Tim and Becky Rippel of Peak Freaks contacted the Slopes For Hope (S4H) organizers to express their support for those participating in their descent assault on the elevation of Mount Everest at Whitewater Ski Resort.
It’s a great endorsement coming from a high-altitude expedition guide who has led numerous expeditions in the Himalayas, including 12 assaults on Mount Everest.
Skiers and snowboarders of all ages will be gathering at base camp — aka WH2O Lodge.
This gathering is in response to a challenge by the Canadian Cancer Society’s S4H ski-a-thon which challenges participants to ski or board the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest in a single day. It will take place on March 7 starting with registration at 8:30 a.m.
The elevation is 29,029 feet (8,848 metres). This can be achieved by doing 14 runs down Glory (2,044 vertical feet, equal to 623 metres), 23 runs down Summit (1,249 feet, equal to 381 metres), 32 runs down Silver King (900 feet, equal 274 metres), or even Hummer (30 feet, equal to nine metres).
Skiers can also do a combination of runs from each that add up to the total elevation. Scanners at the base of each chair will punch lift tickets to keep track. Participants can achieve the elevation either as individuals or by accumulating the elevation as a team.
This challenge is not to test just the will and stamina of each participant but also to illuminate cancer and fight for those in our region living with the disease. Each participant will seek donations to assist them in their fight and to acknowledge their achievement.
The funds raised will go to the Canadian Cancer Society and in turn deliver support services to those afflicted with cancer in our region.
Those services include transportation, accommodation, temporally financial support, consultations, wigs, summer camps for kids, and much more.
The Rippels know weather in the mountains is always a concern. Last year’s Slopes For Hope event saw temperatures plunge to minus-18 C with howling winds to challenge the will and stamina of the participating skiers and boarders.
In addition, an early storm in the mountains shut down two of three chairlifts forcing participants to make 32 runs down the Summit side of the mountain. In this case Summit was an appropriate name given the challenge at hand.
One participant whose mother had just died from cancer was so determined to make a difference he achieved 36 runs down Summit for an altitude gain of 44,964 feet and won the prize for the highest elevation achieved.
He bravely fought the cold and wind for the fight against cancer.
Registration and donations can be done on-line at slopesforhope.ca by selecting Whitewater as the event and then following the instructions.