Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Speed Record on an Eldo Classic

Ruper is one of the most classic long routes in Eldo. It weaves its way up the imposing vertical bulk of the Redgarden wall, finding the path of least resistance on some outrageous terrain, providing six enjoyable pitches of 5.8.

Ruper, with the arrow indicating the East Slabs descent

I've solo-ed Ruper many times, and when I saw a comment on MountainProject about the known speed record, I was intrigued. Mic Fairchild, one of the most prolific Eldo climbers and soloist around, wrote that he once did the route in just 44 minutes round trip from the bridge at the start of the approach trail. That's a mind-boggling time for a route that often takes parties the bulk of a day to complete!

His roundtrip time included: 
-running up the switchbacked trail to the toe of the wall
-scrambling up the long, water-polished 4th class Lower Ramp
-6 pitches of 5.8 climbing, from steep face to OW, interrupted by a long traverse/downclimb on the huge Upper Ramp
-the infamous "East Slabs" descent, mostly 4th class downclimbing to a steep gully trail

So today I found myself in Eldo on a perfect, wind-less, sunny day, and I decided to try the feat.

My total time, roundtrip from the bridge: 32 minutes and 11 seconds. There's a new speed record for this Eldo Classic!


  1. Now for the Naked Edge...
    Current time: 1:22, held by Dave Vaughn and Bob Rotert.

  2. Scott,

    Congrats on the phenomenal time and stellar accomplishment. This particular endeavor, timed speed solos, is just one fascinating facet of the freedom of the hills. It's place and importance in all mountaineering disciplines is unquestioned. The experience gained will serve you well in future exploits.