Outdoors

Backcountry skier logs 2 million vertical feet by muscle power in 2010

Canadian ski mountaineer Greg Hill, 35, who travele both hemispheres last year, completed his goal of climbing and skiing 2 million vertical feet during 2010 while skiing Dec. 30 on Rogers Pass outside his hometown of Revelstoke, BC. (Tommy Chandler / Backcountry.com)
Canadian ski mountaineer Greg Hill, 35, who travele both hemispheres last year, completed his goal of climbing and skiing 2 million vertical feet during 2010 while skiing Dec. 30 on Rogers Pass outside his hometown of Revelstoke, BC. (Tommy Chandler / Backcountry.com)

BACKCOUNTRY SKIING — Canadian backcountry skier Greg Hill, 35, must feel like a million bucks after completing his goal – with a day to spare – of logging 2 million vertical ski-touring feet, all self-propelled, in 2010.

And get this: He counted only the uphill elevation gain in his quest, usually with up to 40 pounds of gear on his back.
 
That means his round-trip elevation gain and loss for the mission was a whopping 4 million vertical feet without the use of a tram or ski lift!
 
The effort, sponsored by Backcountry.com, required 266 days of climbing and skiing backcountry terrain in Canada as well as Chile and Argentina to take advantage of the winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
 
He completed the quest on Dec. 30 at Rogers Pass near his hometown of Revelstoke, British Columbia, according to the Backcountry.com wrap-up story.
 
Joined by his wife, mother, stepfather, two brothers and a crew of friends for his final push on a bitterly cold day, Hill’s wristwatch GPS device eclipsed 2 million at 1:30 p.m. on Bonney Moraine – a special place for Hill, with impressive mountain views and untracked powder.
 
“The toughest part of this challenge was the continuous need to always be on it – averaging 38,500 feet a week every week for a year,” said Hill. “Any time off meant extra huge days ahead. December was my biggest month where I covered 238,000 feet.”
 
Backcountry.com sized it up: “Hill averaged 7,570 feet per day, scaled 71 peaks (including a handful of technical first descents) and powered through 77 days where he logged more than 10,000 vertical feet.”
 
That’s equivalent to a yearly total of :
  • running more than 200 marathons or
  • climbing Mount Everest 69 times and skiing back down or
  • taking the stairs up the Empire State Building four times and Eiffel Tower five times a day for 365 days.
      

For more about Greg Hill's 2 Mil check: Backcountry.com, Vanity Fair, ESPN and Globe and Mail.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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