Everest direct: ExWeb interview with speed climber Chad Kellogg

Posted: May 17, 2012 02:59 am EDT

(Newsdesk) Simone wasn't the only climber ExWeb checked in with last weekend. A former climbing ranger at Mt. Rainier National Park, Chad Kellogg has worked as professional mountain guide with Alpine Ascents, Mountain Madness and Cascade Alpine Guides.

In later years Chad has climbed extensively around the world and is now getting ready for an attempt to speed climb Everest. It's not his first time. Last year Chad tried the same trick but got caught up in jams on the lines.

Chad has been climbing almost non-stop for the current speed attempt, but got a bad start when his gear was stolen in Namche Bazar. Back on track again, ExWeb found Chad in BC just in time for the finale.

ExplorersWeb: With Russ leaving, how is the rope situation?

Chad: The rope situation is good up to the South Col. There are enough resources here to fix lines without Russel. There was a small team of seven myself included that fixed a safe line up to Camp 3 from the base of the Lhotse Face.

ExplorersWeb: Have you met Ueli Steck yet? Did you compare notes :)

Chad: I have not met Ueli Steck yet.

ExplorersWeb: Your biggest worry right now? (Lines being late, rock fall, deep snow, jammed ropes)

Chad: My biggest concern is traffic on the fixed lines from the South Col to the Summit. There are 400 people in camp waiting to go for the summit.

ExplorersWeb: We interviewed Pato on the north side last week, he said he'll ask people to let him by on the ropes - what's your plan in terms of that?

Chad: Everything will be on the go. I will ask my summit Sherpa at Camp 4 how many people are at high camp before I begin from base camp.

ExplorersWeb: What do you think about Brice's decision to leave the peak, how come you are staying?

Chad: As in any mountain adventure everyone must make their own decision about what is right for them. Brice has over 100 people including guides, Sherpas and clients that he has to be responsible for. When one of his Sherpas died I think the risk became to high.

I'm used to a higher level of risk than most folks. Being faster lowers the amount of time I'm at risk. I'm only responsible for my actions. My dream as a whole is risky enough and supersedes any single point of danger like the icefall.

ExplorersWeb: When do you think you'll go for the attempt?

Chad: I'm looking at the 19 and 20th as prospective dates. Weather and traffic permitting.

Chad Kellogg is back on Everest for another go at the speed record, this time with an 'Everest Climbing Algorithm':

Total Distance + Total Elevation Gain/Loss + Available Oxygen Start/End + Weather (wind,snow etc) + Temperature + Route Conditions + Hydration + Caloric Intake Per Hour + Weight of Equipment + Weight of Pack + Traffic = Total Duration of Climb

Chad Kellogg has climbed extensively throughout the states and South America, with a number of new routes from Alaska to Argentina, and a large number of first ascents in China. He made speed climbs on peaks such as Mount Rainier (2004) and Denali's West Buttres (solo speed record) in 2003.

In February 2010 he soloed Aconcagua's south face via a new route. An attempt to speed climb Everest w/o 02 last year failed due to congestion on the ropes. Chad will renew the attempt this spring, again w/o supplementary O2, via the SW route.

The first ascent on Pangbuk Ri (6,625m) was the first check of "the trip of a lifetime" Chad Kellogg set out on last October, and that included four back-to-back expeditions culminating in Everest, encore.


Debrief: Chad Kellogg and David Gottlieb first ascent of Pangbuk Ri

Chad Kellogg's "trip of a lifetime" before Everest w/o 02

Interview: Patricio Tisalema about speed-climbing Everest, "I will ask for permission to pass"

ExplorersWeb special: Mount Everest speed records

Chad's latest updates
#Mountaineering #interview

American speed climber Chad Kellogg on previous climb.
courtesy Chad Kellogg, SOURCE
"We set our path up the Chiwen Valley and discovered a beautiful ridge route up valley from Celestial Peak," reported Chad in 2005. "We climbed to the summit to determine that we had completed the first ascent of the unnamed peak. " In the image, Joe and Stoney during the ascent of the peak, named "The Angry Wife" (click to enlarge).
Image by Chad Kellogg courtesy Chad Kellogg
Topo of Angry wife north ridge.
Another signature climb: Chad's 2010 Aconcagua solo new route.
Image by Chad Kellogg courtesy Chad Kellogg, SOURCE
Speed Climber Chad Kellogg reached the Yellow Band as part of his acclimatization trips. Chad says he will make two more rotations before his summit push that might appear after May 20th. Speed climbers rush towards the top when the majority of mountaineers are done with the summit push and rope lines are available without traffic jams.
Image by Chad Kellogg courtesy Chad Kellogg

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