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t_rutl

Three Sisters Speed Record

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The 39-year-old Bend man used his climbing, hiking and running skills, and his supreme knowledge of the Central Oregon Cascades, to set a record recently for the Three Sisters marathon.

 

He climbed and descended all of the Three Sisters North, Middle and South in 6 hours, 39 minutes. The fastest known time for the feat before Thompson's mark was clocked by Max King and Kevin Grove, both also of Bend, who in 2006 completed the traverse in tandem in about eight hours.

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/56923717.html

 

Edit: comment wasnt taken like it should have been

Edited by t_rutl

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Surprised King wasn't along for this go. Would think Thompson could go even faster with King along. For those who don't know, Max King is a world-class steepler out of Eugene...doesn't have another meet for a month or so...wonder how fast the two of them could go.

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Three Sisters climbing record is broken again

By Mark Morical / The Bulletin

Published: September 11. 2009 4:00AM PST

 

The record for climbing the Three Sisters reportedly has been broken once again.

 

David Potter, of Redmond, said Thursday that on Wednesday he climbed South Sister, Middle Sister and North Sister in a total of 6 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds.

 

Potter accomplished the feat not even three weeks after Bend’s Mitch Thompson set a then-new record of 6:39 on Aug. 21.

 

Potter, 32, climbed Wednesday with Brett Yost, 41, of Bend, who finished in 6:39:20.

 

edit: sorry no link, it's behind a paywall. from Bend Bulletin, September 11

Edited by gorgeouos

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potter went 6:36:10

thompson went 6:39:xx

Yost went 6:39:20

 

potter broke thompsons record by 3 minutes~10 seconds.

 

 

p.s.: all these times are insane and blow my mind

Edited by Water

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oh, ha, i suppose i should learn to differentiate 6's and 9's. well, good for potter, very very impressive mark. I'd personally be happy to get it under 15hrs.

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Three Sisters climbing record is broken again

By Mark Morical / The Bulletin

Published: September 11. 2009 4:00AM PST

 

The record for climbing the Three Sisters reportedly has been broken once again.

 

David Potter, of Redmond, said Thursday that on Wednesday he climbed South Sister, Middle Sister and North Sister in a total of 6 hours, 36 minutes, 10 seconds.

 

Potter accomplished the feat not even three weeks after Bend’s Mitch Thompson set a then-new record of 6:39 on Aug. 21.

 

Potter, 32, climbed Wednesday with Brett Yost, 41, of Bend, who finished in 6:39:20.

 

I thought I asked about the slowest, NOT previous, known time, gorgeous!

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How slow can you walk? People go out for multiple days at a time and do all three. There is not enough snow for it to be skiable until spring, or winter (can't really get in there in the winter though.) Those guys run it. And run it fast.

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Dave and I left Devil's Lake trailhead at 10:40am on Wednesday September 9th. The temp was in the lower 60's and it was calm and mostly clear, a great day for the traverse, although we were a little worried about what conditions we'd find in the bowling alley. We'd hoped to get out Monday but there had been 6" of snow above 9000 feet on Sunday. Ten days before that, our plans were stymied by a 30% chance of thunderstorms. That was the same day the Bulletin front page headlines screamed 6:39! by Mitch Thompson. Dave and I had hoped to knock 90 minutes of our time of 8:40 the previous year, maybe with an outside chance of breaking 7 hours. This was an unexpected turn; initially I was psyched out by the news but after a week of mulling it over and over and over, I convinced myself we had a chance. Dave was confident.

 

The first 1.5 miles of the Devils Lake trail are steep. We alternated between a slow jog and a shuffle until treeline where it is possible to run a bit. The upper slopes of South Sister were in great condition as the weekend storm had somewhat firmed up the usually loose trail. By the time we hit the crater rim, I'd burned through the nervous energy and could tell I was feeling strong. Dave had had to wait for me a few times but not as much as usual. We ate some fresh snow as we jogged across the crater snowfield. I'd finished the 36oz. of water I'd brought and wouldn't refill for a few more miles at the snowfield under the south slope of Middle. There were 12 or 15 people on the summit who asked what the hell we were doing in T-shirts and how long it took us. It was 12:20, so 1:40, 5 minutes ahead of our goal and over half the vertical climbing done.

 

We jumped down the 5' cliff band off the rim into what is usually deep scree and the first hurdle of the day. We'd never descended the north ridge of South before. The first 3 or 4 hundred feet were slower than we hoped as the scree was somewhat frozen and didn't offer the easy fall line run we'd hoped for. Then we dropped through a notch and a came to a standstill. The diagonal traverse through the red band cliff was half covered in 6" of snow and half bare rock. After 10 minutes of playing around on the different surfaces, I decided on a lower route mostly on snow and Dave tried a higher route on rock. Once committed, the snow went well with only one 10 foot steep exposed section. Dave retreated to my route and soon we were bounding down easier slopes below but slightly behind our goal time.

 

We made good time covering the open country between South and Middle, refilling water on the fly and started up again. The greatest reason for heading south to north was to climb instead of descend the 2500' of talus on the south side of Middle. What is a painstaking, tiring descent is a simple, enjoyable climb limited only by lung power. We made up great time here and the obvious success really added to my energy. We topped middle at 3hours39minutes; again 5 minutes ahead of the pace we thought would match Mitch's mark. The descent of Middle in this direction is a quick blink of the eye and soon we were jogging across snowfields below the south ridge of North. In gaining the ridge, we again benefited from the recent precipitation. The scree was relatively firm, we were still climbing easily and starting to feel confident of success. We were laughing as we traversed toward the bowling alley on trail and easy snow.

 

And the day came to a screeching halt as we scampered up the two ledges into the bowling alley. It was covered in an inch of verglas. Dave made it up the lower angled first 40 feet on sketchy iced features as I pondered turning back. I cannot describe the mental turmoil of the next 15 minutes. Climbing this in tennies was obviously insane. Yet the day to this point was nearly perfect.

 

We retreated and tried getting up onto the ridge to the right of the bowling alley which we could see was clear and dry. The rock turned out to be solid, better than the rock in the alley, and 100' of easy 5th had us rejoin the route at the rappel slings. The lower angle scramble above here was snowy but safe up to the ridge and the summit block was dry and warm. We touched the summit at 4:50. We had 1:49 to descend to Pole Creek and tie the record. According to the Bulletin article, Mitch summitted North from Pole Creek in 1:51. It seemed we'd best that by 15 or 20 minutes even after loosing at least that much in the detour.

 

All I can say is we downclimbed carefully off the summit, sprinted recklessly down the SE ridge, jogged through open slopes to the Soap Creek trail and ran down this without any break. At the juncture of Soap Creek and Pole Creek trail the watch said 5:02. We had 17 minutes to cover the last several miles. I told Dave, who has always been faster than me, to take off. I felt like I was pulling 7 minute miles but the trail dragged on and on...Dave was screaming for me the last 200 yards, even before he could see me... 6:39:20 to the split rail fence across the road. Dave said he'd managed 6:36:10. Where had the time gone? How had Mitch sprinted UP the same route up the horrible scree on that ridge with 100 oz water, a gatorade, a coke, and a sandwitch?....Is it possible to feel elated and crushed at the same time?

 

I felt pretty beaten up but not that tired. Energy gels, which I'd used for only the second time, are AMAZING. My energy stayed up all day. Conditions were fast but much more dangerous in a few places. I know I can go faster, I don't know if I'm up for the effort to take it down another 20 minutes. Dave, paired with a faster partner, could break 6 hours for sure and I think he is psyched to do it.

 

Is 6:36 the fastest time ever? It is impossible to know for sure. Absolutely, many talented folk have done the traverse over the years and we have no idea of their times. 6hours 40minutes works out to about 23 or 24 minutes per mile for the ~17 miles which is not that fast. Max King runs 5 min/mile for trail half marathons at 5000 ft elevation. Certainly, super fit folk could best 20 min/mile or 3 mph. On the other hand, it stretches believability a bit to think of someone cruising 6hours30minutes in a vacuum and casually walking away without anyone knowing. It takes a lot of preparation, planning and inspiration, believe me, and at least a little competitive instinct. Until a few years ago, no one had claimed going under 9 hours. Next year will be interesting, I think.

 

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Wimsey, awesome write up. I would like to apologize for any grief I've given you in the past about the traverse (I thought, originally, that you were some stuck up bend-based california migrant). please forgive. And congrats on the record.

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