The National Kidney Registry is excited to announce its latest sponsored event: an attempt by a team of living kidney donors to set a new world record and shatter the misperception that kidney donation imposes physical limits on donors.
In May 2023, three mountaineers assisted by two support crew will attempt to break the current Guinness World Record by climbing to the top of every U.S. state’s highest point in less than 43 days. The current record was set in 2010, when Matt Moniz and his father Mike completed all 50 summits in 43 days, 3 hours and 51 minutes.
In addition, the team plans to set a new Guinness World Record for summiting the highest mountain peaks/highest points in the contiguous or “lower” 48 U.S. states. There is no current Guinness World Record for the contiguous 48 U.S. state summits, but the fastest unofficial record according to FastestKnownTime.com is just over 19 days and 7 hours.
“Some people believe that becoming a living kidney donor must result in some kind of athletic impairment,” said Team Captain Dave Ashley. “The goal of Team NKR is to demonstrate the truth: Living kidney donors can do any athletic activity we enjoyed before donating, including ultra-endurance adventures like climbing Mount Everest and summiting all 50 U.S. state summits.”
In preparation for the challenge, the team has been researching the rules and guidelines for other climbing challenges such as the Colorado 14ers and the Seven Summits. They are working with FastestKnownTime.com and Guinness to put similar rules in place for the 50 U.S. state summit challenge.
These rules, if adopted, will prohibit the use of driving to the top of some state summits, such as New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, which had been legal under prior world record rules. The new guidelines would also limit the use of air travel, banning the use of flights between state summits in the contiguous U.S. states.
The Climbing Team:
- Team Captain Dave Ashley is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel from Arlington, Virginia. He has climbed Mount Everest as well as the Seven Summits, and is a 2019 Master’s US National Championship Adventure Racer.
- Jodi Harskamp is an Alaska Airlines Captain based in Anchorage, Alaska, who has climbed Denali and Aconcagua and successfully completed multiple Ironman and ultramarathon races.
- Jay Irwin is a retired software executive and an Ironman and ultramarathon competitor from Frisco, Colorado. He recently completed climbing all 58 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.
- Emily Polet-Monterosso is a librarian from Shelby Township, Michigan. She has recently caught the climbing bug following high-altitude experience on Mount Kilimanjaro and at Mount Everest Base Camp.
- Steve Wilson is a financial planner from Westchester, New York. He is a five-time Ironman finisher and has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro twice.
To learn more or follow the journey, visit the U.S. State Summit Speed Record page on the Donor Games website.Back to Press Releases