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Cory Wallace: Everesting in Everest’s shadow

Canadian takes on high elevation challenge to raise funds for Nepalese charities helping out during coronavirus lockdown

Cory Wallace Annapurna Photo by: Riding the Annapurna Circuit. Image: Cory Wallace

Update – 3/26/2021: Back in Canada, Cory Wallace is continuing his effort to support the community that supported him so well during lockdown in Nepal. Wallace is riding Vancouver Island’s “Big Loop” to try raise funds to complete a dry house for the monks that housed him during much of 2020. Follow the ride on Wallace’s Instagram stories.

Update 6/20/2020: After 14.5 hours, Cory Wallace completed his Everesting challenge fundraiser in Nepal. The Jasper, Alta. endurance racer and 3x World Solo 24 Hr champion  called the ride one of the “top-5 most difficult rides of his life.” Surly, that is a testament to both the staggering difficulty of the ride, which took place between an elevation of 2,500 and 3,000 metres above sea level, and Wallace’s long resumé of adventures that push the limits of human endurance. Check out all the stats of Wallace’s mammoth endavour on Strava.

So far, Wallace has raised $5,535 for three Nepalese charities. The donation link remains open, if you would like to contribute.

Cory Wallace is no stranger to pushing the limits of human endurance on a mountain bike. The Canadian’s latest feat of endurance is a novel spin on the Everesting challenge, which has been gaining popularity in the absence of organized racing. Wallace isn’t just Everesting, though. He’s Everesting in the shadow of Everest.

Wallace is currently in the Solukhumbu district of Nepal riding out the coronavirus pandemic. 75 days into Nepal’s lockdown, the Jasper, Alta. rider is showing his appreciation for the local’s hospitality by doing a fundraiser to help the hard-hit region. His previous fundraiser rides in Nepal were focused on the Annapurna Circuit, but lockdown orders are restricting his travel. Wallace thought the Everesting challenge would be a fitting replacement. Especially when he’s living in the shadow of the mountain that has inspired the challenge, Mount Everest.

RELATED: Why everyone is ‘Everesting’ during the lockdown

The Canadian, and three-time World Solo 24Hr. champion has special permission to do the ride in the midst of Nepal’s strict lockdown. He’ll be repeating a 2.8 km climb with 360 metres of elevation gain near the Chiwong Monastery where he is currently staying. He’ll do so 25 times until he accumulates 8848 meters of vertical elevation gain, or the equivalent of Everest’s elevation. Wallace’s route starts at 2950 metres elevation above sea level, adding significant difficulty to the already tough task.

Cory Wallace Annapurna challenge
Corry Wallace during a previous record attempt on Nepal’s Annapurna Circuit. Image: Patrick Means

Everesting for charity in region hit hard by coronavirus

Wallace’s Everesting attempt is raising funds for three Nepalese charities. The Chiwong Monastery, the Tato Khana Swea and the Nepal Cycling Training Centre.

“The Chiwong Monastery, which is hosting me now as I wait for the Lockdown to lift, takes in children from poor families, and gives them a general education, good food and a place to call home,” Wallace’s GoFundMe page says. “Some will stay on to become Lamas, while others may move on. My goal is to raise as much as I can so the Chiwong Monastery can continue to provide such an amazing sanctuary for these Nepali Children in need. The first $1,500 raised will go here.”

The Tato Khana Sewa is an organization led by Jenny and Santosh from Himalayan Singletrack, providing hot meals to the poor in Kathmandu who are going hungry during the ongoing 75-day lockdown.

RELATED: Listen: Cory Wallace and the art of lockdown in Nepal

The Nepal Cycling Training Center is a facility Wallace has fundraised for before. His two previous Annapurna Circuit challenges both benefited the Center. NCTC helps Nepalese mountain bikers train to compete regionally and internationally.

Wallace expects his Everesting attempt to take between 13 and 15 hours. You can follow his attempt on his Instagram page @WallacesWorld. Donations can be made through the challenge’s GoFundMe page. Wallace has already raised $2,985 for the trio of charities.