Mountain climbers of all ages can test their skills on Mt. Everest this month without leaving the Twin Cities.
On June 22 and 23, the Hyland Hills Ski Area in Bloomington will transform into Mt. Everest with a variety of circuit courses and, of course, a final summit climb — participants up for the long haul will even be allowed to stay overnight on Tuesday.
"Most of us won't ever climb Mt. Everest for all kinds of reasons, but we can get a taste of what that would be like without leaving the Twin Cities," said Betsy Grams, executive director of CycleHealth.
But the event isn't only designed for endurance athletes looking to replicate the 12,000-foot vertical hike at Mt. Everest; CycleHealth says "ForEverest" is made for experienced climbers and first-timers alike.
The event, which began in 2019, is partly inspired by Savage resident Todd Millenacker, Grams said.
In 2018, Millenacker and two of his friends climbed Mount Gilboa at Hyland Hills 96 times to replicate climbing Mt. Everest.
CycleHealth's event is open to ages 5-99. Last year's event drew nearly 1,000 participants.
"You'll see a big range," Grams said, adding that climbers in their 80s have attended the past ForEverest events.
There's something for everyone to learn, too.
"There's places to stop and learn about the people and culture of the Everest region," Grams said, adding there's also teachings about the climate and people who've climbed Everest in the past.
All climbers will begin the day at the ForEverest Basecamp and climb the four-hill circuit (525 vertical feet) — then, each climber will decide their own path on Mt. Everest.
Each completed circuit will earn a stamp on your Mt. Everest passport. At the day's end, you'll be able to see how many vertical feet of Everest you climbed.
Climbers may choose to hike to the summit or complete their day on circuit courses. Medals and a Mt. Everest photo-op will await climbers who reach the top.
If you go
ForEverest opens both Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 a.m.
Climbers wishing to test their limits with the overnight climb must register for a Tuesday start time. An outdoor bathroom and water will be available to overnight climbers, but participants must bring their own light and nutrition.
All climbers are required to register and sign-up for a "climb-time." Climb-times will help create physical spacing between participants.
No special equipment is needed, but trekking polls are welcome.
- 1 participant: $33
- 2 participants: $29.70 each
- 3+ participants: 28.05 each
Scholarships are also available to cover the entry fee of the event. Learn more at www.ymcamn.org/contact_us.