In the mountains of British Columbia at 5:23 pm on March 31, Greg Hill accomplished his quest to climb 328,000 vertical feet (100 kilometers) on skis in one month. The ski mountaineer's grueling take on "March Madness" easily set a new world record for vertical feet climbed in a month.
Experienced backcountry skiers typically cover about 5,000 vertical feet in a day. Hill tallied as much as 13,000 vertical feet per day, every day, for a month straight. As an added challenge, he never skied the same terrain twice. On the morning of the final day, March 31, he still had more than 10,000 feet to go, requiring an 11-hour day and a helicopter ride to reach a remote location on Mt. MacPherson he'd yet to ski.
Hill spoke with Men's Journal from his home in Revelstoke, British Columbia the day after completing his quest. He was admittedly "zapped," and said he lost a good ten pounds (he burned about 200,000 total calories). "I'm down to fighting weight again," he said.
Regarding his accomplishment, it's still too soon for Hill to be retrospectively philosophical, but he did offer one immediate lesson learned. "If you're trying to maximize your life, you really can do a lot in 31 days," he said. Then quickly added, "I'm never going to do more than 328,000 feet though."
As for his next endeavor, Hill's not sure. He already holds the record for the most human-powered vertical in one year (two million feet), as well as in 24 hours (50,000 feet). One thing, however, is certain: "After we get off the phone, I'm taking my two kids outside for a bike ride."
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