This is the story of one man’s ski odyssey, to ski more vertical feet in a year than anyone else in history. Unfolding on some of the world’s most remote peaks, it’s a story of commitment, perseverance and a personal quest that will test one skier’s physical and mental endurance, gear, and avalanche and wilderness survival skills, not to mention his marriage.
It’s the Greg Hill 2 Mil — presented by Backcountry.com. Canadian ski mountaineer Greg Hill is in the middle of his year-long effort to climb two million vertical feet and ski back down. And he’s doing it on steep, powder-covered mountain faces from Alaska to Chile and lots of high points in between.
His feat is what some would call insane. Or impossible. Powering up two million feet is the equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest three times a month for a year. It’s like scaling each of the seven summits, then starting over again, until you’ve done it 14 times. For the city bound, it’s like taking the stairs to the top of the Empire State Building four times a day, every day, for a year.
As if the sheer physical pace and strain on his body, mind, and gear isn’t daunting enough, Greg will need to address variable and dangerous snow conditions, foreign cultures and mountain ranges, and the nutritional and hydration challenges associated with living a backcountry wilderness existence.
The quest thus far has taken Greg throughout the Selkirks in B.C. and the Brooks Range in Alaska. He now finds himself, and his family, camped out in the backwoods of South America — specifically Las Trancas, Chile where he, his wife and two small children, will spend the remainder of the summer exploring, hiking and skiing the numerous unnamed peaks.
There are many points of tension in this real-life saga. How will his body hold up? His mind? His gear? His family life? To date, they are all holding up well. Greg has just crossed the 1 million vertical feet threshold. On schedule. But now, the hard part starts, as the wear-and-tear of 8 months in the backcountry plus the anticipation of success drive him forward and deeper into the mountains.
What’s next? Stay tuned as Greg closes in on a historical accomplishment and a record for the ages.
Greg Hill 2 Mil Community Page at http://www.backcountry.com/greghill2mil
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