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How to: Everesting Challenge at Bike Glendhu

Have you heard about (or seen) Everesting? The idea is simple really: just cycle the elevation of Mt Everest (8,848m ascent) in one sitting. Yup, it’s a lot.

Sound like a bit of you? You Type-2 fun maniac! Keep reading to find out more aaaannnd how you can tackle this at Bike Glendhu.


How It Started

You might be wondering, “Who on earth thought of this concept?” Well, you can thank the HELLS 500 Club for that. Basically, a group of guys got together and started setting goals for themselves that nobody else was even attempting. The only prerequisite was that it had to be tough enough to require training – so it couldn’t be something that you could theoretically do “off the couch”. After a while, the Everesting Challenge was born.

Everesting Challenge Rules

Keen to give it a nudge? The rules are relatively straightforward: Choose one hill, anywhere in the world and complete repeat climbs of it in a single ride until you hit 8,848m of ascent – the equivalent elevation of Mt Everest. To clarify, that means:

  • No sleep until you reach 8,848m ascent (unless you’re completing more than 1 round of Everest).
  • There’s no time limit.
  • You can choose any climb; however, it must be one ascending route, one hill (and the same goes for the descent).
  • You can take as many breaks as needed, but they’ll be included in your final time.

Who Can Attempt the Everesting Challenge?

Anyone can attempt the Everesting Challenge – from runners through to virtual riders, MTB riders, cyclists and everything in between. Obviously, you’ll need to make sure you’re pretty fit before attempting this; heaps of pros have been tackling this challenge (especially when we were all in Covid-19 times when bigger, more crowded competitions got cancelled) and even they find it to be an incredible test of physical and mental strength. In our books, that makes it all the more impressive if the everyday frother can complete the challenge.

And if you’re reading this and thinking “psshh, I can do this, no problem” – allow us to up the ante. Last season, Queenstown local legend, Ben Hildred managed to complete a double Everest (yup, that’s the challenge twice) by climbing the Ben Lomond Saddle 17 and a half times. That’s a grand total of 17,925m of climbing in 277.5 km over 33 hours – and he burnt a whopping 26,513 calories during this ride.

Honourable Mentions

To our knowledge, no one has completed the Everest Challenge at Bike Glendhu (yet), but there’s definitely a few honourable mentions of some who have indulged in such Type-2 fun. Our very own Assistant Ops Manager and resident bike fiend, Ted, managed to bike from his house in Wanaka out to Bike Glendhu along the Millennium Track, rode every trail here and then biked back into town.

Another notable achievement worth mentioning is the BG100 group, which includes another local bike megarider and BG ambassador, Alex Kingsley, who you’ll find at JRA Bicycle Co – this group rode 100km at Bike Glendhu in a single day during our 2022.23 season.

How to Attempt the Everesting Challenge at Bike Glendhu

So by now, you might be wondering: what’s the math and how do I Everest Bike Glendhu?

Let’s break it down.

To get to the Summit (Falcon’s Nest), you gain 547m in elevation, per lap. That means in order to reach the elevation of Everest, you’ll have to climb to Falcon’s Nest 17 times (yep, we told you it’s not an easy job).

Here’s the route: you’ll have to ascend from Base 334 to Jack’s Spot via Kakariki Up. Then keep climbing along Switch It Up, dropping into Monsoon Hoon before the final climb along Adze Up. For the descent, head down any trail of choice (but remember, you’ll have to stick to the same route for the entirety of the challenge).

Before you give it a nudge, check out the Everesting calculator to get a rough gauge and we strongly recommend doing a test loop before tackling the challenge, because planning is everything with a mission like this one.

As far as we know, nobody has completed the Everesting Challenge at Bike Glendhu. So now, we’re putting the challenge to you – do you have what it takes? The fastest recorded time on Strava to the Summit is 38 minutes (nope, that isn’t on an e-bike and yes, that is incredibly quick). But on average, it takes most people around 1hr 40min to reach the 547m elevation gain. So multiply that by the 17 laps you’ll have to do and you have a good idea of how long this might take you.

Go on, give the challenge a nudge. If you’re keen, get in touch with us! We’d love to help facilitate your Everesting Challenge at Bike Glendhu.