2.5 Million vertical feet

2.5 Million vertical feet

The story of a world record – or a ski tourer’s love affair

Aaron Rice has a suntanned face. Around his eyes – where his ski goggles sit – he’s pale. His smile is reserved, a little exhausted. Recently, the American spent a lot of time ski touring – a heck of a lot. To be exact: Aaron Rice climbed over 2.5 million vertical feet on skis. And broke the world ski mountaineering record.

In just one year, Aaron climbed 2.5 million feet on skis. That’s the same as 762,000 meters or climbing Mount Everest from base camp to summit 216 times. 2,000 vertical meters a day on average. This meant that Aaron was able to break the six-year-old world record held by Canadian Greg Hill.

2.5 Million is the story of a ski tourer from Utah whose love of ski touring and the backcountry led him to go beyond his own limits. 

 

 


  • 2.5 Million – the facts

    THE PROJECT
    A new world record for ski mountaineering meters climbed within one year

    DISTANCE
    762,000 vertical meters in total, on average 2,000 meters a day.

    TIMEFRAME
    One year

    FREE TIME
    1.5 hours a day – spent between tours, when eating and when travelling to the mountains

    MOTTO
    Ski Hard, Ski Fast, Ski Long

  • 330 days of snow

    To be able to ski for a whole year, Aaron had to follow the snow. That’s how he ended up spending 330 days ski touring in Argentina, California, Chile, Colorado, Utah and Oregon.  Phenomenal snow conditions in Argentina gave him brand new motivation – just when everyone at home had stopped thinking about ski touring and he had to pursue his goal alone.

  • Challenges

    In addition to the alpine dangers, unpredictable changes in the weather, and one or two injuries, the greatest challenge for Aaron was the mental and physical strain: “The worse your body feels, the harder it is to motivate yourself in the morning”.


Pushing Boundaries

WHAT HAS DRIVEN YOU TO GO OUT EVERY DAY AND TO EXPERIENCE FEAR AND PAIN?
The best answer that I`ve found for why I undertook this challenge is that I love skiing and I really love good skiing. I just wanted to ski as much as I possibly could in a year and doing so in the backcountry would make my turns as good as possible. That just happend to also be a record. That being said I learned so much along the way and have found so many other reasons that probably would have been a better reason to go for such a goal. 


WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AND WHY?
I think the most memorable days were actually a couple weeks. The last few weeks of the whole year in Utha it snowed over 100 inches and the skiing was so good as it gets. Every day was 6-9,000´ of bottomless powder with great friends. 


WHICH ROLE DID YOUR FRIENDS PLAY WHEN BREAKING THE RECORD? 

Ha! There is no way I could have broken the record if I didn`t have great friends to tour with. The hardest month was June when I was in Colorado and most people had moved on from skiing. I was spending a lot of time skiing by myself and skiing pretty abysmal snow. When I got to Argentina in July and met up with friends there, it was a game changer!


WHAT IS THE MAIN THING YOU WILL TAKE WITH YOU AFTER THIS PROJECT?

My biggest take away from the year was that I need to put more energy in to the people around me. I have moved back to Vermont and I`m working on building community, spending time with my family, and strenghening friendship. However, I`m still finding a way to ski almost every day in this cold and snowy winter we are hiving! 

Discover Aaron`s favourite products

3L LA GRAVE JACKET M
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$ 520 *
3L LA GRAVE PANTS M
MERINO HARDSHELL
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FREE RIDER 22 AVABAG
AVALANCHE AIRBAGS
$ 720 *