Steve Kominsky wants to put an exclamation point on extreme hiking next summer by climbing the tallest 10 peaks in Oregon over a six-day span.
He'll start training for his effort Saturday by attempting to run up and down Mount McLoughlin three times in one day.
Steve Kominsky of Medford plans to summit Oregon's 10 tallest peaks during a six-day endurance effort in July 2011. The peaks, along with their heights and elevation gain are:
Mount Hood: Height: 11,239 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,400 ft.
Mount Jefferson: Height: 10,497 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,500 ft.
South Sister: Height: 10,358 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,000 ft.
North Sister: Height: 10,085 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,000 ft.
Middle Sister: Height: 10,047 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,000 ft.
Matterhorn Mountain: Height: 9,845 ft.; Elevation gain: 5,245 ft.
Sacajawea Peak: Height: 9,833 ft.; Elevation gain: 4,808 ft.
Steen Mountain: Height: 9,733 ft.; Elevation gain: 1,100 ft.
Hurwal Divide: Height: 9,775 ft.; Elevation gain: 4,675 ft.
Aneroid Mountain: Height: 9,702 ft.; Elevation gain: 4,952 ft.
If he manages to summit the state's 10 tallest peaks in six days, he believes he'll have done it faster than it's ever been done before. To make it happen he'll have to run about 125 miles and climb roughly 50,000 feet, with chunks of more than 40 miles a day.
Still, he insists he's not crazy.
"That's the general response I get from pretty much everybody I've told," says Kominsky, 27, of Medford.
But he's got a good cause in mind.
He's using the adventure, which he's calling the "Oregon 10in6 Challenge," as a way to gain donations for the Leave No Trace Center of Outdoor Ethics, which teaches outdoor skills and methods for enjoying backwoods public places without leaving a negative human imprint.
"People say, 'you're crazy, but you're doing a cool thing for a good cause,' " Kominsky says.
A former Jackson County Search and Rescue team member, Kominsky in 2008 hiked the 9.38-mile roundtrip trail to McLoughlin's 9,495-foot summit twice in one day — first in the morning for fun and then again the same afternoon on a search case, he says.
This time, he'll attempt a trail-running trifecta that will see him travel more than 28 miles and cover the 3,840-foot change in elevation six times between 6:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
And still, officially, he's not crazy.
"I think it's going to be hard, really hard," he says. "But it should be pretty fun. I'm looking forward to it."
Others, like Fremont National Forest wilderness ranger Jackie Holm, will be watching.
"I know two times is doable," Holm says. "Three times is definitely bad-ass.
"It's going to be a mind thing as much as a physical thing," she says. "I hope he has a really good time."
Kominsky's adventure had its genesis along the banks of the Rogue River in December when he and a friend started talking about such a feat.
Bumping around the Internet, Kominsky found references to people conquering the 10 top Oregon peaks, but no one had claimed to do it in fewer than nine days, he says.
"I couldn't find anybody else who said he's done it in this time frame," Kominsky says.
A former Olympic rowing hopeful, Kominsky says he was spurred by the birth of his son, Dawson, to seek a new physical challenge.
"I wanted to show him that being a father and a working man, you can still do something fun and challenging," he says.
This summer, Kominsky ran a few trail races and he straps on the 6-month-old Dawson for regular hikes.
Kominsky also has taken on a near-vegetarian diet of primarily locally grown foods to fuel him.
Logistics might be as difficult as the summits themselves. He's planned out the adventure in detail, and a friend who owns a helicopter will ferry him from trailhead to trailhead during those days.
For instance, he'll climb all three Sister Mountains in Central Oregon before jumping in the helicopter to tackle Mountain Jefferson the next day.
The summits will include a little skiing and mountaineering, as well, he says.
"Keeping my legs in shape while covering those miles will be key for me," Kominsky says.
Kominsky asks that donations to be sent directly to the Leave No Trace Center, which can be found online at www.lnt.org.
As for Saturday, he plans to do the McLoughlin trio rain or shine — or snow, which is in the forecast.
"It should be snowing up there, but that's all part of it," Kominsky says.
Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.