Ever wondered if you could climb 29,000 feet in one continuous ride on your bike? How about at age 60? Highland, Utah resident Hugh Beesinger did just that ­ and on his 60 birthday to boot!

The Challenge

Everesting is gaining popularity in the cycling community. The cycling challenge was created by a small cycling group out of Australia that calls themselves Hells 500. To “Everest,” you must pick a climb anywhere in the world, and ride repeat after grinding repeat until you have climbed 29,029 feet, the equivalent of the elevation of Mount Everest ­ the highest mountain in the world. No sleep allowed.

Hugh chose to climb the south side of Suncrest, a four­-mile climb in Utah County, with 1,088 ft of climbing and a 5.2% average grade. To complete the challenge, he had to climb and descend the mountain approximately 29 times, and ride 219 miles. You can see Hugh’s entire ride on Strava by clicking here:

Owning The Mountain

When Hugh told his friends and family that he wanted to “Everest” the south side of Suncrest, the consensus among the group was that he was crazy or that it wasn’t possible. But this just seemed to fuel the fire and make him more determined. June 20, 2016, was Hugh’s 60th birthday and the summer solstice, so it seemed like the best day to attempt the challenge, but the elements that day were harsh. It was 97 degrees and from sunrise to sunset there was a 15­-20 mph headwind every trip up the mountain.

Fortunately, Hugh wasn’t alone. Many cycling friends came to provide a draft for Hugh and help him up the mountain. Hugh convinced three other cyclists to join him with the goal of “Everesting” Suncrest, but headwinds, heat, cramping and fatigue forced two of them tap out early. Hugh and the remaining cyclist, Tyler Smith of Alpine, persevered. Tyler completing the entire 29,000 feet of climbing in just over 20 hours, and Hugh finished shortly afterward.
Hugh and Tyler etched their name in local cycling history that day. They were the first cyclists to Everest Suncrest and now “own” that mountain.

How to Everest

To claim your place in history, you’ll have to be the first cyclist to Everest a particular hill or mountain. But choose wisely! The course is entirely open to your choice, though a shallower hill will mean more miles on the bike and more time to complete the challenge. But choose a hill too steep, and the mountain may end up owning you instead. For a full run­down on the rules of Everesting, visit www.everesting.cc.