Ryan Ghelfi & Rickey Gates run up Mt Shasta

Remember these names? If you have my free Half Dome app, you have listened to Ryan talk about how he ran up the Half Dome trail. In 2008, Ghelfi went from Happy Isles to the summit and back in 2 hours 30 minutes and 50 seconds. Then pro runner Rickey Gates did it in 2010 in2 hours 28 minutes and 18 seconds. I call it a tie. Ryan is still a student at Southern Oregon University in Ashland (home of Shakespeare plays.) He’s on the track team.

Ryan Ghelfi credit: Andy Atkinson

On July 3 the two friends got together to run up Mt Shasta near Redding. If you’ve done the hike, you know how hard it is. They drove to the parking area early and ran from “Bunny Flat” to “Horse Camp” from where the long standing running record up Shasta was set in 1985. Bunny Flat is 6,950 ft above sea level. The summit is 14,179 feet. Wow, that’s a tough hike let alone run!!

They left Horse Camp at 8 am exactly in case the stopwatch died. Once they were in the snowfield, Gates used cross country spikes and an ice axe. Ghelfi used “Yak tracks,” They then clawed the steeper “left of heart” beneath the saddle and far to the left of the standard route. I’ve been up and Avalanche Gulch is the normal route. It gets steep about 11,000 feet.

Gates hit the summit at summit 1:38:10, just a minute faster than the record. Ghelfi arrived a few minutes later. To put all this in perspective, Bunny Flat to the summit is about 6 miles, but the elevation gains over 7,000 feet. “Normal people in good physical condition with good weather take 8-10 hours for the ascent. Half Dome is a 4,737 ft vertical rise.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Mountain climbing is extended periods of intense boredom, interrupted by occasional moments of sheer terror.” -Anonymous

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Ryan Ghelfi & Rickey Gates run up Mt Shasta

  1. Why so negative? Something tells me Rickey Gates and Ryan Ghelfi are quite educated about Hace and her cousin Hape. I’m sure they also have thought about their priorities many times before, during and after their many adventures. Things happen. Sometimes we even die (always will die). That shouldn’t prevent us from pursuing our passions on the mountains. If your heart is pulled by something, you go. Plain and simple. Doing so brings people to life, and coming alive contributes more to this world than any other thing. Great job Rickey and Ryan!

  2. Maureen L says:

    They were fortunate not to have any altitude consequences on Shasta.

    We lost a fit, experienced, young climber to HACE (high altitude cerebral edema) on Shasta a while back, and that was on a multi-day climb.

    HACE and it’s cousin HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema) are serious and life-threatening, way beyond the headache and nausea of simple altitude sickness. Fitness is not a guarantee of protection against any of these.

    Think about your priorities and your loved ones before trying this.

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