University student and Australian cross country skier Jackson Bursill will this month lead a gruelling 75km, 9000-vertical metre trek above Corin Dam to raise funds for Nepal’s earthquake recovery.
Jackson and friend Steven Mackay had planned to trek to Everest base camp this September. Instead, the pair now hope to raise $50,000 for the Australian Himalayan Foundation by everesting Stockyard’s Spur on Saturday 30 May. (Everesting is a vertical test of endurance where an individual climbs continuously until reaching 8,848 metres – the same height as Mount Everest’s summit from sea level.)
“We’ve called our challenge Neverest as we are everesting for Nepal,” Jackson explains.
“When we started out, it was supposed to be a handful of us completing the challenge individually. But we posted the event last Sunday and all these people who I used to go to college with messaged me wanting to make relay teams too.
“People from all over the ANU and Canberra’s mountain running community really seem to love the idea.”
On the day of the event, four individuals and at least 12 relay teams will climb the first 2.1km of the Stockyards Spur track (selected for its accessibility and calf-numbing steepness) a total of 18 times. Jackson hopes to complete the trek in just 20 hours.
“The track itself is quite a popular walk and a lot of athletes use it for training. They’re pretty impressed that we’re going to do it 18 times,” Jackson says.
By the end of the event, individuals and teams will have climbed a total of 117,000 vertical metres, which Jackson hopes will qualify as a world record for the most people attaining the greatest vertical distance in a 24-hour period.
Jackson says Neverest is open to all Canberrans and will have a festival atmosphere – complete with a sausage sizzle in the Corin Dam car park, which they’ve renamed ‘Basecamp’ for the duration of the event.
“We’d love to see Canberrans come to Corin Dam and walk up and down Stockyards Spur with us a couple of times,” he says.
Neverest starts at 9pm on Friday 29 May, with over 70 participants running through the night and into the following day. To find out more about the event, visit the Facebook page or fundraising website.