Everesting has become the cycling challenge of 2020. It is a easy challenge to organise, it can be done close to home and completing it is a great test of physical strength and mental resilience. For the outsiders and amateurs what has made it more interesting has been the recent run of tumbling records among both the boys and girls.
If you still have no idea what I’m taking about, then ‘Everesting’: is the concept of riding your bike, up and down the same hill, without sleep, until your cumulative ascent equals the height of Everest”. All official everesting attempts are all governed by a set of rules set by HRS, creating a benchmark for your suffering.
So, that’s 8,848m of up in a single ride.
But as someone who likes a challenge, how could one single ride be enough? Over the next four Fridays I aims to ride nearly 40,000 vertical metres and 650 miles in the four rides to raise money and awareness for two Aylesbury based Charities, the Pace Centre and Action4Youth.
As someone who thrives on a challenge, I’ve been considering an official Everesting attempt for a while. With my events largely cancelled and postponed, DIY challenges such as this become more and more appealing. I’m not a climber, let alone a fast one, but it is the essence of this challenge that appeals to me.
PART 1 – vEVEREST – Friday 11 September
So we know what an Everesting is, but what does it mean to complete it virtually. The only verified way to do this is via the Zwift platform and climbing one of the many hills in the game, usually the Alpe Du Zwift.
At the time of writing I’ve only climbed the Alpe Du Zwift once to date, 70mins, so taking a conservative view I think a climb time of 1hr 30mins is achievable, including the descent this could be as much as 100mins. The challenge, 9 reps of the mountain to achieve the height of Mt Everest, therefore should take approximately 15 hours to complete.
- you can only use a smart trainer,
- resistance must be turned up to 100% (it’s an honesty thing and really you are only cheating yourself),
- you can only complete a vEveresting in Zwift. There are a number of hills, the most obvious one being Alpe du Zwift (which simulates the iconic Alpe d’Huez),
- you must complete the whole climb each time and descend the same route (until the 8,848m elevation gain is achieved, when you can stop your final repetition,
- There is no time limit on your attempt, but you can’t sleep, so the ride must be completed in a ‘single effort’.
PART 2 – THE EVEREST – Friday 18 September
Whiteleaf Hill near Princes Risborough will be my chosen hill for my real life Everesting attempt. I’ve ridden lots of the hills locally and while this one is not easy, it is the lesser or a few evils – it offers a lowish number of reps and over a reasonable distance. the main downsides to Whiteleaf are that it is a fast and technical descent, with some traffic pinch points. Here’s what Ben at NITP had to say about the hill, “This hill does not give in…”. But then, neither will I!
I’ll need to ascent Whiteleaf 70 times to achieve the required meters of elevation to successfully complete the Everesting. This will equate to around 200km of distance.
My plan is to start climbing around 3am, riding 5 reps at a time with a 15min break between sets. At approximately 1hr per set the challenge will take any where between 15 and 20hrs to complete. If you want to come out and support – whether that’s a kind word, a coffee or riding a few laps with me – get in touch here or drop me a message on one of my social media pages!
- It does not matter how long the ride takes, but it must be ridden in one attempt (i.e. no sleeping in between). Breaks for meals etc. are fine. You can break for as long or as little as you like.
- Rides must only focus on one hill or mountain per ride and cannot be loops. Essentially you must climb up and descend the chosen hill the same way.
- Rides must be full ascents each time, so half climbs or riding up and being driven down.
- A little obvious, but none of the ride can be walked, this is a cycling challenge after all.
PART 3 – THE LIMIT – 25 September
The Limit (or Everesting 10k) is an almost exact replica of The Everest, but instead the challenge requires you to climb to a height of 10,000 meters. So as a glutton for punishment I’ll head back to local Whiteleaf Hill, looking to complete 80 reps, an additional 10 reps from the previous challenge, in order to climb the required number of vertical meters.
The rules for the 10k are essentially the same for an Everesting – no time limit, no sleep and no minimum distance. The key difference in the 10k is the ability to use one or more climbs to achieve the required 10,000 metres.
PART 4 – THE JOURNEY – 1-2 October
The Limit (or Everesting 10k Roam) is the final challenge in the series and rightly the hardest to complete. The essence of the challenge is to ascend 10,000m within 36hrs, having ridden a minimum of 400km distance.
In order to achieve this challenge I’ll need to leave the Chilterns and am planning to plot a route through the hills of North Devon. What this will mean is two days of riding – 200km per day with 5,000m of climbing, although my preference will be to front load day 1 with as much climbing as possible to aid my likely creaking body for the second day.
As part of my Road to RAAM ’22 I’ll be supporting two local, Buckinghamshire based organisations who provide vital, life changing support to children and young people in the community;
Pace is a ground-breaking children’s charity that transforms the lives of children and young people with motor disorders, such as cerebral palsy. Find out more at
Action4Youth is a youth charity providing positive and transformational experiences, activities, programmes and courses which help and inspire young people.
You can donate and support my chosen charities through my Go Fund Me page –
As ever I’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported this journey so far.
A huge thanks needs to also go to the companies who have very kindly been supporting me over the last year – dhb sport, VeloSkin, Huckson Trigear, Reflect Nutrition and Lifejacket skin protection – as well as my coach and mentor Pav Bryan at Spokes.fit. Head over to my Partners page to find about more about these great British brands and bag yourself some discounts too.
A final thanks to Ewan Hackett who’s been a great help imparting his serial Everesting knowledge and experience.