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Cyclist makes history by ‘Everesting’ Lava Butte

21 year old Levi Kramer rode up the hill (and down) 69 times

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As more cycling events are canceled due to COVID-19, cyclists are looking for new challenges, and some have found a tough one indeed -- "Everesting" -- and Levi Kramer recently became the first person to "Everest" Lava Butte.

On the morning of July 4th, Kramer, a cyclist for Colorado Mesa University, began a nearly 13-hour bike ride, traveling nearly 140 miles, burning nearly 11,000 calories and reaching about 30,000 feet in elevation at the butte south of Bend.

“I rode up this hill 69 times, and rode down this hill 69 times,” the Portland-born Kramer said Thursday.

Everesting is a cycling challenge where cyclists ascend and descend a hill multiple times, in order to replicate the 29,029-foot elevation of Mt. Everest, the world's tallest peak.

“(I) knew that it would be a real mental challenge, and cycling is kind of about pushing yourself and seeing how hard you could go," Kramer said. "I thought it would be a good challenge. There’s no racing (right now). It’s kind of something we can do while not much is going on.”

Kramer has been cycling since he was about 10 years old, but this was the first time he had ever done the "Everest" challenge

“I am not going to lie to you -- (I was) about 64 laps in and that was probably 12 hours or so (and) we checked the elevation gain and I find out I had to do five more laps or so, and I think I just broke down crying," Kramer said. "I was so ready to be done at that point.”

While the physical demand of the challenge was undoubtedly hard, Kramer said it was the mental aspect that was most difficult to deal with.

“The hardest part was being alone in the dark," Kramer said. "Thinking, 'Can I do this on that hill for the 67th time or so?'”

Kramer said he''s not sure whether he’ll attempt to complete another “Everest,” but said a teammate of his is already encouraging him to do another.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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