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Oregon’s Jason Hardrath obliterates Rocky Mountain Grand Slam FKT

The king of mountain FKTs completed the 122-peak route in just under 40 days

Jason Hardrath FKT 2023 Photo by: Kevin Eassa

Oregon-based elementary school teacher Jason Hardrath has became the third person ever to complete a Rocky Mountain Grand Slam, sneaking in under the 40-day mark in 39 days, 23 hours and 44 minutes (and smashing the previous record of more than 60 days). Traversing 1,030 miles (1,657 kilometres) and 432,500 feet (131,826 metres), the slam consists of all the major peaks in the American Rockies.

Jason Hardrath FKT 2023
Photo: Kevin Eassa

Hardrath, who completed the effort last week, described it on social media: “We fought. We climbed through the nights. We grimaced through raw feet. We raced the storms and the clock over unforgiving terrain…A dream that once seemed far out of reach gradually grew tantalizingly closer, and finally came to fulfillment.”

The Rocky Mountain Grand Slam involves completing 122 peaks and includes 58 in Colorado over 14,000 feet, 36 in Wyoming over 13,000 feet, and 27 in Montana over 12,000 feet (over 4,267 metres, 3,962 metres, and 3,657 metres respectively). The mountains range from hikes and scrambles to “very remote peaks involving glacier travel and alpine rock climbing in Wyoming” as per the FKT website. “Of the 120 peaks, four are technical via their easiest routes (Spearhead, Wilson, Koven, Grand Teton), all in Wyoming.”

The slam has been completed twice before, with the previous record of 60 days, 9 hours and 20 seconds set in 2020 by Eric Gilbertson. “The dream, the lure, the muse driving the legs forward: the possibility of completing the 122 peak Rocky Mountain Grand Slam in under 40 days, exceeding a 3 peak per day average,” shared Hardrath, who is known for a long list of FKTs that include scaling Washington’s highest 100 peaks faster than anyone else.

Hardrath shared his route during the FKT via live tracking and Strava, and was supported throughout by Joshua Perry, an ultrarunner who notably set a new record of 55d 16h 54m 0n the 4,172 kilometre Pacific Crest Trail last August (previously 65d 9h 58m). 

Hardrath was in a debilitating car accident in 2015, after which he was told he may never run again. He shared what motivates him in an interview in Forbes magazine “Sometimes, when it feels like something might not be possible, but it excites us and scares us, then that’s the direction we need to go. I feel like I need to be living that in order to be authentic.”

Watch Hardrath’s journey to the 100 highest peaks in Washington:

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