This just in, probably getting plenty of air play, but I felt a strange compulsion to publish.
Edited and annotated press release follows.
20,939 VERTICAL METERS IN 24 HOURS
LARS ERIK SKJERVHEIM SETS A NEW
WORLD RECORD IN SKI MOUNTAINEERING.
Dynafit athlete Lars Erik Skjervheim set a new world record on May 19-20 after 24 hours of ski mountaineering. The 37-year-old Norwegian covered 20,939 vertical meters (appr. 68,697.5 feet). On a course of approximately 1.9k (0.56 miles), the athlete had to climb 460 meters of vert each loop.
(WildSnow note: Skjervheim significantly surpassed the existing record set by Mike Foote in March 2018. Foote got 61,170 feet, 18,644 in meters, on a course with 311 meters of vertical. Skjervheim did 20,939 meters. There had been no female specific record prior to Skjervheim’s fellow skier Malene Blikken Haukøy doing 15,440 meters of vertical. Now, girls, get out there and keep the contest going!)
Skjervheim completed the entire loop 44 times in 24 hours, including the climb and the descent on skis. At the same time, Malene Blikken Haukøy, 26, a member of the Norwegian National Ski Mountaineering Team, set for the first time a women’s
record. At 15,440 meters of vert in 24 hours (50,656 feet), she has set the bar high for those seeking to break the record.
For the world record attempt, the two athletes choose the Myrkdalen Ski Area near Voss, Norway. For equipment, the Norwegians relied on the DNA Line from Dynafit, which was developed specifically for ski touring races with its minimal weight.
The large part of the course took Skjervheim and Haukøy along a groomed ski run, which had been salted due to the spring skiing conditions. At the half-way point on the course, an aid station had been set up with fluids and, at the highest point, the team had set up a feeding station so both ski mountaineers could get nutrition on the downhill to keep themselves fueled and hydrated without losing time. For this effort, the Dynafit athletes were supported by a 15-person team which counted the completed loops, dried skis and skins in the valley, and were available for technical support. The starting gun for the world record went off at 3 p.m. MET on May 19.
“I will never do that again,” commented Lars Erik Skjervheim about his 24-hour world ski mountaineering record. “The hardest part of this project was between hours 14 and 19. I noticed how my energy bit by bit dwindled. Also, I started to get some very bad muscle aches in my right leg. But after 20 hours I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and that gave me another big push. I am proud and happy that I could set a new record. I have dreamed of this for the last three years.”
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.