Jack McBroom Sweeps California 14er's
Beats previous speed record by more than a day and a half
August 28, 2002
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Paul misses the exit at Shasta and we lose maybe seven or eight minutes. He is upset and apologetic. I think it's funny. This whole game is funny to me. At this point, barring a volcanic eruption, we are going to break Josh's record by more than a day. If we are lucky, it will last till next summer; if not, maybe only a few weeks. But for at least a brief time, it will belong to us and that's all the victory one can hope for in these sorts of contests.
I leave the Shasta parking lot at 7:32 a.m. I'm feeling great after the sleep and move it on up the trail expecting to see lots of people. It must be a strange day in paradise because past the Sierra Club hut, there is only one person on the mountain, a volunteer going to do some trail maintenance up high.
Most all of the snow is gone and I'm at 11,000 feet before I finally reach a thin tongue of it. With crampons and axe, I climb straight up past the red banks and traverse left below a little bergschrund. I'm way left of misery hill but it's flat so I don't care. I'm cruising now and my spirits are high.
Soon I'm smelling sulfur and seeing faint wafts of steam from scattered rock areas. Then I'm on top and there are people! "Where did you come from? The backside?" They smile and nod. They also look at me like I'm very strange. Perhaps I need a shower. I pull out my cell phone and call Paul to tell him I'm on top. It's 11:55 a.m.
After signing the register, I take off running down and 200 feet later I remember to take a summit photo. Oh well. The descent takes me one hour, 27 minutes running kamikaze-style down the scree and I tag the car at 1:29 p.m. DONE!
My round-trip time on Shasta: five hours, 57 minutes. I sit down and drink a cold Coke while Paul videotapes me like I'm a star. His non-stop chattering comedy show has several parking lot folks smiling. The new record: four days, 11 hours, 19 minutes. Paul is more excited than I am. I just want to go eat.
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Jack McBroom, MountainZone.com Contributor