"Some time ago," relates John Day, the 50-year-old owner of a 4,000-acre cattle ranch on Oregon's Rogue River, "I considered my 206 pounds and asked myself why I carried all that weight around." Day decided to adopt a sport unfamiliar to him, mountaineering, and added a calorie-consuming new dimension—speed. Within eight weeks Day scaled the West Coast's 17 major peaks, from Washington's Mt. Baker to California's Mt. Whitney. The other day he fulfilled a high ambition: a record climb of Washington's Mt. Rainier. After several weeks of altitude conditioning in Colorado, Day picked up two guides and at one o'clock in the morning started to climb. After five hours and 20 minutes he and a group of companions reached the summit. With the 25-year-old record of 11 hours, 20 minutes firmly in mind, Day raced down in only a little over two hours. "When I saw we had a good chance of breaking eight hours we really started to move; we covered the last five miles on a dead run and when I looked at my watch I said to myself, 'Well, I did it!' "