Project 17,696

In June or July of this year, I plan to attempt a ‘Double Everesting’ in the Chiltern Hills, UK and in so doing raise funds for my late sister’s charity, the Lucy Monro Memorial Trust.

What is Everesting?

The idea behind Everesting couldn’t be simpler: cycle up and down a hill, repeatedly, until you’ve tallied 8,848m of cumulative ascent – the height of Mount Everest. The reality is a c.20 – 24 hour endurance battle that pushes you towards your physical and mental limits. Succeed, and you become a member of the elite HELLS 500 club – a global affiliation of cyclists who have Everested.

You can Everest any hill or mountain in the world by logging 8,848m of ascent on the same route in a single stint. Breaks are allowed but sleep isn’t. Typical attempts take around 20 – 24 hours, so it’s a significant test of both physical endurance and mental resolve.  If you succeed, you upload your GPS data onto everesting.cc. Once it’s been vetted and approved, you gain a place in the Everesting Hall of Fame and receive a highly coveted HELLS 500 grey stripe jersey to prove it.

For your climb to count, you need to follow the official rules:

  • Record 8,848m (29,029ft) of total elevation gain
  • Follow one route on one hill
  • Descend on the same route you climb
  • No sleep – you must complete the challenge in a single stint
  • Breaks (eating, drinking, recharging) are included in your time
  • You must reach the summit of the hill every time
  • You must descend safely and get back home
  • No time limit

What is a Double Everesting?

 To qualify for a double, you need to record 17,696m (58,058ft) of ascent in a single ride. No one has yet done this in the UK (and only a handful of people have done this worldwide).

There are two additional rules:

  • You can complete the entire ride on the same hill, or climb two different hills i.e. two separate Everests, providing there’s no kinetic assistance at the bottom i.e. this works: ʌ , but this doesn’t: v
  • You’re allowed up to two hours sleep during the second Everesting, in an attempt to improve rider safety

Whiteleaf Hill and Kop Hill, Chiltern Hills, UK

I plan to Everest two hills that share the same summit. They’re both very steep, meaning that I gain height quickly, but they’re physically hard. Kop Hill (1km at c.10% average, 25% max) requires 89 repetitions and Whiteleaf Hill (1.3km at c.10% average, 25% max) requires 70 repetitions.

If successful, I estimate the ride will take c.44 hours, including breaks. I will ride c.370km (230 miles).

I plan to take two 45 minute ‘micro-sleeps’ during the second Everesting, with 30 minutes held in reserve if needed.

I’m giving myself a 50% chance of success, despite feeling well prepared. This is undoubtedly the hardest thing I’ve attempted, by some margin.

 

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Why?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself repeatedly! Having Everested five times already (including on Whiteleaf Hill in 2016), I’m drawn to the questions ‘What if I just kept going? What am I capable of?’

I also intend to use the ride to raise funds for my late sister’s charity, the Lucy Monro Memorial Trust. Lucy died in an accident in 2015, whilst riding in a cycling event in Dubai. In life, she had consistently championed and supported three charitable themes: child support and education, disaster relief and animal welfare, worldwide.

In the wake of her passing, we – her family and close friends – established the Lucy Monro Memorial Trust to continue these efforts in Lucy’s name. Four years on, these are some examples of things that the Trust has done:

  • the refurbishment of two schools in Nepal and restocking their libraries with books
  • the provision of bespoke/modified bicycles for children suffering/recovering from cancer in the UK (ongoing)
  • the rescue of 33 children from slavery (and worse) in India and returned them to school in Nepal
  • a project to empower women in remote parts of the world by providing them with sustainable sanitary products
  • built and equipped a science lab for a girls school in Nepal

I, my wife Jenny and Lucy’s partner Allan are the Trustees of LMMT and together we absorb all of the charity’s costs. Her Dubai based cycling team (Team LMT) ride on in her name and contribute funds every year. ALL funds raised go entirely to the charities we choose to support and we due-diligence those charities thoroughly. In particular, we support causes and appeals where the outcome is immediate and very tangible.

I’m asking people to sponsor me per metre climbed and in so doing, assist with my mental resolve when the ride turns grim!

When?

The beauty of an Everesting is that you can pick any date you like. I’ve earmarked a number of ‘windows’ in June and July, when daylight hours are at their longest.

I’ll take the first date that presents a reasonable weather window: dry, ideally not too hot and without a headwind.

How to Follow my Progress?

I and/or my helpers will update my Instagram account quite regularly: @sirguylitespeed and that will also cover my Facebook account: Guy Litespeed

If you have any queries, please contact me: sirguylitespeed@gmail.com

Thank you for reading this and for any support you feel able to offer.

Guy, June 2019.