Mount Everest has forever pushed humans to the extreme limit. However, for those who can’t make it to Nepal everyday Vallhalla Pure Outfitters and Hudson Bay Mountain have a solution.
The inaugural Extreme Everest Challenge took skiers to a place most of them had never been. To the very limit of their physical abilities.
Starting at four in the afternoon Saturday, challengers, mostly in teams of three, skinned up the Tarmigin run six times each to achieve the accumulated vertical of 8,850 metres. The same height as Mount Everest. They travelled up and down in the dead of night and well into the morning to complete their task.
For some it only took 15 hours, others like Lias Perry, the only solo challenger, finished her 18 runs in just under 24 hours. A feat not for the faint of heart.
“I’ve known Rod for a long time and that’s why I did this,” said Perry. “To do it solo was completely inspired by him. He loved the challenge so he’s my inspiration, so I thought I’d give it a go.”
The Everest Challenge, which has been an annual event for a number of years on Hudson Bay Mountain tasks participants with the charge of completing 18 runs from the first chair to the last. In 2010 Rod Leighton, a local doctor and outdoor enthusiast decided to take the challenge to the next level by attempting to skin up and ski down the full 18 runs under human power only. An execution know as “by fair means.”
Leighton undoubtably completed his journey in 25 hours.
“I thought it would be an interesting challenge to do it without the chair lift,” Leighton said in 2010.
Sadly only five months later Leighton had a serious accident and was told he would never walk again.
However, despite the initial prognosis Leighton was out on the trail, sill inspiring all by skinning up a few hundred yards under his own power once again.
This past weekend, with Leighton’s inspiration filling the air, 35 participants completed the journey as well, not only pushing themselves to the limit but raising funds for the Rick Hansen Foundation as well. Continuing to build on what Leighton started.
“It was a fun event we use to do when you ride up 18 times on the chair lift and ski down,” said Vallhalla Pure owner, Dave Walter. “I didn’t know how to grow the event, but when Rod wanted to do 24 hours, 18 laps himself, skinning, that was awesome. So that alone sparked a whole new interest level on this event and Rod’s story just egged me on to do it.”
The event raised over $2,000 for the Rick Hansen Foundation and unleashed a renewed interest in extreme challenges that is sure to become one of the countries most unique experiences in what the human heart can achieve when inspired by the determination and will of others.