Summiting a volcano gives you some time to think. Over hundreds of Mount Rainier ascents, mountain guides Lara and Chad Kellog came up with the Infinity Loop– two ascents of Rainier and half clockwise and then counter-clockwise sections of the Wonderland Trail, making up a full circumnavigation of the volcano. The Infinity Loop covers 217K (135 miles) and 13,716 metres (45,000 feet) of elevation gain. If mountain and weather conditions co-operate tomorrow, Yvonne Naughton, Minda Paul, and Kelsey Wilmore will be attempting the first female self-supported fastest known time (FKT) completion of the loop.
Naughton was intrigued by the Infinity Loop in 2016 when Gavin Woody and Ras Vaughn became the first men to complete it. The same year, the first female Sarah Morris and Nate Smith also completed the loop. In 2016, Naughton said she “didn’t have the skill set to undertake an adventure of that magnitude but thought that it would be amazing to work towards that goal. I found two other eager women last winter and we’ve been planning and preparing since then.”
Each contributing different skills sets to the team, the women are excited to embark on their adventure in memory of Lara and Chad, who passed away before having the chance to complete the adventure they dreamed of. Lara passed away climbing in Alaska in 2012, and Chad was killed by a rockfall in Patagonia in 2014. Watch Nick Danielson’s trailer about the women and the Infinity Loop.
As of this morning, ultra mountain runners Kaytlyn Gerbin and Alex Borsuk completed the first female self supported FKT on the Infinity Loop in four days and four hours.