Up and Down the World's Highest Mountain in 36 Hours (that's the goal)

The highest peak on the planet this spring already has seen its fair share of drama, including early summits, the scoping of new routes, and even a mystifying high-altitude brawl between three Western climbers and a group of Sherpas. Chad Kellogg, a Seattle climber and Outdoor Research-sponsored athlete, has plans to add more drama to the scene.

(See Chad Kellogg’s Mount Everest gear list on this page.)

A speed-record ascent is in his sights, and he plans to do it without supplemental oxygen. He’ll need to climb from Base Camp at 17,600 feet to Everest’s peak — and back down again — in less than 36 hours total time to break the record.

Chad Kellogg Everest Speed.jpg

This year marks Kellogg’s third time to Everest, and with it he’s trained and trudged up and down on the Big E’s face for many collective days on end. In a recent post on Outdoor Research’s Verticulture blog he noted after all the preparation there is “a map of the route imprinted in my muscles and years of training that believes I can realize this dream [of the speed ascent].”

mount everest summit.jpg

Mount Everest

Kellogg continued, “A shower every eight days [at Base Camp] allows me to inspect the atrophy that has taken place to my physique. At this time I have transformed into something that resembles a high altitude frog — I have kept my legs, but my upper body has shape-shifted into only the absolutely necessary. Forearms, chest, back and triceps have been striped away. My goal weight is 148 pounds by ‘go time.’ One more rotation on the upper mountain should put me close to my optimal weight for minimal oxygen consumption at extreme altitudes.”

In training on Everest and other mountains over the past couple months Kellogg notes he has climbed more than 82,000 vertical feet to prepare for the speed ascent. “I believe that I have conditioned myself properly without overdoing it on any one day,” he noted. “We shall find out very soon if I have transformed into the physical and mental solution to the ‘problem’ I am trying to solve: The speed record on Mt. Everest without oxygen.”

kellogg on everest.jpg

Approaching the Yellow Band feature on Everest at 24,700 ft. this month during a training climb

Kellogg is on the mountain now, with a planned summit attempt for May 22. We wish him luck and strength as he makes the hard push! You can follow his effort at Outdoor Research’s Verticulture blog and tuned-in mountaineering sites around the web. Go Chad!

—Stephen Regenold

continued on next page: Chad Kellogg’s Mount Everest gear list. . .

Posted by Guest - 05/16/2013 05:29 AM

Dear Gear Junkie,

I saw your article on Chad Kellogg, and your mention that his goal is to break the existing “36 hour” round-trip record.

Below is an email I sent to Charles Lozner of Outdoor Research about this. It is false information. I’ve been intensely involved in the history of speed climbing records and attempts since 2003, including having many email exchanges with renowned Everest historian Liz Hawley and several people of the Nepal Ministry of Tourism, as well as the directors of the International Skrunning Federation in Italy.

Please if you could read the following email I sent to Mr. Lozner, and please ask Outdoor Research to discontinue what they have been doing.

Mr. Lozner:
Below are several of the objective sources and information revealing that your and Kellogg’s claim that Marc Batard set a “36 hour” round-trip record is fabricated, and fraudulent.
You also claim that Batard holds the current ascent record in 22h:29m. There are, also, renowned sources that show that this record was broken 10 years later in 1998 by Kazi Sherpa. The sources are Elizabeth Hawley (renowned Everest historian) and the Everest Summiters Association. Both of their public statements are linked to and quoted below.
(1) 1990 Los Angeles Times article on Marc Batard’s 1988 Everest record-claim
Batard is interviewed at length about the intricacy of his speed-climb (his 22 hour 29 minute record-claim for a climb from basecamp to the summit, on the South Col Route).
There is no mention of a round-trip speed-climb.
There are no articles, books, magazines, websites, etc, anywhere, that mention that Batard did a round-trip speed-climb; and there is absolutely no mention of a 36 hour time for him, for anything, anywhere.

There are dozens of other interviews with Batard in all forms of media, and he never mentions having done any round-trip speed climb, nor any 36 hour time.
(2) This is a book-page from the 1999 American Alpine Club Journal

This is a detailed section written by Everest historian Elizabeth Hawley about Marc Batard and Kazi Sherpa’s speed climbing. (She misspells his name is ‘Kaji’).

She states that Kazi broke Batard’s record on October 17, 1998 (as also confirmed here) by over two hours, with a time of 20 hours 24 minutes.

(3) What public documentation and source do you have for stating, at the below story, that Batard did a 36 hour round trip climb?
“… Batard’s round-trip time (36 hours)”
Further, what date do you have for this supposed record? If you cite the existence of a record on the tallest mountain in the world, you should provide a date for the supposed record.

This record is not stated on Batard’s extensive website.

I and the large number of researchers with whom I’ve been in discussion since 2002 have never seen any sources citing that Batard claimed any round-trip time whatsoever.

There are no media reports about this, no statements in any books, and this is not listed on Batard’s own extensive website.
(4) This is an archive of Batard’s website — it appears his website is currently not available.
A careful reading through the page only shows his 1988 record-claim.

• Ascension de l’Everest (8 848 m.) sans oxygène, en 22h30, le 26 septembre”

Translated to:

• Ascent of Everest (8848 m.) Without oxygen in 22:30, September 26.

(5) In Batard’s book, ‘Le sprinter de l’Everest’ [The Sprinter of Everest]
there is absolutely no mention of a 36 hour time, nor any round-trip time whatsoever.
Please obtain this book.

(6) Further, this 36 hour time is obviously a rounded-off time. As is very obvious, record times, especially world record times on the biggest mountain in the world, should surely have the minutes along with the hours. Rounding off a time is unacceptable, and further evidence of the lack of credibility of the record-claim.

Not only is this 36 hour time without any public sources, the time itself lacks credibility due to being an approximation.
(7) Kellogg Caught Drug-Doping: Outside Magazine has recently revealed that Kellogg has engaged n drug-doping for his Everest speed climbs.
13th paragraph from the bottom.
Marc Batard and Kazi Sherpa did not state that they used Dex drug-doping for their speedclimbs.

In the article Kellogg states he used the Drug for “preventative” and only “1 pill”. The drug is used for performance enhancing, by staving of the degradation of physical and neurological functioning. That is why it is taken, like all of the other doping drugs. And his assertion about 1 pill is certainly fraudulent, because this is not how the drug is taken to be effective. It is taken over many doses per day. And, “1 pill” says nothing of the dose he took, which could have been very high. He likely stated this to try to lie and diminish what he did. This is a masterful politician.

(8) Batard and Kazi’s record, also, were completely solo, and almost entirely unsupported, whereas Kellogg is not going solo, is receiving substantial Sherpa aid including a Sherpa to climb with him over the most difficult and dangerous large section of the route to the summit including carrying O2 for him if he needs it, and is having substantial gear/food/water/shelter support at all camps, and is drug-doping for performance assistance (to stave off the degradation of physical and neurological functioning). This is multifaceted short cutting, and is not honorable, nor honest. The previous climbers did not do this.

(9) Summit-fraud.
Please note that Kellogg has engaged in 3 instances of apparent summit-claim fraud.

The well known high fraud case of his 2003 Denali record-claim:

(10) Killian Jornet rejects Kellogg’s 2003 Denali claim. Killian is a world class competitive athlete and considered the greatest trail runner in the world, and will be attempting speed records on Everest, Denali, etc, over the next two years.
He can be contacted via his website
At the above page, he lists record for every mountain except Denali. He does not accept the legitimacy of Kellogg’s record-claim, and for this we are extremely grateful.

(11) Please discontinue deceiving the public, and please discontinue supporting the multifaceted short cutting and drug doping of Kellogg, and the apparent fraudulent contriving of a 36 hour record time. You are complicit in fraud by not discontinuing this.

(12) Please convey this matter to the other senior staff at Outdoor Research.

(13) Please do basic fact-checking and research before publishing what Kellogg tells you. In my opinion he is likely the most devious fraud of the modern time, in the tradition of Dr. Frederick Cook of the 1906 Denali fraud and other frauds (North Pole, etc).
(14) Obviously you are publishing Anything that makes you and Kellogg look good, and which give you and Kellogg the greatest advantage. Due to this, you are engaging in unethical, devious, dishonorable, and dishonest conduct. As an adult, you should have more discipline over your conduct, and you’re deceiving of the public is grotesque,

Posted by Editor - 05/17/2013 12:54 PM

As far as we know, there is no “official” record for what Chad is attempting. He is trying to test his own personal limits and establish a best known time. This is based, in part, on Batard’s time from base camp to summit (currently being considered a best known time for one direction) of what he hopes to achieve.

Posted by Guest - 05/17/2013 05:07 PM

“As far as we know, there is no “official” record for what Chad is attempting.”

Kellogg and his sponsor Outdoor Research state Marc Batard holds the current records — the ascent record with 20 hours 29 minutes, and the ascent-descent record with 36 hours. Fraudulent information. (1) Batard’s record was broken 10 years later by Kazi Sherpa with 20 hours 22 minutes, as confirmed by renowned Everest historian Liz Hawley, as she states in this American Alpine Club Journal article


And as further confirmed by the Everest Summiteers Association


“… Batard’s time from base camp to summit (currently being considered a best known time for one direction) of what he hopes to achieve.”

False. Kellogg and his sponsor claim, as you state in your article above, that he wants to break Batard’s “36 hour” ascent-descent record. Elsewhere in Outdoor Research publications, Kellogg and OR state that he also wants to break Batard’s ascent record of 20 hours 29 minutes. That ascent record was broken 10 years later by Kazi Sherpa (see the above sources I provide), and there is no such ascent-descent record in existence. Batard’s own website, and book, state nothing of such a “36 hour record”:



The book is easily obtainable.

And there are no sources anywhere about a 36 hour record.

Posted by re: - 05/17/2013 05:21 PM

Chad Kellogg has been exploiting the public’s lack of knowledge about Mt. Everest records.

His sponsor Outdoor Research has been perpetuating Kellogg’s fraudulent misrepresentation of what the current Everest records are, taking advantage of the public’s ignorance of Mt. Everest. Claiming there is a 2+ hour slower record that is still current, when it was broken, and claiming the existence of an ascent-descent record that has never existed.

A complaint against Outdoor Research has recently been filed with the Attorney General’s Office of Washington State for fraud against the public done for the purpose of publicizing the company and selling products. Outdoor Research’s goal is to have Kellogg “break” two records, and both of the records they claim exist, IN FACT DO NOT EXIST, AS SHOWN BY OBJECTIVE SOURCES AND AS IS KNOWN BY EXPERTS IN THE HISTORY OF MT. EVEREST SPEED CLIMBING RECORDS. Refer to the above links and sources in the last comment.

Gear Gunkie, please discontinue peddling the fraudulent information provided by Kellogg and Outdoor Research. Please have the courage to take a stand and say what is true/accurate, rather than cowardly do what you are doing.

Posted by re: Re: - 05/17/2013 06:26 PM

Correct Mt. Everest records:

Kazi Sherpa holds current record 20 hours 24 minutes


* 1998 – Fastest to reach the summit via the southeast ridge (South Col), without supplemental oxygen, by Kazi Sherpa, in 20 hours and 24 minutes.


Contrary to what Kellogg says and contrary to what Outdoor Research says, Marc Batard does not hold ANY records on Mt. Everest any more.

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