Everesting is in. It seems every weekend someone I know is doing it – well, at least trying to do it. But not me.
Despite the occasional fantasy of summiting my local Col de Chiswick 258 times in the one ride, I’m nothing if not a two-wheeled realist. The simple fact is 8,848m is more than I climb in most months. A lot more. So the odds are rather high that long before any triumphant arm-raised ending my legs will cramp, my knees will seize up, my arse will be obliterated by saddle sores and, in all likelihood, my ITB will explode into an oozy mess. Woe is me.
No, at this stage of my vertically-challenged riding life Everesting is not on my radar. However…I’m always up for a challenge, so I got Googling to see what other mountains are more in my figurative price bracket. The first bit of great news, of course, is I’m already a seasoned Kosciuszko-er. At a reasonably benign 2,228m I’ve nailed that one many times over the years including three times in a week just recently. But let’s be frank, its little more than a D-Grade doddle. Not many bragging rights to be had here.
The challenges rise steeply from this point with the next major continental peak checking in at more than double the ascending of Australia’s loftiest spot. If you’re keen to go ‘Blanc-ing’ this weekend you’ll need to find yourself 4,810m of elevation. But my advice would be to keep riding when you do, because by adding another measly 82m you’ll also be able to scoop up an Antarctic-inspired ‘Vinson-ing’ for your invisible trophy cabinet.
Africa’s most epic peak Mt Kilamanjaro is next at 5,895m, still roughly 3,000m lower than Mt Everest but sure to deliver plenty of pain to your pins. At 6,168m the USA’s Mt McKinley is worth considering after your Kilamanjaro, and if you’re really feeling good Argentina’s mighty Acancagua may even be within reach at 6,961m.
For the purists of course, only one peak ever matters, Everest itself. I bet Sherpa Tenzing Norgay was a great lead out man for Sir Edmund Hilary…
The Seven Summits
Mt Everest – 8,848m (Elite)
Acaoncagua – 6,961m (A-Grade)
Mt McKinely – 6,168m (B-Grade)
Mt Kilamanjaro – 5,895m (B-Grade)
Mt Vinson – 4,892m (C-Grade)
Mont Blanc – 4,810m* (C-Grade)
Mt Kosciuszko – 2,228m (D-Grade)
* There is some dispute about Mont Blanc’s place as Europe’s highest peak. Mt Elbrus in the Caucasus is significantly higher (5,642m). But depending on who you ask it’s actually in Asia.
Crazy enough to make an Everesting attempt?
This website may come in handy. http://everesting.io/