Lachlan Morton has set a new Everesting record, ascending the same height as Earth’s highest mountain in a time of seven hours, 32 minutes and 54 seconds.
Beating US national mountain bike champion Keegan Swenson’s time by just over seven minutes, the EF Pro Cycling rider described his successful attempt as “hell”.
Morton rode 42 repeats of a 1.9km climb in Colorado, the 11 per cent gradient Rist Canyon, located just outside the city of Fort Collins.
His attempt saw him ride 169km at an average speed of 22.4km/h, reaching a maximum of 121.3km/h on the descents with a weighted average power of 276W and burning 6,891 calories in the process.
Although his Strava ride shows him coming short of the required 8,848m, this is apparently due to a data lag, with the successful attempt verified independently and acknowledge by Hells 500, who oversee Everesting attempts.
“The pros are at last ‘infected’ with the Everesting bug,” wrote one fan on the Hells 500 Facebook page. “Imagine the first sub seven [hours] ride!”
The straight climb Morton used rises from a starting altitude of 2,200m up to 2,400m, with the Australian taking a Strava KOM on the descent.
“Lachlan Morton just raised the Everesting bar…” said previous record-holder Swenson. “And he did it at altitude as it should be done. Maybe we’ll need to have a head-to-head Everest race.”
Morton is the second pro to take on the challenge, which has grown in popularity since the coronavirus lockdown as people look for cycling challenges they can attempt solo, respecting social distancing measures.
Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann thought he had taken the record with a time of seven hours and 28 minutes, which was his moving time rather than elapsed time (which was seven hours and 51 minutes) as well as a couple of other rule breaks making his attempt invalid.
“Congratulations Lachlan Morton,” his team boss Jonathan Vaughters said. “Mount Everest is yours. New nickname: Sherpa.”