Rainier Record Broken Again: Dorais Brothers Set Fast Time

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Written by Betsy Manero   

Mount Rainier (14,411 feet) from the northeast. [Photo] Walter Siegmund

After standing for just two weeks, Eric Carter and Nick Elson’s Rainier speed record has been broken. On June 5, Jason and Andy Dorais of Salt Lake City, Utah took more than 20 minutes off Carter and Elson’s top time, setting a record of three hours, 57 minutes and 55 seconds.

Like Carter and Elson, the Dorais brothers took the Disappointment Cleaver Route, which gains 9,000 vertical feet over eight miles. The conditions, according to Andy, were a mix of ice and powder at the summit that turned into perfect corn skiing in the Muir Snowfields. “The bottom 1,000 feet was just isothermal, backseat survival skiing all the way down to the parking lot,” he says.

“Andy only tomahawked twice,” Jason adds.

Jason and Andy Dorais spent their season skimo racing in the Wasatch Range before heading to Washington where they spent several days on Rainier in preparation for their record ski. The two hold the speed record on the Grand Teton (13,770 feet; five hours, 17 minutes) with fellow skimo racer Jared Inouye.

The Dorais brothers say they’re excited to hold the record, but recognize that the door has been opened for speed attempts on Rainier. The speed record, which has now been broken twice this season, seems to go through cycles and in 2008 was broken multiple times by various runners.

“I think we’re holding the record because not a lot of people have tried their hand at it yet,” Jason says. “There’s dozens of people out there who could do it and go faster. It’s just very conditions dependent, and having time to figure it out.”

Even so, the Dorais brothers say they’re willing to defend their record: “It’s hard not to be a little competitive,” Jason says.

For Andy’s account, visit slcsherpa.blogspot.com, and for Jason’s account, check out jasondorias.blogspot.com.

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