Climbing Everest is one heck of a lofty goal. So lofty, in fact, that most of us don’t even dream of attempting it. Reaching that summit – the highest on Earth above sea level at 29,029 feet – is a brag-worthy feat of perseverance and training, planning and luck. And it’s certainly not without risk.
Between the cost ($45,000, give or take several grand) and the very real risk of dying on the mountain, I’ll stick to watching documentaries about other people’s Everest experiences and keep my climbing to summits that don’t require supplemental oxygen. (Although the Everest reviews are absolutely glowing – although some reviewers were bummed by a lack of Starbucks at the summit.)
That said, we can all use a solid challenge now and then. Maybe one with a more-accessible price point and lower overall risk of falling into a bottomless crevasse.
Enter: The Mt. Everest Challenge.
This winter challenge will have you climbing 29,029 feet of elevation (that’s the height of Everest’s summit) over the course of 10 weeks. That comes out to roughly 484 feet a day, 6 days a week.
You get to decide where that elevation comes from – you can hike, run, climb, or even use the treadmill, elliptical, or stairmaster machine at the gym. You’ll log your elevation into an app and, after you reach your goal, you’ll even get a sweet Mt Everest Challenge medal. You’ll cherish it as much as an Everest summit selfie.
The challenge is the brainchild of Kirsten Beverley-Waters, founder of Maine-based THRYVE Fitness Yoga Wellness. (Kirsten also teaches yoga in the greater Portland area – perhaps you’ve taken a class with her at Greener Postures, Riverbend, or Salt Pump.)
Her goal is to get people – from Maine and around the country – to challenge themselves. “Climbing Mt. Everest takes courage, preparation, and skill,” she says. “It also takes a little bit of fearlessness. I believe this is the perfect metaphor for any life goal or challenge. We must learn through adversity how to adapt, excel, and overcome fear. We train to become a little more courageous. We climb to learn a lot more about ourselves.”
And you won’t be on your own out there (even if you choose to hike, run, or treadmill on your own). You’ll get lots of support, including access to your personal TraingingPeaks app with pre-loaded workouts, access to the THRYVE Mindset Athlete Edition, bonus workouts, and access to a private Facebook group, where you get share photos, stories and encouragement. And you’ll get emails from Kirsten throughout the 10 weeks to help you along, as well as motivating audios every Monday.
You’ll also have the chance to earn THRYVE gear, programs, and training for completing “BaseCamp Milestones.”
But best of all, you have an excellent excuse to get moving all winter long. No climbing permit required.
Mt. Everest Challenge
Registration is open and the challenge begins Monday, Jan. 15.
The Mt. Everest Challenge costs $49.99, but you can get $10 off by using the referral code “FitMaine” during registration.