Everest Stair Challenge


Challenge: Scale the height of Mount Everest by stairs

Details: The challenge is to scale the sea to summit height of Mount Everest in a month. That’s 8,848m, the equivalent of 50,000 vertical steps. You can complete the challenge solo, or put together a team to share the burden.

Please refer to the FAQs for tips on the stair challenge. For help tracking your stair count, feel free to make use of my homemade spreadsheet and poster.

Where? Anywhere with stairs. Here are London’s accessible stairs I have found so far in London.

Transport? Your feet up the stairs.

When? Spread across a month, or a time frame you deem appropriate to your group.

Bring? Yourself. Whatever you are wearing works. Even high heels are ok for going up stairs!

Food & drink? Water if you are doing intense stair running.

Cost? Zero 

eXerk 52in52 story? I got very excited when I heard about this challenge – stairs are everywhere so this aligned perfectly to my obsession with accessible fitness. Stairs are a near perfect way to build on all levels of fitness.  Without changing much in your daily lives, movement can be incorporated, particularly stairs, into your day by avoiding lifts and escalators.

This challenge is tough but hugely rewarding. I had broken the 50,000 vertical steps into a 1,667 daily average across the 30 days of November. I don’t tend to use lifts anyway, nor to stand on escalators but the problem to this for me was setting aside time to get the stairs in every day. I cycle to work so no stairs there, only have one flight of stairs at home, and work on the 3rd floor – I had to get exploring to find accessible stairs around London.

The obvious choices (Gherkin, Shard, Heron Tower, Canary Wharf) were remarkably hard to get into – even if you could get access to the skyscraper, their stairs have special security doors. So that was that. Instead, I found hospitals the most accommodating. The list is above in the link to London’s accessible stairs.

I didn’t manage to keep to my daily average, so had a half way point catch up in mid November, and then a manic last day one when, on the 30th November I got up at 5am to go and run 4,000 steps to catch up and summit Everest in time!! It’s amazing what a deadline can do for you. A great challenge and one of my favourites for sure.