I first heard about Eversting as a concept quite a while ago and thought mmmmm maybe that’s one of those madcap ideas I could rope one of my lucky or unlucky cycling buddies into.When I started looking into it a bit more found out that the concept of vEversting is actually quite a big thing in Zwift. I had kind of just left it there at that point as one of those things go and do later and popped on the back burner.
Then obviously the whole world went Mad!!! and I though well in for a penny in for a pound.
Everesting, What's its all about?
The concept of Everesting or vEversting is Simple: here are the basics
• Pick any hill
• Anywhere in the world (Zwift)
• Complete repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848m.
• The equivalent height of Mt Everest.
It’s not an event, but a challenge anyone can do it, you can do it on your own with a group any time and on outside on any hill or mountain of your choice.
The bigger the climb, the fewer repetitions needed. Pick a climb, work out the elevation difference and divide by 8,848 to find out how many repetitions you need to complete it.
There are however a strict set of rules that need to be followed and adheard to before you start the challenge and whilst the challenge is underway.
These rules are set out by Hells 500 who are the creators and custodians of the Eversting concept . They are the unnofical, offical body that will validate your atempt which inturn if succescful will be recorded in the everesting Hall of Fame
In the same way that its possible to tweak your results in a race on zwift by changing your weight for example or not calibrating a trainer it is also possible to make things easier for vEversting.
You could adjust your trainer difficulty, underreport your weight or use a trainer that was unsuitable for the challenge being undertaken
That is why eveidence has to be retained and recordered of trainer setup and your Zwift public profile. These have your height/weight recordered.
Trainer difficulty needs to be set at 100%, Direct drive only for steep hills and no ERG mode
The attempt must be made in a single activity, ie no sleeping in between it doesnt matter how long it takes you can take as many or as few breaks as you want but it will all add up to your elapsed time.
The ride itself can be any length, on any hill or mountain on Zwift.
You must focus on one hill or mountain per ride, you cannot ride different routes on the same mountain.
The rides must not be loops. The descent must be on the same road as the climb
They must be full ascents each time you cannot mix half and full in one attempt.
You can only use Electronically controlled smart trainers
If you have a direct drive trainer you can complete an Everesting on any hill within Zwift’s virtual world (with the trainer set to 100%)
For those of you with non-direct drive trainers (wheel on) you will need to pick a climb that doesn’t include gradients above 7-8% as slippage is likely to occur above this.
The rides must be completed on Zwift in order for them to be validated and approved.
With all the pre flight checks done you are nearly ready to go.
I started preparing for the attempt approximately 1 week before, I had probably set a date for it a few weeks previous so going into it wasn’t going to have a particularly hard week cycling which was still mainly indoors at that point. I kept the legs ticking over a few days before and only let slip on the Friday on one of the lunchtime meetup rides of what I was planning the following day. Thankyou MR B
I had read loads on forums and the Facebook Everesting group how preparation is the key. As with all things.
I set up what was going to be my pain cave so everything was easily accessible and would not be hunting or having to get off the bike mid ride unnecessarily.
Everything was in easy reach Accessories charged Computers checked Chain Lubed I was already to go.
So alarm went off at 4am 18th April ready for a 5am ish start had my breakfast, Crunchy nut cornflakes with a Banana and a cup of Tea. I had noticed that the clock on the oven wasn’t reading correctly but to be honest not paid too much attention to it. I wondered upstairs fired up Zwift got everything up and running got on the bike and off I went. I was feeling good started the first ascent of Alpe du Zwift and got just past the first corner then everything went dark looked out the window all the streetlights were out and everything in blackness Laptop screen was still on battery attached of course. 30 Seconds later power came back on Alarms started to go off outside and I was chuntering to myself. Tried in vain to reconnect the session to Zwift but it was having none of it.
Thank goodness I was only 20ish minutes into it ride had to be abandoned.
Everything restarted Power restored I was ready to go again, off I went. The plan was not to go off to quickly and try and maintain a similar sort of pace up alpe du Zwift for each of the 8.5 ascents. I was aiming for between 60-75 mins per ascent having previously done a test run up the alpe that week just to check my timings and HR zones so I would not burn out half way through. First ascent seemed to go reasonably quickly, got what would become my obligatory screenshot as I crept over 1000m and was feeling quite fresh. Went up over the top and those of you know who have previously ridden up the alpe every time you summit you have a chance of picking up some snazzy swag for your Avatar. What would it be this time I thought mmmmm well of course it was the bloody gloves Again!!
That was now 1 down 7.5 to
The decent from the alpe is around 10 minutes this is the perfect time to hop off the bike while your avatar descends answer the call of nature and generally get ready for the next ascent. It is worth noting at this point that under the vEversting rules it is not required to stay on the bike on the descent as your avatar if on a steep enough climb will happily role all the way to the bottom without you.
Back on the bike ready to go again turned my avatar round at the base of the climb and head off on ascent number two, You quickly get into a smooth kind of rhythm I had tried putting Tiger King on from Netflix from the start but to be honest could not really concentrate on it as it was crazy Americans being even more bizarre than normal and quickly tuned out to it. Was able with one hand free to switch tabs and go to my amazon Playlist (it’s all in the preparation see) and start listing to some motivational tracks.
Ascent number two came and went and 3/4 of the way up ascent number three to my surprise Mr Harrison pops up next to me and said that Iain had mentioned it on the club virtual social the night before and would ride along for a bit for some moral and motivational support.
I was really quite surprised in a good way that people had take times out of there day to help some nutcase ride up and down the same hill that wasn’t even real.
Simon and I descended together and started on climb number 4. Still feeling pretty good at this point had already gone through 5 bottles of Fluids numerous Gels and started on the Flapjack. Having somebody alongside you climbing in Zwift does not make it physically easier but certainly does have a positive psychological benefit it gives you something to focus on almost like a donkey chasing a carrot.
Simon Completed climb no 4 with me we started descending and then next up pops Mr Birral taking over the baton from Simon
By the Time Ian joined me I had been riding for 6 hours 50 minutes and covered 120km Mrs M had been checking on me regularly providing me cups of tea, Iced coffee’s and the odd bit of encouragement.
The next guest appearance halfway up ascent no 6 came in the shape of James dafforne. Time was ticking along now and was getting close albeit still a few hours away to completing the challenge.
As I started to climb ascent no 7 James started to encounter Trainer/connection issues (apparently) but Steve Robinson popped up to take over. We continued up the climb with James unfortunately trailing behind us apologising for his technical failures. As I rounded off ascent No 7 I had been cycling for almost 10 hours and reached over 7200 meters.
I wish I had taken a picture of the Bin in the corner of my room by this point it was full of gel Wrappers banana skins, tissues and was almost to the point of overflowing who knew you could generate so much rubbish on and indoor trainer ride.
As ascent No7 came and went I was getting close to the finish, I started climb no8 and Izzy pops in and paces me up what would be my last full ascent of the Alpe. As I summit for the last time and collect another set of bloody Gloves, there is a full YRCC contingent ready at the top for the descent and the final push. Ian, Nigel, Simon Izzy all spurring me on for the last bit. Little did I know that Simon had started Live streaming the climb on Zwift and was now being cheered on from across the internet, Way to go Rouleurs…..
The final Push
After over 11 hours and 200 km it was time for the final push. All that lay ahead was 12 hairpins taking me to turn no 9 easy right. After 8 full accents and with Team YRCC guiding me up off I went I was still feeling relatively good for the time I had been sat in the saddle, but I do remember each corner seeming to take an age to come round.
One of the things I had been doing was that I had created a little chart placed on the table beside me with different views of Everest to represent each ascent. Every time I crossed the summit I could cross another one off the list. It was like my little mental tickbox. Tilly my daughter had also created a motivational poster for me with a message written on each one
As the minutes and corners ticked by and being paced up by the rouleurs contingent I good see the light at the end of the tunnel I was approaching 12 hours 8754 meters and 217 KM there was not far to go now
Just 6 minutes later a banner popped up Infront of me, Achievement unlocked Mission complete. 29,029 ft climbed in 12 hours and two minutes.
The thing is who stops without rounding up especially on an epic ride I was currently sitting at 8849 meters they always recommend you do a few more as you don’t want to have your attempt disqualified for a sake of a few meters so much to the dismay of my pacing team I carried on pedalling.
I had previously thought about the 10000 meter challenge from the hells 500 but to be honest had kind of put that to the back of my head my new goal was to finish on a nice and even 9000 meters after all it was only another 151 meters or 495ft in old money.
Now I’m done
A whole 10 Minutes later and at turn 6 bang on 9000 meters I stopped the clock. Mission complete
My submission to hells 500 would be 9000 metres in 12hrs 12mins.
So was it hard, yes it undoubtably I think if you are not completely committed to it you will likely not complete it. But that’s why it’s a challenge and if it was easy everybody would be doing it right?
Well as it happens every man and his dog are giving it a go Everywhere you look in the cycling world there is some news about an everesting attempt mainly from professional riders. In the UK alone the record for outdoor everesting has changed hands at least 3 times in the past 6 weeks or so
Fastest Female Evrerester
June 4th Hannah Rhodes took on Kirkstone pass in cumbria which has an average gradiant of 10.9% and would need to complete 27.5 reps of the monster climb. She became the Fastest Female Evereseter also taking the honours of being the fastest Britsh rider climbing 9,365 meters in an eye watering 9 hours and 8 mins. this was almost 50 minutes faster than the previous womens world record held by Lauren De Crescenzo.
Her glory however was to be short lived, Two weeks later 20-year-old Tom Stephenson thought he would give it a punt on Kirstone pass.
He managed to go 6 minutes quicker with a new UK everst record of 9 hours 2 minutes. Hannah Still however at the moment unless I have missed it still retains the womens World record.
It doesn’t however stop there
Mason Hollyman a 19year old pro who rides for Holdsworth Zappi thought he would try out his look on Holme Moss.
He took an amazing 30 plus minutes out of poor old Toms time setting a new UK record of 8 hours and 28 minutes. Making him the first Brit to edge under the 9 hour mark.
Completeing his attempt he covererd over 208km with an average speed of 23.8km/h
Its not just us Brits that have been going eversting crazy. I have lost count on how many times the world record has fallen recently
The most noticable being Lachlan Morton his first attempt in Mid June although fastest was disqualified due to it containing faulty altitude data. In true Pro rider fashion he attempted it again a week later going almost 7 mins faster than his previous disqualified attempt and taking a new wold record of a mind blowing 7 hours 29 minutes Knocking a full 10 mins off the previous record held by US mountain biker Keegan Swenson.
Lets be honest though these records are all super human feats performed in the main by professional athletes.
But just to prove that anyone at all can do this if they put the mind to it
Lets take our hats off to 11 year old Cian Connoly from the USA who manged to complete it in a little under 15 hours.
Finally Just to prove you don’t need a mountain
Dutch pro Etienne van Empel, managed to Everest on his native roads in just under 13 hours, riding a total of 300km apparantly it only took 292 ascents.
Is it worth it, of course it is if these challenges were completely pointless and we got nothing from it we wouldn’t push ourselves to do anything.
I think especially with this challenge mental preparedness is the key. you are not actually riding anywhere and you are confined to you own surroundings so being 100% positive that you are going to smash it is the only way you will do it.
Would I do it again. Watch this space as you can see from the last two slides there are plenty more challenges up for grabs.
Thanks for listening and hope I may have inspired one or two of you to maybe put it on your bucket list.