Everesting with Raphael Kempf in Germany!
The concept of Everesting is fiendishly simple: pick any hill, anywhere in the world and ride repeats of it in a single activity until you climb 8,848m. That’s exactly what Raphael decided to do, hiking up 10 times and flying down 9 times the Kreuzjoch in Garmisch-Partenkirchen with his beloved SuSi for a total of 9500 meters vertical elevation.
Everesting is a worldwide sporting challenge for all cyclists, trailers and runners. The aim is to climb the equivalent of Mount Everest elevation (8848 m) on a freely selectable climb. To do this, you choose carefully your hill and cycle or run up and down it until you reach the required altitude difference. There is no time limit. It is important that you do it in one push. So no sleep or break. Of course, you can stop to fill up your supplies or change your jersey. There is a change in the rules for runners. They can be supported on the downhill part. Means you can either use the downhill path differently than the uphill path and if you like, you can also use a bike or car. So why not a paraglider too?!
June 12, 2022: what a Day!
The weather forecast looked very good, so we plan to start at 3:30am with our “Everesting” on the Kreuzjoch. Alarm clock rang at 2:45am, and the coffee was more than welcome. At a quarter to five, I was on the top of the Kreuzjoch, ready to take-off and got in the air for the first time on a (unique?) adventure. To start at dawn while Garmisch is still in the shadow was a dream come true!
My friend Luis, who also flies with a SuSi, joined me in the second lap. A good conversation is a great distraction from the vertical elevation. In the third and fourth round, my buddies Felix and Kyra spontaneously came along and we yodelled back down to the valley together.
The midday hours were tough, especially from lap 6, because the heat got to me and my motivation dwindled. I always imagined that the 6th round was the best because you’re already halfway there. But believe me, you tend to struggle with the thought that you’re only halfway there. Anyway, nothing helped, except maybe to put your cap into the water to keep a cool head. In the evening hours, iI suffered a little less from the heat and here and there an energy drink actually gave me wings 😉.
I didn’t make a big announcement about my Everesting attempt before. Nevertheless, word spread around that day and I had a wonderful reception and packing service on the last flight from members of my club, the DGFW. I am extremely grateful for that. But no time for long chats as I needed to push, this time with Jan, to accomplish the last three rounds.
Night was coming and as planned, I had to make the last hike and fly, an hike and hike actually (even if the wind was still blowing). In the end, I made a total of 9 hike-and-fly and I was really exhausted after almost 21 hours of effort when I arrived, hiking, at the landing site. The calves were burning but I made it!
10 x Kreuzjoch – 9,500 m (min. 8,848 m for Everesting)
Distance travelled: 66 km
Alarm clock: 02:45 am
Departure landing site: 03:30 am
End at landing site: 12:20 am
Duration: 20h 51min (landing site to landing site)
First flight: 04:45 am
Last flight: 09:00 pm
Hike and Fly: 9/10 in legal timeslot
Hike and Hike: 1/10 (last lap)
Sleep: 0 minutes
Temperature: 29 degrees Celsius – much too hot
Blisters on feet: 7 pieces
Equipment: Fully approved! Susi 3 13, Le Slip with airbag, reserve, helmet.