Unofficial Mount Rainier speed record set - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Unofficial Mount Rainier speed record set

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,

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