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Canadian backcountry skier completes huge uphill goal

Sun., Jan. 9, 2011

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.

The effort, sponsored by, 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

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 vertical feet at 1:30 p.m. on Bonney Moraine – a special home-slope 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.” 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 the Eiffel Tower five times a day for 365 days.

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