Everesting Attempt

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  • #43225

    So with the lack of races on the schedule (except for Pikes Peak which is strangely still on for now), I’ve gotten creative with my motivation this summer. I’ve done some self supported ultras (a 55K on the Foothills trail in SC/NC) and an ultra-esque marathon up and over Mt Mitchell that took more than 8 hours and had 8000+ of total elevation gain.

    But this Saturday I’m taking on my biggest and most unusual challenge, I’m going to try to “everest” and gain 29029′ in one go of activity. This concept started as a cycling thing and has since morphed over into running, albeit with some changes to the rules.

    Everest link: https://everesting.cc/

    I’m using a local ski resort that’s running the chair lifts for their bike park, but instead of riding up and then biking down, I’ll be running up and riding down. It’ll be about a mile up, with over 1000′ of gain each time, so I’ll need to do 29 ascents. I expect this to take over 15 hours and as such I’ll be trying to stay strictly zone 1 when “running” and then refueling/hydrating/relaxing on the chair ride down. Because the lifts only run for 12 hours, I’ll need to do some descending on my own so that will be a very comfortable walk to try to save my legs from pounding.

    I’ve done some extra long events before (a 15+ hour double crossing of the Grand Canyon when temps were over 100 degrees) but still I really don’t know what to expect from this. I might get 5 hours in and lose motivation and call it a day but I’m planning on that not to be the case, with a plan for nutrition, benchmarks to hit, etc.

    I guess my question for the group is whether anyone has attempted this sort of thing and if there are any suggestions for things I haven’t considered. I was a bit surprised I couldn’t find a hit for Everesting in my forum search but maybe I overlooked it. Comments are welcome!

Posted In: Mountain Running

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    Anonymous on #43232

    Rather than run/walk down while the lift isn’t running, can you borrow and stash enough bikes at the top the day before? Biking down will save a lot of time and wear and tear.

    briguy on #43237

    Hi Scott – Yeah I had the same thought but couldn’t make it work logistically for a couple of reasons. For one, I’d only have the 1 bike at my disposal to use (my son would be using his bike), so it would only save me the one trip. And while that might be worthwhile, the resort frowns on bikers using the park when the lifts aren’t running. So I wouldn’t want to run afowl of the rules during the attempt and get myself kicked out.

    I am a little concerned about the downhill no doubt, especially since it will be front loaded onto the day. But I think it will be at most 3-4 descents at the beginning and I believe I can keep the stress low by gingerly working my way down. The descent trail is more meandering and longer than the uphill trail so the grade won’t be quite as sharp too.

    briguy on #43238

    Oh yeah, one other thing I didn’t mention. I’m going to try to use trekking poles. I have zero experience with poles other than general hiking so this will be an experiment. But I figure they might help, and if they don’t, I’ll just drop them at the bottom until I’m ready to pick them back up again. But I’m used to power hiking with my arms swinging for momentum so this will be a different experience.

    Anonymous on #43318

    Definitely practice with the poles first.

    I like using them on uphills, but I hold them horizontally for descents. For me, they never reduced the downhill impact much, and they’d normally change my posture (to leaning forward a bit, even when lengthened) which I didn’t like.

    briguy on #43328

    Well, it was Saturday so that was the practice day. 🙂

    No surprise, I didn’t make the Everest number. And while I did run out of time of chair lifts running, the truth is I started losing momentum after my 13-14th climb and just added on a 15th to call it a day at a nice round number. Total elevation came in at 16K+ in a bit less than 11.5 hours.

    Plus I still have PPM on the calendar in 7 weeks so at that point it was easy to convince myself to let discretion be the better part of valor and save my legs for the training still to come. And truth be told, had I pushed onward I would’ve been looking at ascents AND descents, with darkness soon to come. So it was an easy decision.

    I did get there early and manage 3 ascents before the lifts started (therefore 3 descents too), then it was just a repeated slog. My fueling/hydration plan worked great, and I had my wife/kids supplement with some pizza delivery at the top of the mountain around lunch time. The routine was plod out the ascent, then grab some food/drink and ride the 10min lift down. Ascents (1.1m with 1060′ of elev gain) were between 25-30min early and then between 30-35 late. Most of the climb was manageable except for a .15-.2m stetch at the very top where grade was over 30% and slipper grass. I experimented with zigzagging that stretch but also just went straight up it too. Couldn’t decide which I liked better.

    Effort was mostly Z1 with the occasional drift into Z2. Of course I had 10min rest every loop while on the lift.

    Anyway I hit the half-everest elevation (14,515′) at around 9.5 hours, so presuming I had access to a chairlift I’d estimate I could do a full in probably somewhere around 21 hours all things being the same.

    Appreciate the tips, the hiking poles definitely helped and I only have some mild shoulder/arm (tricep) soreness now 2 days later. I’m pleased with the effort and have been able to get back into training already since.

    Anonymous on #43466

    Super! Good work. The fact that you’re back training already is a great sign.

    briguy on #43548

    Thanks! Very pleased with the workout, as it was both good training and a good test/gauge. And While I was tired after, I went and did a 5m hike with 3500′ of gain the next morning with my son and that went fine so I snapped back quickly. I’m guessing it was the lack of downhill that allowed my legs to not need as much recovery.

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