/
Is that self-supported? It couldn't possibly have been.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by nunns » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:13 am

Go get 'em Seano!!!
With a name like yours, you can't fail.

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Raytown MO
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by JtheChemE » Mon Mar 09, 2020 12:07 pm

justiner wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:07 am
JtheChemE wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:11 am
There is already a FKT 62 days, human powered Ueli Steck and Michi Wohlleben:

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/speedy-asc ... s/41599482
https://www.82summits.com/de/
Is that self-supported? It couldn't possibly have been.
https://fastestknowntime.com/route/euro ... 82-4000ers

Steck did have a support van. Below are some links from Steck's project for those here not familiar with Europe's 4000ers

https://www.epictv.com/media/series-hom ... ode=603993
https://www.epictv.com/media/series-hom ... ode=604058
https://www.epictv.com/media/series-hom ... ode=604078
https://www.epictv.com/media/series-hom ... ist/500402

Circling back, not trying to derail this thread. Like Ryan says he has an impressive resume and it sounds like he will be in peak form! Whatever the scope it will definitely be fun to watch SeanO tackle the 82 4000ers, and wish him the best of luck.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by mtn_nut » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:47 pm

He is setting a FKT by doing it self-supported and self-powered and multi-sport, so that is why he is setting his rule of 100m of prominance for the peak to be included. Kind of like how the Colorado 14er speed record got set with a specific set of rules (3000' of gain to the first summit, no support after leaving the trailhead, which peaks were included, etc.)

Its not like Andrew Hamilton's record doesn't count because he didn't tag E and NE Crestone or South Elbert, or Sunlight Spire since it might have 300' of prominance AND might be above 14,000' with the newest USGS datum. I don't think Andrew included North Massive in the Summer 14er record, even though North Massive is included in the Winter 14er record.

One of the few people who have done something similar to this (justiner) has already commented. Since his self-supported, self-powered, multi-sport 14er and highest hundred peak records were his to set, he also set most of the rules, like not caring about the 3000' of gain to the first summit, since he was self powered, he didn't think it mattered if he rode his bike to the Guanella Pass trailhead or to Kite Lake, vs stopping at the arbartrary 3000' cutoff.

Also, for those that are interested in supporting Sean during his FKT trip, there is some information near the end of his post on his website about ways to help.
Last edited by mtn_nut on Mon Mar 09, 2020 8:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by justiner » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:08 pm

Well, first off, GO SeanO!
mtn_nut wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:47 pm
One of the few people who have done something similar to this (justiner) has already commented. Since his self-supported, self-powered, multi-sport 14er and highest hundred peak records were his to set, he also set most of the rules, like not caring about the 3000' of gain to the first summit, since he was self powered, he didn't think it mattered if he rode his bike to the Guanella Pass trailhead or to Kite Lake, vs stopping at the arbartrary 3000' cutoff.
To, "try on" the 3,000' rule, I did try attempt to adhere to it at the beginning of my 14er trip, but just leaving my bike and all of my stuff at some arbitrary place perhaps well below an established trailhead was completely unrealistic. It kind of looks like you abandoned the bike.

Also Cavedog mentioned in his own rules that the 3,000' rule didn't make sense for purely self-powered goes at something like the 14ers record. I agree :lol:
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Re: SeanO is going for the Alps 4000m FKT

Post by Jcole_ » Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:39 pm

Yes SeanO! So cool! Dude is a legend! Resume speaks for itself, will be super cool to follow. Best of luck Sean
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