Everesting is a notoriously hard challenge, and it just got a little harder, to gain the equivalent elevation of the world’s tallest peak in a single ride. But that’s just earth. One New Zealand mountain biker, the world was not enough. Ben Hildred is taking climbing challenges into outer space. Mars, to be specific. Much like the terrestrial version, Olympus Mons challenges riders to try ascend the equivalent of the red planet’s highest peak.
The difference? Olympus Mons is approximately 2.5 times Everest’s elevation and this challenge spreads out over multiple days.
Olympus Mons – The Rules
The Olympus Mons’ official rules page states that riders have 72 hours to climb a staggering 21,288 vertical metres. That’s the height of the volcanic Martian peak, which is also said to be the tallest planetary mountain in the solar system.
Since no reasonable person – even by the standards of “reasonable” in Everesting – could be expected to complete such a ride in one day, the rules are a bit different. The Olympus Mons challenge must be completed in three rides on three consecutive days and using the same bike.
Unlike Everesting, there’s a bit of variety. But not much. Each day must be a single ride, and be on a different climb/descend loop. Since the challenge was created by a mountain biker, the loop can have a different climb and descent if you choose.
This latest epic elevation challenge is the brainchild of Ben Hildred. The Queenstown, N.Z.-based mountain biker is no stranger to big efforts on the bike. Hildred’s Everested, sure. He also rode his bike into the Stratosphere, 55,000 metres, in one month while working full time.
If you are bored of Everesting, or who didn’t think that 8,848 m (or 8848.86 m) was enough, Olympus Mons has you covered. If you want a more reasonable middle ground, check out Squamish-via-Toronto mountain biker Chris Hatton’s month-long Metric Ton challenge.