View Full Version : Cave Dog Tries Again for Long Trail speed record

06-21-2004, 09:58
Saw this article from AP...

Man to try again on speed hiking record

June 18, 2004
06:22 pm
Associated Press Newswires (javascript:NewWindow( 'FIISrcDetails','?from=article&ids=aprs');void(0);)
(c) 2004. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
JAY, Vt. (AP) - Ted E. Keizer is trying again: Next week he will attempt to better the speed record for hiking the 273-mile Long Trail, a mark of four days, 15 hours and 19 minutes established four years ago by Connecticut's Ed Kostak.

"This is all about fun and adventure and being with friends," Keizer said. "It's not about a crazy mania. It's about pushing the limits. Definitely, it's an extreme sport, but it's not meant to be some sort of obsession."

Keizer and his support crew of friends and family -- each sporting a canine alias and collectively known as "the Dog Team" -- swung and missed at the Long Trail record last summer. A series of pitfalls combined to sabotage the attempt and leave Keizer hallucinating and babbling incoherently 17 miles shy of the Massachusetts state line.

"We had an enormous amount of unfortunate circumstances, many unforeseeable," Keizer said. "It was pretty much a disaster."

A standing front that baffled even the Weather Channel's anchormen soaked the state during the entire week of the attempt. The phones went out at one of the team's base camps, cutting off communication between support crews, and the main support van broke down. An expedition meticulously planned down to the last minute, mile, pound and calorie unraveled in the August rain.

"In the end, during the Long Trail Record Challenge, I did not have support crew in the backcountry where I was expecting them in nine separate locations," Keizer wrote in "Descending into the Maelstrom," a essay recounting last summer's failed attempt. "It would be better not to have scheduled re-provision and just take a bit more weight to cover the distance without assistance. However, when one is trying to break records, you trim everything possible to push the limits.

"It is the nature of the game. It's not everyone's game. In fact, it is very few people's game; but it is my game."

Keizer owns speed-hiking records around the country. He climbed the 46 Adirondack "High Peaks" in three days, 18 hours and 14 minutes. He climbed all 55 peaks over 14,000 feet in Colorado in 10 days, 20 hours and 26 minutes. Last June, he covered 303 miles and 40 peaks over 6,000 feet in the Southern Appalachians in just under five days.

He funds his record-attempts by working all winter as a proofreader for Houghton Mifflin, literally doing the math in high-school textbooks before they are published. He also enjoys some sponsorship this summer from outdoor gearmakers GoLite and High Gear.

Keizer will set out from the trail's northern terminus on the U.S.-Canada border in Jay at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday hoping to average about 60 miles a day. He will hike almost continuously, mostly alone, although members of his support team will hike with him at night. A rolling command center -- a motorhome the team has nicknamed "The Kennel" -- will link up with him at many of the 30 road crossings along the way to supply food, water and changes of shoes and clothes.

Keizer's aim is to reach the southern terminus in Pownal at 7:33 p.m. Sunday -- one minute ahead of Kostak's record pace.

"You never know," Keizer said of his chances. "This is, quite possibly, the fastest, multi-day, mountainous-trail speed record in the world. Even if everything's perfect, you can't expect anything. I feel if things go our way this year, we have a good shot at it."

06-21-2004, 11:37
I remember his attempt. I was on the trail, and watched a special on him at a hotel where I was staying in Hanover, NH. It had been reasonably dry for about a month on the trail. It rained for about 10 straight days in the first week of August. What a terrible time it was to hike through the Whites. I would not want to hike the Long Trail in 4 days, but to each his own. I wish the man luck.

06-21-2004, 19:47
If he were to do an unassisted hike in under a week or so, that would be worthy of attention, but not with a small army of physical, moral, and financial support!

Moon Monster
06-21-2004, 22:26
If he were to do an unassisted hike in under a week or so, that would be worthy of attention, but not with a small army of physical, moral, and financial support!

I am impressed by Cave Dog's accomplishments. Afterall, at some level we are all assisted, even if it is by the teenager ringing up your jar of peanut butter at a grocery store in Rutland or by the scores of GMC volunteers who maintain the walkability of the LT trailway or by your loving family who morally supports your hike in the woods.

And anyway, his website never touts his personal accomplishments--it always puts his feats on the backs of his entire team. In other words, these are not individual records, these are team events in the eyes of the Dog Team. It's similar to mountaineers who use guide/Sherpa support. Are only the solo climbers of Everest worth attention?

(As someone who has bushwhacked up Reinhart Knob in North Carolina for the South Beyond 6000 program, I can understand what an accomplishment the Dog Team's record there was.)

06-22-2004, 16:08
Nice explanation. Though the Green Mountain Club would like to see the enjoyment of the hike to be the focus of competitive achievement. I hiked the Long Trail last year in 14 days spread over sections and a month and a half period...By planning ahead, I had great weather, ample recovery time, and excellent enjoyment.
This is a different project altogether for Cave Dog and helpers...

TJ aka Teej
06-22-2004, 18:07

Ted "Cave Dog" Keizer will attempt to hike the length of 273-mile Long Trail in 4 days this week beginning at Wednesday before dawn and finishing Sunday evening.

You can follow his progress online at www.TheDogTeam.com. The site will be updated repeatedly during Keizer's attempt, charting his whereabouts and matching his pace against the current record.

The Dog Team, Keizer's support crew, invites anyone with mountaineering or hiking experience to join Keizer on the trail and encourages those interested in providing moral support to find him at any of the many places where the trail crosses a road or is easily accessed. The Web site can be used to monitor his progress in order to make an educated guess at where one might see him passing through.