Cyclists are choosing a hill and riding it repeatedly from sea level until their total ascent equals that of Everest. The first person to accomplish the task was George Mallory, whose grandfather attempted to actually climb Everest in 1924. In 1995, after several attempts, George successfully biked up and down the 3,556-foot high Mount Donna in Australia multiple times until hit the same elevation. No one knowingly accomplished the same feat again until 2012, when it was first recorded with Strava, now 1,405 cyclists have made the Everesting Hall of Fame, with most riders taking close to 24 hours straight to complete the feat. Some even go over a full day.

“The average time to complete an Everesting is between 18–22 hours,”

Hells 500 Rules

It must be an up-and-back along the same road on a single ride, and you cannot ride different routes on the same mountain.

“It does not matter how long the ride takes, but it must be ridden in one attempt (i.e., no sleeping in between),” Breaks for meals, etc., are fine. You can break for as long or as little as you like.” You can’t walk part of the challenge (it’s about cycling after all), and you’re not allowed to be driven down on the descent. “Many riders say it’s the hardest physical activity they’ve ever attempted,” says van Bergen. “It’s considered harder than an Ironman.

Just like on the mountain, that 1,000m stretch between 7,000–8,000 vertical is affectionately referred to as the ‘death zone.’ Physical and mental fatigue has truly set in by this point. Everything aches, from the obvious joints and muscles to weird things like toes and fingers.”