Dean Anderson has scaled Mount Everest without ever setting foot in the Himalayas.
He spent his Saturday cycling 11 times up and down Signal Mountain in Jasper National Park, climbing the equivalent of the highest summit in the world.
He scaled the desired elevation of 8,848 metres in 26 hours and 22 minutes, grinding up steep inclines on a single-speed bicycle and a bad knee.
“On the final lap, I was super happy,” Anderson said in an interview with CBC Radio’s Edmonton AM.
“It was nice to be done. And then it was just a matter of rocketing down the mountain.”
Anderson’s ascent came with a few natural obstacles. The trail was thick with mud, loose rock and amphibians.
“I saw like 30 frogs on the trail in the middle of the night after the sun went down,” Anderson said.
Signal Mountain, with an elevation of 2,255 metres, is known for craggy, mosquito-infested trails that give way to breathtaking views of the Maligne mountain range.
Anderson, a structural engineer from St. Albert, skipped the summit on every ascent, in order to avoid a “really ugly” section of trail.
A lofty challenge
He didn’t dream up the mountaineering challenge but did it to earn a place in the Everesting Hall of Fame.
Everesting is a worldwide phenomenon. The idea behind it is simple: Pick any hill, anywhere in the world, and climb it continuously until you scale the height of Everest.
It doesn’t matter how long the ride takes, and meal breaks are allowed. But it must be done in one attempt.
“You can’t walk, you have to ride it,” Anderson said. “You can take breaks but you’re not allowed to sleep.
“You can run it as well, which seems crazy to me because I’m not a runner.”
Since Everesting began to catch on in 2013, there have been thousands of successful attempts. Most cyclists stick to maintained roads and highways, Anderson said.
“The challenge was the monotony of it and the difficulty of doing the steep gravel trail, where I wasn’t allowed to walk,” he said.
“My low point was in the morning, 3 a.m. to 6 a.m., but that’s typical thing for me and I was expecting that. I knew I was going to feel better in the morning, so it was just a matter of pushing through it to keep moving forward.”
‘How far I could push myself’
Anderson started competing in endurance races in 2015.
His first foray into the sport was the 24 Hours of Adrenalin race in Canmore, a gruelling relay that usually requires a team of dedicated riders.
He decided to go it alone and was hooked. He has since tackled cycling challenges across the Canadian Rockies and the Grand Canyon.
In preparation for the summer racing season, Anderson does most of his training at home.
“I will sit on my trainer for eight hours and watch Netflix,” he said. “A lot of people think that’s crazy but I don’t mind it.”
He tackled Saturday’s gruelling ride on the final day of a family vacation, and wanted to “get it out of the way” before upcoming surgery to repair a knee ligament. He plans to get back on the bike as soon as possible.
“When I first started it was all about how far I could push myself, and I’m starting to learn what those limits are,” he said. “Now that I’ve learned what they are, I don’t know if I want to do it anymore. It’s not super healthy.
“I have a few more races in my future. But I’m curious to see what I come up with next.”
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Originally posted 2019-07-31 17:42:12. Republished by Blog Post Promoter