Hells 500 shoots down Lachlan Morton’s Everesting record

The keepers of the Everesting record have ruled that Lachlan Morton's recent attempt came up short after Canadian Cycling Magazine took a deeper dive into data from the ride.

Photo: Brendan P Davis

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Lachlan Morton’s recent Everesting ride has been deemed to be not a new world record by the group that oversees the cycling challenge. The decision means that Keegan Swenson’s record of 7:40:05 still stands.

On Thursday Hells 500, the group that approves all Everesting attempts, decided that Morton’s recent ride in Colorado came up 450 meters short (1,476 feet) of the total elevation gain of 8,848 meters (29,028 feet).

“Unfortunately we will never know how the situation may have differed if Lachlan had the independent segment analysis to hand pre-attempt,” Hells 500 wrote on its Facebook page. “As painful as it is, we stand by our community’s decision to recategorize this as a (very large) Everesting Basecamp [Half Everesting] listing, which means Keegan Swenson is restored at the top of the Everesting leaderboard.”

The decision came after Canadian Cycling Magazine took a deeper look at Morton’s ride, in which he completed 42 laps of a 1.93-kilometer stretch of Rist Canyon in Colorado on June 14. On Strava, the segment is listed as rising 213 meters (698.8 feet). A deeper dive performed by the Canadian outlet shows that the segment’s height was actually 203 meters (666 feet).

The Canadian magazine noted that Morton’s Garmin 1030 said he only climbed 8,509 meters during his ride, and that each lap on the hill was not the reported 213 meters in height.

The decision marks the second time in a month that an apparent Everesting record completed by a WorldTour rider has been shot down. In May German rider Emanuel Buchmann claimed to have broken the record with a ride in Austria, only to see his attempt deemed not an Everesting because he tackled two climbs.

In its Facebook post the Hells 500 group, which is operated by Everesting founder Andy van Bergen, said it would now pre-approve all segments before riders embark on a possible record-breaking ride.

“Rather than retroactively applying additional rigor to our approval methodology after a new record is claimed, we feel that a fairer method is to pre-approve segments for record attempts,” the group said. “As mapping data varies in accuracy from country to country (and indeed the exact height of Everest itself is still a matter of some debate!) we will – to the best of our ability with the resources to hand – agree on a set elevation gain prior to an attempt.”

In a post on Instagrm, Morton wrote that he had checked the Rist Canyon segment with Hells 500 prior to the ride.

“Well looks like I gotta do it again,” Morton wrote.

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