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Lachlan Morton returns to set verified Everesting record

EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton attacks on the road to Falls Creek
EF Pro Cycling’s Lachlan Morton attacks on the road to Falls Creek (Image credit: Con Chronis)

Just a week after appearing to break the Everesting record, only to find out his effort didn't count, Lachlan Morton returned to Rist Canyon on Saturday to set the record straight, producing a new benchmark of seven hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds.

The EF Pro Cycling rider ascended the 'Wall of Rist Canyon' in Colorado 47 times to accumulate the 8,848 metres of elevation gain needed to climb the equivalent of Everest, the highest mountain in the world. 

In doing so, he knocked more than 10 minutes off the previous Everesting record, held by Keegan Swenson at 7:40:05. 

Morton had thought he'd broken that record last Saturday when he appeared to set 7:32:54 on Rist Canyon. However, despite initial approval of the record, further investigations by Hells 500, the Everesting officials, found Morton's attempt fell short of the required altitude because the Strava data for the Rist Canyon climb was inaccurate.

This time, Hells 500 officially verified the attempt, and the record is Morton's. 

Whereas his first attempt had seen him tackle the 1.6km Rist Canyon climb, which averages 11 per cent, 42 times, analysis of the elevation revealed he needed to climb it just under 47 times for the Everesting record. 

Morton did that in under the time he'd posted on his first attempt, although he did use a shorter stretch of the whole climb, cutting out the part before the Strava segment begins. As such, his overall distance was 159km compared to the first ride of 169km. 

Just to be sure, once he'd done his 47th ascent, Morton went back down and added a 48th lap. Strava lists his total elevation gain as 9113m.

"We never intended for there to be Everesting records. In fact this whole challenge was always the opposite of racing. That said, like many of the community we feel we are now just an excited bystander, watching this whole crazy story unfold around us," read a statement from Hells 500.⁠

"Lachlan Morton's time of 07:29:57 is incredible, however the thing that will always remain - irrespective of what happens to this particular record - is that when faced with a result that didn't sit right, he just got back out on the bike and did it again.⁠"