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RMI Guide Katie Bono Makes Speed Ascent

Katie Bono climbs Mount Rainier in 4 hours, 58 minutes on July 24, 2012.

RMI Guide Katie Bono completed a car-to-car speed ascent of the classic Disappointment Cleaver route. Her effort is significant not only because it sets the female speed record but also because it adds a female presence to a list which had been exclusively male dominated.

Bono described the route, which she climbed 12 times, as straight-forward and direct, minus the rocky section of Disappointment Cleaver itself, where she expressed difficulty keeping “the high-RPM, small steps” she was able to use on the remainder of the route.

The first known speed ascent was made by Lou and Jim Whittaker, with John Day, in 1959 (7 hours, 20 minutes). Craig Van Hoy (5 hours, 25 minutes; 1981), Justin Merle (4:49:35; July 9, 2008), and Liam O’Sullivan (4:46:29; August 5, 2008), all former Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. guides, successfully lowered the record times until September 17, 2008 when renowned guide Willie Benegas completed the round trip in 4:40:59. Benegas’ record currently stands.


Comments (5)

Unreal!  You past me around 13,500 feet and I asked for your name so I could read about you someday…well, now I’m doing just that.  Way to go Katie.  You are an inspiration.

Posted by: Nate McClellan on

Katie.  It was an amazing thing to witness as you streaked down the mountain past our group hiking up to Muir. Our whole group was in awe at your accomplishment.  Congratulations!

Posted by: Larry Cornelius on

Katie.  You are an amazing woman!!!  I bet there was more than one moment on your speed climb when you thought you may have been able to beat Willie’s record?  Regardless, you are still my hero!  Congratulations!!!!!!

Posted by: Josephine Johnson on

Wow Katie! Congrats on an incredible achievement. You rocked it!

Posted by: Patty K. on

Wow, go Katie Go!

Posted by: Kate Faber on

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