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U.S. national cross-country mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson took the unofficial record time for completing an Everesting challenge Saturday.
Swenson rode 29 repeats of the Pine Canyon Road climb, Salt Lake City, in a time of seven hours 40 minutes, clocking up 29,680 feet (9,046 meters) of elevation on the way. The 11 percent climb featured in last year’s Tour of Utah. The 105-mile effort was rendered all the more impressive by the fact it was carried out at 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) altitude.
Swenson’s ride beat the current Everesting record set earlier this week by former pro roadie Phil Gaimon, who rode 60 reps of Mountaingate Ridge Road, Los Angeles, in seven hours 52 minutes.
‘Everesting’ – climbing the equivalent height of Mount Everest (29,030 feet / 8,848 meters) in one ride – is a popular challenge carried out by pros and amateurs alike. Canadian James Piccoli recently completed the challenge to raise funds for health workers in Montreal. Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emmanuel Buchmann is also planning on completing the challenge for charity in the coming weeks.
Swenson, 26, now lives in Heber City, and won last year’s Whiskey Off-Road before beating Howard Grotts at the nationals in July. Swenson was accompanied on Saturday’s Everesting ride by fellow pro mountain biker Ryan Standish as they rode to raise funds for Bike MS, a charity supporting those suffering Multiple Sclerosis.
“Yesterday’s Everest FKT attempt was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever done on a bike,” Swenson said on Instagram.
“Huge thank you to everyone that donated to Bike MS and to everyone that came out to support Ryan Standish and I,” continued the post. “Also, massive thank you to my parents who were out there from 8am till 5pm handing out bottles and food for us!! Could not have done it without you guys.”
Swenson’s ride is available for viewing on Strava for those wanting to dig into the data.