Outdoors Unlimited challenges community to hike the height of Mt. Everest

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A student hikes the Y overlooking BYU campus. BYU Outdoors Unlimited is currently hosting a challenge to hike as much vertical elevation as Mt. Everest’s peak this summer. (Nate Edwards/BYU Photo)

BYU Outdoors Unlimited is currently hosting a challenge to hike as much vertical elevation as Mt. Everest’s peak this summer.

BYU’s rental facility is offering prizes to any students, faculty or others who hike 29,032 feet in elevation and report their completion to Outdoors Unlimited by Aug. 31.

Jayme Slaughter, the program coordinator at Outdoors Unlimited, said Outdoors Unlimited began hosting challenges for students and others to encourage them to spend more time outside.

“Last year, we did a 500-mile challenge (and) had about five people finish it,” Slaughter said. “I was like, ‘I gotta make something a little bit easier for them,’ so I asked people what they wanted to do, and somebody said, ‘Well, what about an elevation challenge? What about Everest?’”

Slaughter hopes those participating in the challenge try more difficult hikes, see new places such as the grandeur of Utah’s mountains and gain a love of hiking.

“If they’ve never summited a mountain before, maybe they work up to that all summer,” Slaughter said. “Then they summit (Mount Timpanogos) and that’s their first time ever summiting Timp, and then they get to say that they’ve done Timp.”

According to the Outdoors Unlimited Instagram, all hiking should be completed on dirt trails rather than paved roads.

While this challenge is intended for BYU students and faculty, Slaughter said anyone can participate.

Luke Huddleston, an employee at Outdoors Unlimited participating in the Everest challenge, said this challenge will give him motivation to run on trails and keep himself active.

“I want bragging rights,” Huddleston said. “I want to be able to say I ran that much elevation this summer.”

Those participating can track their progress using apps like Strava, Apple Fitness and more, according to Outdoors Unlimited. The website also includes a downloadable PDF tracker that participants can print and fill out to track progress.

Once the challenge has been completed, participants can email the record of completion to Outdoors Unlimited or report their completion in person at 2201 N. Canyon Road in Provo. Store hours can be found on the website.

The first 10 finishers of the challenge will be awarded a Camelbak water bottle and two free two-day rentals on bikes, paddleboards, canoes and more, Slaughter said. However, this does not apply to Outdoors Unlimited’s ten-person rafts. All other participants who finish the challenge will receive two 50% off rentals and a Camelbak water bottle.

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