Associated Press - July 12, 2008 12:35 PM ET
TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - There's a new unofficial Mount Rainier speed king.
Twenty-9-year-old Justine Merle took 4 hours, 49 minutes, 35 seconds this week to go from Paradise to the 14,411-foot summit and back down again.
Merle on Wednesday beat the previous record of 4 hours, 59 minutes, 1 second set in 2004 by Chad Kellogg, which also was not officially timed.
Merle is a 29-year-old climbing guide from Ashford who has been guiding on Mount Rainier since 1999, first for Rainier Mountaineering Inc. and now for International Mountain Guides.
A client on a guided ascent typically takes 17 to 18 hours to complete the climb, not including a sleep break at Camp Muir.
Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com
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