Jun 29, 2018
Live Updates: Colin O’Brady’s 50HP World Record Attempt.
This page will be regularly updated as and when we hear from Colin during his challenge.
The Outdoor Journal
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Remember if you see Colin out on the trails, make sure you grab some photos or video, and upload them to social media with the hashtag #50HPandMe.
0/50 high points left to summit!
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NEW WORLD RECORD! After 21 days, 9 hours, and 54 minutes I summited all of the highest points in each of the 50 states, shaving 20 days off the current record. I couldn’t have done it without my amazingly supportive sponsors and my team. Feeling super grateful for all the support, it was truly an adventure of a lifetime. Thank you to everyone who has been following along the adventure, everyone who has DM’d/commented wishing me luck, everyone who met us on the trailheads day or night, and everyone who came out today in my home state of Oregon to celebrate. #50hp
Looking up some rugged terrain on Mt Rainier I’m reminded by all the difficult moments of this project and the moments of glory that followed after pushing through. We successfully summited Mt. Rainier earlier today and we are now climbing Mt. Hood in my home state of Oregon. I’m so excited to be back in the Pacific Northwest to share the final moment of the 50HP world record with those on the summit at sunrise or those who come out to the Timberline lodge trailhead tomorrow after 9am. Look for the @cruiseamericarv RV parked at the back of the lot. #50hp
It’s not all about reaching the summit, it’s also about who helped you to get there. It’s about the people around us that push us to be our best selves and celebrate our successes as if they are their own. Standing on the summit of King’s Peak in Utah here with one of my oldest friends, @squnge , brought that point home. After having started the day by climbing Mt Whitney in California through the night, @drjonkedski and I were beat. Having an old friend and fresh body energized us to reach the summit just as the most beautiful sunrise illuminated the rocks around us. 📸 @drjonkedski
As we made our way up the highest point in Colorado I took a second to catch my breath…standing looking out over the expanse below I couldn’t help but think that over the next 100 hours I would be climbing 4 of the highest points in the US…covering over 100 trail miles with over 27,000 ft of elevation gain. It’s at moments like this where mindset is everything, understanding what lies ahead while at the same time focusing on one step at a time.
Standing at the closed road to Mt. Whitney with my father was a major disappointment. We had hoped to climb it together for his 60th birthday, but instead he joined us on the road for a couple days to tag 4 high points including summiting both Humphrey’s peak and Mt. Elbert! With the reopening of the Whitney portal @drjonkedski and I managed to summit less than 24 hours later! A huge relief knocking out the two high points that had closures, but now I’ve got over 150 miles of climbing to knock out in the next 7 days. Excited to be meeting up with the @cruiseamericarv and the rest of the team in Utah tonight!
People say when you are running a marathon the race really starts after you complete 20 miles. Although I have knocked off 43 peaks of the 50 so far, this final stretch is going to really test my limits. Over the next week I’ll be in a nonstop marathon to cover over 150 trail miles and roughly 50,000ft of climbing to bring this project home to the finish line in Oregon. I thrive on pushing my limits, and this week will no doubt do that and more. What ways have you pushed beyond your comfort zone this year?
The Not So Good News: Mt. Whitney in California is closed due to an uncontained forest fire that has shut down access to the mountain.
Within minutes of landing at the Bishop airport in California, I received word that the Arizona high point, which has been closed for two months, would be reopening Wednesday, July 11th at 8:00am. The monsoon rains have arrived and the fire danger and restrictions on Humphrey’s Peak have been lifted. Celebration ensued!
We had arrived to the Eastern Sierras — the jumping off point for Nevada’s Boundary Peak and Mt. Whitney, California’s high point and the highest mountain in the lower 48. With a sigh of relief, I knew AZ would now be accomplished.
Moments later another phone call came in alerting us to a lightning strike that had just occurred in the Alabama Hills, igniting a forest forest adjacent to Mt. Whitney. With only 10 percent containment, the Forest Service has closed the Whitney Portal and the access to California’s high point. Now it’s a waiting game for news of reopening. Luckily my July 11th permit will be honored and valid for 7 days once the trail is accessible again.
I caught a stunning sunset in North Dakota last night. But the serene vibe of this picture doesn’t tell the entire story. I climbed up to the point only to look out and realize the White Butte High Point I was looking for was not the mountain I was standing on but rather the one in the distance. This marks the second time this has happened on this journey. There are two choices when things don’t go perfectly to plan. Get frustrated and angry or laugh and enjoy the uncertainty of the adventure. This time I managed to laugh, enjoy this sunset and then climb down and up the proper mountain to bag my 36th High Point just before darkness fell.
9th July – East Coast Completed
It was incredible reaching the top of Katahdin and officially completing the entire east coast. I’ve always dreamed of climbing here as it marks the northern terminus to the famous Appalachian Trail. A highlight of the #50HP trip occurred as I coincidentally reached the summit at the exact same time as three other “thru-hikers” who at that moment were completing the 2200 mile journey having been out on the trail since early March. Watching them complete that journey certainly inspired me to continue onwards with mine! ____________________ What epic journeys do you dream of one day completing?
8th July – 31 States Summited
31 STATES DOWN ____________________ The east is officially in the bag for #50hp and I’m already headed out west to start hitting some of the bigger climbs! ____________________ Can’t thank everyone enough who’s been involved with making this project come together ____________________ What high points have you been to?
It’s been a total whirlwind. In less than a week since summiting Denali I’ve hit 22 of the 50 peaks!! My latest YouTube video is live on my YouTube channel of my summit push up Denali. Breathtaking views (literally), link in my IG story. Swipe up to check it out and subscribe for daily videos from the #50HP world record journey. Who’s planning to meet up with me on the next set of mountains?
4th July – A look back at the Denali Summit, and the start of the 50HP clock.
3rd July – 14 High Points Summited.
It’s been a whirlwind through the Southeast the past two days, hitting ten high points (14 total) already! A special thank you to @skallamarc for arranging everything for us ahead of time to hit the ground running! The best part has been all of the incredible people who have come out to participate. We met a 70 year old man who recently hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, Dr. Drizzle @daciapjones an incredibly passionate leader in education who inspires teachers and kids alike, and the @theboundless8 a crew of friends training for the Leadville 100 mile run. For me that’s what this whole journey is about; meeting amazing people and inspiring people to get outside in our beautiful country! The Forrest Gump Effect is building momentum. Who is coming to join the fun during our next stops? Fun giveaways from our sponsor @standardprocess for anyone who comes out!
The last 24 hours have been absolutely insane, but we managed to nail 6 High Points in the Southeast yesterday bringing the total to 10 in just the first five days. A huge thank you to @standardprocess for letting us use their Time Machine. We couldn’t have gotten nearly as much done this quickly without your incredible support! Today we have Georgia, South Carolina, and Tennessee. We met some amazing people yesterday who came out to climb with us on their home mountains. Who’s coming out to meet us today?! #ForrestGump #50HP
1st July – Looking back on Denali
29th June – In Hawaii
The last 24 hours have been some of the most exhilarating (and exhausting) of my life. Here I am climbing the headwall on the West Buttress of Denali yesterday on my way to the summit to officially kick off the #50HP world record. It’s crazy to think that I am sitting in Hawaii right now as I write this. @drjonkedski and I scored one of the most beautiful days either of us have ever seen in the Alaska Range in a combined 5 expeditions. Summit pics and more Denali content coming very soon!!
Summit of Denali!! The #50HP world clock officially started ticking when @drjonkedski and I reached the summit at 20,320ft just after 4pm AST on June 27th. It was an incredible day that didn’t end on the summit. With the clock ticking we had to race all the way down the mountain pack our gear up at 14,00ft and ski another 14 miles to reach the Basecamp airstrip at 7000ft at 4am and cross our fingers that a bush piolet could get us out in time to make our flight connection to Hawaii. What an adventure!! 1 down 49 to go. And of course as I did last time on this summit I had to rep with pride my hometown team @timbersfc, and thanks to @alaskaair for helping us thread the needle with these crazy logistics…we made it to Hawaii!
28th June – On Top Of North America
After a week of acclimatising, preparing, and monitoring climbing conditions Colin set off for the summit of Denali, Alaska’s high point and the tallest mountain in North America.
They were underway first thing this morning underneath partly sunny skies. Ascending from 14,000ft, and after 12 hours of hard climbing, we reached the summit of Denali.
The world record clock is officially ticking!
Now for a safe descent and a quick transition off the glacier via bush plane so I can continue pushing forward. We have up to 41 days to complete the other 49 U.S. high points. Next stop, Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii.
The epitome of Netflix and Chill w/ @drjonkedski inside my cook tent on Denali. We got some much needed rest after our acclimatization climb yesterday. Swipe over for a picture we snapped in a momentary break in the weather. Today has been mostly whiteout conditions. It’s been like living inside of a snow globe with about a foot of snow falling. We kept busy by shoveling snow off our tents, flipping pancakes, and binge watching Netflix Original “Love” … anything to keep @drjonkedski and I laughing while we wait for the weather to clear for our summit push. Favorable weather is on the horizon…it’s almost time to kick this #50HP project into full gear!!
We are jumping for joy that the sun is out here at 14,000ft camp. It was a spectacular day with blue skies and no wind. After our big push yesterday we took a rest day to let our bodies adjust to the thin air before contemplating the summit. Hoping that weather like this sticks around for our summit push. #50HP
Exhausted but smiling big as we popped above the clouds and were greeted by sun in 14,000ft camp with Mt. Foraker shining in the background. This will be our home for the next several days as we mount or summit attempt from here. Our gamble waiting out the weather in Talkeetna seems to have paid off as we met several teams who have been on the mountain 10 plus days who are just arriving to 14 camp with us. I’ve got a bit of a headache from the rapid ascent into the thin air, but a little rest, some water, a good nights sleep will have me feeling 100% in no time!! #50HP
Day three on the mountain was not for the faint of heart. @drjonkedski and I packed up our camp to move higher on the mountain. Usually people carry gear up the mountain in two parts splitting up the weight, but we decided to carry everything in one go so we can save time. We have about 250 lbs between us. To make things even harder a snowstorm from the night before left deep snow everywhere forcing us to break trail with our heavy packs and sleds. In this picture I’m pushing up through 50mph gusting winds at the top of Motorcycle Hill, praying that the forecast for improving weather comes to fruition. #50HP
A tough start in Alaska.
Colin was meant to fly out onto the glacier to begin his climb of Denali on June 15th. However, due to a low pressure system that is causing typhoon like winter conditions on the mountain, Colin’s departure out onto the glacier has been delayed. Once the weather clears and the bush planes are green-lighted to fly again, Colin will be dropped at basecamp to begin his ascent of the first high point! Stay tuned.
REMINDER: The world record clock doesn’t start ticking until Colin reaches the summit of Denali. As such the current delay has no effect on the success of the record attempt.
Colin is leaving home in Portland