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Lachlan Morton sets official Everesting record after previous attempt ruled out

Record for the fastest Everesting attempt by a Brit also falls during busy week

Joe Robinson
22 Jun 2020

It was yet another busy week for the 'Everesting' challenge as both the men's world and men's UK records tumbled.

Education First rider Lachlan Morton had thought he had taken the record for the fastest-ever Everesting attempt last week only to find that a discrepancy in the elevation data had seen him full short of the necessary 8,848m. 

To prove his first ride was no fluke, the Australian travelled back out to the Rist Canyon climb in Colorado to tick off the mammoth task in a new benchmark of 7 hours, 29 minutes, 57 seconds.

This saw Morton clip a full 10 minutes off the previous record held by young American mountain biker Keegan Swenson.

Morton thought he had taken the record last weekend when he posted his attempt at 7:32:54. This was until challenge organiser Hells 500 further investigated his climbing data and found that an inaccuracy had robbed Morton of the official record.

Returning to the climb, Morton adjusted where he began each ascent, increasing the gradient slightly, albeit reducing the overall length of the ride as he repeated the 11% climb 47 times to hit the elevation.

However, not willing to be stung again, Morton actually completed 48 repetitions of the 'Wall of Rist Canyon' to be double sure, finishing the day with an elevation gain of 9,113m.

Along the way, Morton averaged a respectable 264W for the full ride with an average speed of 20.6kmh, helped along by a maximum speed of 121.7kmh.

Challenge organiser Hells 500 then verified Morton's efforts, releasing a comment on how this sudden surge in Everesting has seen them become 'an excited bystander'.

'We never intended for there to be Everesting records. In fact, this whole challenge was always the opposite of racing. That said, like many of the community we feel we are now just an excited bystander, watching this whole crazy story unfold around us,' read a statement from Hells 500.⁠

'Lachlan Morton's time of 7:29:57 is incredible, however, the thing that will always remain – irrespective of what happens to this particular record – is that when faced with a result that didn't sit right, he just got back out on the bike and did it again.⁠'

As Morton set a new world record, 20-year-old Tom Stephenson was busy setting the record for the fastest Everesting attempt by a British rider, setting a time of 9 hours, 2 minutes, 25 seconds.

The Cumbrian took to the 10.9% Kirkstone Pass in the Lake District on Sunday 14th June to set the new British benchmark.

Kirkstone Pass in the Lakes was also used by Hannah Rhodes, who earlier in June set the record for the fastest UK woman's Everesting attempt at 9 hours, 18 minutes, 10 seconds.