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Ten months ago 35-year-old climber Russ McBride (right) sat
slumped on a boulder on California's Middle Palisade, sobbing
over his busted attempt to break the record of 4 1/2 days for
bagging all 15 of the state's peaks higher than 14,000 feet (SI,
Oct. 14, 2002). This week McBride returns to the Sierras for
another try at the record. His attempt will feature, among other
things, a 10,000-foot paraglide from atop White Mountain Peak. If
all goes well, McBride will land safely near a waiting car and
shave valuable minutes off his descent. To no one's surprise,
speed freak Hans Florine is also considering an assault on the
record this summer. His interest was piqued when one fan offered
his private jet to shuttle Florine from Mount Whitney to Mount
Shasta, normally a seven-hour drive. Says Florine, "This is much
tougher than setting the 2:48 record for the Nose [on Yosemite's
El Capitan, last September]. I haven't been doing much endurance
running this summer, but I'm always game to get off the couch and
try anything."