Re: [hr100] Kendall Mountain Climbing
- Amazing. I recall the winning time in the Kendall Mt. half marathon in 2003 was 1:50, and that was on a nice jeep road with aid stations. I took a couple pictures of the course at http://www.mattmahoney.net/2003/index.html (about 1/4 way down the page). A couple years before that Aki Inoye and I took the more direct route straight up Kendall Mt bushwacking up the north couloir you can see from town, probably more like the route McQuieg took. I can't imagine it being faster than the road.
-- Matt Mahoney, matmahoney@...
----- Original Message ----
From: Charles T. Thorn <thorn@...>
To: HRList <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2006 2:34:32 PM
Subject: [hr100] Kendall Mountain Climbing
Below is an account taken from the November 16, 2006 Silverton
Standard that reports the original article from the August 27, 1908
edition of the Silverton Standard. I've heard several versions of
this legend but this is the first time I've seen it written,
apparently by a first hand observer. Enjoy.
Neil McQueig Establishes a New Record in Mountain Climbing
Some time last week Charlie Worden of Animas Forks and J. H. Slattery
got to talking about mountain climbing. Worden said that he knew a
man working at the Frank Hough mine who could climb Kendall Mountain
and return to Silverton in one hour and a half. Jack thought Charlie
was suffering from a fit of temporary insanity and told him so. The
question discussed pro and con and at last a wager of $200 a side was
Worden bet that Neil McQueig could go from the center of the street
in front of the Grand Hotel to the top of Kendall Mountain and thence
back again to the place of beginning in one hour and thirty minutes
or less. Slattery bet that he couldn't. The trial was arranged for
Monday of this week between the hours of 9 and 11 a.m. The news of
the wager had spread through the camp and interest was at a fever
heat. The feat seemed so impossible to many that numerous bets were
made that it could not be done in one hour and thirty-five minutes,
forty, forty-five minutes and even two hours.
When Monday morning came spectators began to line the street early.
Every field glass and opera glass in the vicinity was brought into
service to watch the climb. The judges selected were E.W. Hunt,
Chas. Waters and S.D. Cunningham. The start was made promptly at
10:45 a.m. Neil McQueig started off at a brisk walk with an easy
stride, keeping up this pace until he reached the slope of Kendall
Mountain nearly a mile from town. Then began the most remarkable
exhibition of mountain climbing that has ever been witnessed anywhere
in the world. The climber went steadily up, sometimes in a fast walk
but more often he was seen running up the side of the hill like a
mountain sheep and like his proto type, leaping over rocks and other
obstructions in his way. Not once in the ascent did he stop to rest
and in just one hour, seven minutes and forty seconds from the time
of starting he touched the flagstaff on the summit of the peak. As
soon as his hand had touched this staff the descent began and this
was the most wonderful part of the whole performance. In going from
the top to timberline McQueig took but six minutes. He leaped over
rocks and bounded over small cliffs like a frightened deer. When he
reaches the first bunch of timber, however, he lost his way for a
time and thus lost a few precious minutes.
When he again struck the route he came down faster than before, but
near the foot of the mountain again took a wrong course and lost a
little time. He arrived at the starting point just one hour,
thirty-one minutes and forty-two and three-fifths seconds from the
time he left.
Kendall Mountain has an elevation of considerable 4,000 feet above
the town, the slope is in the neighborhood of thirty degrees and the
base of the mountain is nearly a mile away from the town. The round
trip is a distance of between three and four miles. Taken altogether
the wonderful performance of Neil McQueig is as remarkable an event
in the athletic line as will ever be witnessed. We doubt if his
equal in mountain climbing can ever be found in the world. He is a
man small of stature apparently slight of build and when we consider
that he is fifty-three years of age we marvel yet the more at his
powers of endurance.
We understand that arrangements are now being made to match him
against a Colorado Springs man who claims to be the champion mountain
climber of the world and we venture to say that when the match takes
place the man from Colorado Springs will realize that he took in too
much territory in making his claims.
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