Style and Verifications

Record or FKT?

A record is done when all the challengers are under the same conditions, that means that is a specific regulation on how the record attempt should be made (in terms of equipment, mueling, pacing, support, conditions, antidoping policies) and should be verified in situ by referees from the organization validating the record. Otherwise, it’s a FKT.

What are the different styles of FKT’s?

Because any activity in the mountains is very different depending the conditions of the route, the style and the support it is important to specify:

Running / Alpinism:

Supported (expedition style): You have a support crew or person that meets you along the way. From someone handing water, someone preparing the route for you, a team to supply whatever you need, or the use of pacers. This generally allows for the fastest, lightest trips, and for an element of camaraderie and safety, since someone knows about where you are at all times. 

Self-supported (Semi-alpine): You don’t have people helping you but use in-place facilities or self deposits. It can be that you stock supplies/gear for yourself prior to the trip, or that you use the things out there, such as stores, mountain huts, etc. Or that the route is prepared from others or prior by yourself (no opening tracks)

Unsupported (Alpine style): You have no external support of any kind. You carry all your supplies all the time from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources.


Team: a team of 2 or more climbers using ropes for protection.

Solo: Free climbing alone and no use or carry of any protection system or to abseil. *Simul Solo (when solo climbing with a partner)

Rope Solo: Climbing alone (free or aid) but using or carring protection gear/ to abseil.

Free climb: generaly team or rope solo but without using any gear to progress.

Other considerations:

  • First Ascent: A route nobody has done before.
  • Onsight: A repetition of a route that has been done before but you done for the first time and without any informations of the route.
  • Winter: done during winter season.
  • Solitaire: alone in the mountain ( no one else above Base Camp, hut or last village) during all ascent and descent.

How can someone verify and repport one activity or FKT?

Systems and proofs to verify a FKT or activity.

– Satellite Trackers: Satellite trackers (ex. SPOT, Delorme…) Advantages: Provide real-time tracking information that can’t easily be faked. Disadvantages: they need a clear view of the sky. Carrying the tracker on top of your shoulder is way better than in your pocket or the bottom of your pack. Also, trees can block the signal. If you want to be in autonomy and no comunication tthis devices can be used as sending emergency message or rescue tracking so not the same engagement as without.  In tracking mode under dense trees you may find that the signal doesn’t get through to the satellite very often, and you may find the device burning through batteries. The precision of the track can be not super precise (+- 100m) even if every year they got much better.

-Cell Phone Trackers: Many smartphone apps have become available that provide real-time tracking functionality somewhat comparable to the SPOT & DeLorme satellite devices. These apps REQUIRE cell service to work, and burns battery fast.

GPS Watches / Strava / GarminConnect (etc.): GPS devices that do not report your position in real time but you can export a GPX file with timmings and localisations. The problems can come from battery and precision. At more precision of gps (more points per minute) less battery, so in long activities the gps precision can be not very accurate. Strong wind can affect the precision, water in the sensor too. As for the GPS trackers, in forests or steep slopes (as climbing, or under roofs) the signal can be lost.

Photos / videos: Images can form an important part of verification. Some simple tips make them even more valuble as verification. Digital photos can have data encoded in them (time and localisation). If you take photos with a smartphone, enabling location services for the phone’s camera will result in each photo file containing location data as well as time. Of course, another way to encode location data in a photo is to photograph identifiable landmarks (signs, obvious features). It appears that GPS data for pictures and videos is more acurate than gps watches or trackers (gps activate for less time so more use of battery but more precision)

Trip Report and witnesses: The most time-honored means of verification is a detailed trip report written of your trip (based on detailed notes taken during the trip, such as daily exercises, where you were when, weather observations, people you met, etc.)

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