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On August 4, Stefan Griebel and Wade Morris set a new fastest known time (FKT) for a car-to-car speed ascent of the Diamond on Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. The duo covered 11 miles of trail and 1,700 feet of technical climbing with a total of 4,600 feet of elevation gain in 3 hours, 53 minutes, and 59 seconds.
“Pretty darn all around good day with Stefan Griebel,” Morris wrote on Instagram. “I thought it was possible to go sub 4 hours and we finally nailed it today!”
Stefan Griebel is no stranger to Front Range speed ascents. He held the speed record on the Naked Edge (5.11b) in Eldorado Canyon a number of times, most recently at 24:29 while climbing with the late Jason Wells. The record stood from 2015 until May of this year. Griebel has the current FKT of the Longs Peak Triathlon, which has the same parameters as the car-to-car speed record on the Diamond, but adds 80 miles of biking from and to downtown Boulder. Griebel and Anton Krupicka completed the LPT in 9 hours and 6 minutes. On that record breaking day, the duo went trailhead to trailhead in 4 hours and 30 minutes after 40 miles of biking, which piqued interest in lowering that time.
In 1999, the late Dean Potter put down the car-to-car speed record in 3 hours 59 minutes. It was a solo mission—he climbed the Casual Route (5.10a) ropeless. That record stood for more than 20 years, until yesterday when Griebel and Morris set out on the Longs Peak trailhead with five cams, two quickdraws, seven carabiners, and two Micro Traxions. The team ran to the base of the Diamond, scrambled the low-fifth class North Chimney to Broadway Ledge, simul-climbed the Casual Route (passing two parties), scrambled to the summit, and ran back down, beating Potter’s time by 5 minutes.
Alton Richardson, who photographed Griebel and Morris on their ascent, wrote on Instagram: “I like this tradition of link-ups and speed records that is vibrantly flourishing in our community. I think the sports action is fun as long as it stays healthy and safe.”
Potter, who passed away in 2015 in a wingsuit accident, was known among his climbing cohort as the Dark Wizard. The symbol for his spirit was a black raven. When Griebel and Morris reached Table Ledge yesterday, the end of the technical climbing, a conspiracy of ravens took flight from their perch.
“Felt like Dean was there in spirit,” Morris wrote.