The Everest Challenge is an annual, grueling event in Southern California, and features 8,850 metres of climbing--the unofficial height of Mount Everest, as the Nepalese government is still holding on to the 8,848-metre measurement obtained in the 1950's. This past weekend almost 200 brave riders in all categories, including tandems, went to Bishop in California and prayed they would survive the two-day event.
If the climbing wasn't enough then the weather did its best to finish off the competitors. Rain, snow, hail and highs that were barely above freezing on the climbs softened even the toughest guys. Interestingly enough, the completion rate was higher than usual. The low snow level meant a slight rearrangement of the usual course, but unfortunately for the riders it didn't really get any easier.
Former winners Lindsay Blount and Chris Walker of Santa Barbara, California, were in attendance again and lit up the mountains with their aggressive racing. Walker has completed every single one of the seven Everest Challenges offered so far and still holds the course record with 10h17'59"
But anybody who finished this tough event can consider themselves winners, especially in adverse conditions like this year. It's one of those rare adventures left in our modern world.