IDAHO FALLS — Cody Lind says his record-setting solo climb of all nine of Idaho’s 12,000-foot peaks in fewer than 24 hours started as a goal 10 years ago when he was a youngster living in Challis.
On Saturday, Lind, 23, started up Hyndman Peak in the Pioneer range, tagged the top, ran down, then drove to Borah Peak trailhead. He climbed all seven of the 12,000-foot peaks in the Lost River Range from the north, then drove to Diamond Peak in the Lemhi Range, tagged the top and ran down to stop his watch at 20 hours, 23 minutes and 26 seconds. His time smashed the previous fastest time by hours. An unofficial record list can be found at www.idahosummits.com.
At the end of the day, he had gained 31,000 feet and descended 28,000 feet.
“It was a special experience to set this record and enjoy one of the most beautiful places on planet Earth,” Lind said. “I went beyond my goal.”
Lind, a geology student at Idaho State University, spends much of his spare time running in the mountains as a sponsored competitive mountain runner.
He said he was able to set his record by spending so much time in the Lost River Range over the years, exploring the best routes and dialing in time-saving passageways.
“The crux of the climb was definitely between Leatherman (Peak) and Mount Church in the Lost Rivers,” he said. “Having to get past Bad Rock Peak was tough, but I found a chute that made it happen. It’s a scree field — nasty traverse.”
Lind’s support crew included his girlfriend Brittany Peterson (also a mountain runner) and his father, Paul, a cross-country coach for Challis High School. They followed Lind’s progress through spotting scopes from the valley floor, drove the shuttle vehicle and offered moral support and pizza on the ride from the Lost River Range to Diamond Peak.
He powered his effort by consuming energy gels, granola bars, candy bars and peanut butter-and-jelly sandwiches.
“During the hardest parts of the climb, I tried to eat 120 to 150 calories every 20 to 25 minutes,” he said.
He said he resupplied his water from snow and other sources along the way.
What’s next for the running phenom?
“I’ll be focusing on the Skyrunner World Series held in Europe,” he said. “They’re generally around 50K and gain 12,000 to 16,000 feet in elevation.”
Lind said races will be held in Norway, Italy and Scotland.
“This was great training for those races,” he said.