The obvious question is: Why do a speed ascent? It's to see what you are made out of. My definition of a speed ascent is simple: Go as fast as you can until you reach the summit.
Warning: You need to be in good shape to do a speed ascent
Pick the Correct Mountain for You
I believe the #1 criteria is to pick the correct mountain.
Here are some of the criteria:
I like Kraft Mtn. Here's why:
I have been doing speed ascents for over 20 years. The way I got started is interesting.
Years ago I did Turltehead Peak and I read in the sign in book that a guy did it in 37 minutes starting from the Visitor's Center. That's impossible. It's over two miles from the Visitor's Center to the trailhead. Even if he could run two 5-minute miles, that would mean he would have to hike to the summit of Turltehead Peak in 27 minutes! Turtlehead Peak is 2.5 miles and almost 2,000 feet of elevation gain on mostly very loose trail/path.
It was a joke, but it got me started doing speed ascents. I do not do speed ascents up Turltehead Peak anymore. I got smart, well at least, smarter :)
Branch Whitney is the author of Hiking Las Vegas and creator of the 52 Peak Club where members hike to the best 52 Peaks around Las Vegas, NV