Written by Cave Dog


No organizing body regulates, promotes, or records this record.  It is up to the individual challenger and his support crew to hold up to the ideals of the Wild Whites Ultramarathon(W2)* as they have been passed down through heritage and tradition.  It is a natural tendency of competitors to try to trim the effort required to break a record.  As a record becomes more finetuned, there is inevitable disagreement between challengers as to when it is acceptable to cut corners.  No one has written down the rules of the game for this informal record.  This piece has been written in an effort to explain some of the idiosyncrasies of this record to the public and to reduce any confusion between future challengers about what it takes to set a new record.


    To climb all of the New Hampshire 4,000 Footers in the least amount of time.


1.  The Route

    There is no set route except that all of the New Hampshire 4,000 Footers must be summited .

Each of the New Hampshire 4,000 Footers must be scaled in a fashion suitable to the mountaineering ethic.  However, there is no set of trails or order of mountains required.

2.  Provisions

    Provisions may be given at any point during the challenge.

3.  Vehicles:

    Once on a route, one cannot use any form of mechanical or biological devices for propulsion.

Once one has reached a road at the end of a route, overland travel in a vehicle to the starting point of another mountain group is acceptable.  A vehicle can be any mechanical device such as cars, trucks, ATV's, bicycles, helicopters, etc., and/or any animals such as horses, mules, people, etc.  One must finish the route back to the road before vehicles can be used.  Being plucked off the mountain by a helicopter is not acceptable nor is using a bicycle or horse on the trail.  This is a record set by the skills and power of the individual mountaineer not through the use of mechanical or biological aid.  In the case of Washington, which has a road to the top, one must use an established trail.  Climbing Washington by car or cog train is not acceptable.  In the cases Wildcat D, Tecumseh, and Cannon, which have ski resorts on them, one must use an established trail or ski run.  Climbing these peaks by ski lift or gondola is not acceptable.

4.  The Clock:

    The clock starts at the trailhead of the first peak climbed and stops at the summit of the last peak.

The clock never stops until all mountains have been climbed in accordance to the rules including the ascent of the first mountain but not the descent of the last mountain.

5.  Do as Much or More as the Last Record Holder:

        At a minimum, to set a new record, one must do as much or more as, the current record holder, in less time.

The Wild Whites Ultramarathon has evolved over the years to meet the expectations of the White Mountains mountaineering community.  This evolution has occurred by one record at a time.  For example, if the record was established when 46 peaks were recognized as Four Thousand Footers, it is up to the challenger to up the ante to 48 peaks, if that is the convention of that time.  This is true for all of the rules.  Essentially, no additional or more restrictive rules can be established except by the person that makes the next record by following the existing rules and their new rules.   One must do at least as much as the last record holder to be considered the new record holder.  In addition, one must do the challenge in less time.   One cannot break the record by adding more requirements and take longer to do the course.  If one does add more to the effort with a longer time span, then they can claim a different record for a different game that goes by a different name.   For example, one could climb all of the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers without support or without motorized vehicles.  It is up to the White Mountains mountaineering community to decide if such a distinction is worth noting as a new type of record.  In the end, for this record, if one does as much and more, in less time, they have set the new standard by which all future challengers must adhere.

6.  Notification
        Notify the current record holder of intentions to challenge the record before the attempt.

A challeger, out of respect, should make an effort to give the current record holder a couresty call before an attempt.  In doing this, the attempt is tied to the history of the event.  It also makes for an easier acceptance of a new record.

7.  The Honor System:

    The Wild Whites Ultramarathon rules are informal and essentially voluntary.

In fact, in the attempt all is essentially informal and voluntary.  The 48 peaks must be climbed; however, there is no one set course, there are no officials to record the times, no competitors alongside to provide a gauge of reference.  There is only you, the 48 inanimate peaks, the currently recognized record, and your word of honor that you have actually done what you report to have done.

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