Lachlan Morton breaks Everesting record with second attempt

Australian rider confirmed by Everesting overseers to have bettered Keegan Swenson's time by over 10 minutes.

Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

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Lachlan Morton said he’d have to do it again, and he did.

Just days after seeing his first effort at setting an Everesting record time nullified, the EF Pro Cycling rider returned to the same climb Saturday and set a new fastest time for completing the feat. The Australian rode the required 8,848m of ascent in 7 hours, 29 minutes and 57 seconds, marking a new record that has been officially verified by event administrators Hells 500.

Morton’s time betters the previous best time set by Keegan Swenson by over 10 minutes. The U.S. national mountain bike champion’s effort this May had taken 7 hours, 40 minutes and 5 seconds.

Morton first attempted an Everesting record last weekend, setting what was initially believed to be a new fastest time, only to have his effort canceled on Thursday by Hells 500. The body ruled that Morton’s ride came up 450 meters short of the required total ascent due to incorrect segment data. On learning of the disappointment, Morton had joked, “looks like I gotta do it again.”

Only Morton’s comment was no joke. The 28-year-old returned to the Rist Canyon climb in Colorado Saturday, and this time, made it count.

Using a slightly different, shorter Strava segment, Morton’s 160-kilometer ride saw him repeating a 1.69km, 11 percent stretch of the high-altitude climb. He had previously verified the elevation gain of the segment with Hells 500 using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology.

After the ride, Hells 500 took to Instagram to praise Morton’s staying power, saying:

“Lachlan Morton’s time of 07:29:57 is incredible, however the thing that will always remain – irrespective of what happens to this particular record – is that when faced with a result that didn’t sit right, he just got back out on the bike and did it again.⁠ That is Hells 500 as shit.⁠”

You can check out Morton’s full Strava file here.

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