What does it take within a person to want to climb the tallest mountain in the world? A lot of mental grit, physical conditioning, $75,000, and three months of free time. Accomplishing Mt. Everest is an outdoor enthusiasts life goal but comes with a lot of risks and environmental consequences. As a fundraiser MissionCleanWater, James Leitner created his own Mt. Everest climb that simulated everything besides the altitude.
To climb Mt. Everest, the mountaineer will climb 17,000ft in elevation and 32 miles in distance. Altitude is the biggest challenge because of the low levels of oxygen. Many people do not realize that only a small percentage of the day is spent hiking, while the rest is spent acclimating to the low oxygen content in the air.
James set out on a unique goal called the Mt. Everest Challenge was he was going to run a hill continuously until he accomplished 29,000ft (height of Mt. Everest) in elevation. To symbolize our current water project, he carried a 45lb water jug for 1,500ft or the population of our partner community. He found a steep hill and trained accordingly to run up and down 116 times.
At 4:30 am, James started, moving faster then he planned. After 4 hours, he started to do the downhill portions backward to save his legs from the constant pounding. After 6 hours, he was officially half way.
The second half was called the "Grey Area". James has never covered this much elevation before so he was unsure how his body would handle it. After 12 hours, he felt ill and fatigued. After 16 hours, James completed his last lap and finished the challenge.