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August 9, 2018
Photography by Mathias Magg
Since late 2013, riders around the world have been attempting to “Everest” their local climbs; trying to complete enough ascents of one climb to amass 8,848 metres of vertical gain — the height of Mt. Everest.
Nowadays, “Everesting” is a global phenomenon — more than 2,700 “Everestings” have been completed, from roughly 2,000 riders, in almost 80 countries. But now, for the very first time, a rider has completed an “Everesting” on the slopes of Mt. Everest itself.
Just before midnight on Wednesday August 8, Chinese rider JJ Zhou completed his 176th lap of the 1km sealed climb to Everest Base Camp in Tibet, tipping him over 8,848 vertical metres in the process. The ride had taken him 41 hours — without sleep — in which time he covered 354km, all at more than 5,000m above sea level.
Zhou said after his succesful attempt that his “legs are destroyed but heart and mind are in nirvana.” He fuelled his effort with rice, noodles, bars, a plant-based protein supplement, and sugared tea with milk.
That expedition and Zhou’s attempt were both completed as part of a trip led by Serk Cycling, a Chinese-based company that specialises in cycling adventures throughout Asia. Zhou works at Serk in the apt role of adventure manager.