GOING UP: Thomas Vidler, 15, prepares for his “Everesting” adventure in Hawaii. Picture: Charles EliasA PORT Stephens teenager is hoping to enter the record books – as well as raise money for charity – when he sets out to “Everest” one of the biggest mountains on earth.
St Philip’s Christian College year 9 student Thomas Vidler will join his cousin Daniel Mallinson and uncle Geoff Mallinson on an adventure to bike ride the height of Mount Everest on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea volcano.
Known as the Volcano Riders, the trio will attempt to cycle 69 kilometres to the summit of Mauna Kea and return twice – the equivalent of the height of Mount Everest (8848m). If successful, 15-year-old Thomas and Daniel, 11, would become the youngest people to enter the “Everesting hall of fame” on the world’s hardest bike climb.
“It’s very exciting, but it will be tough. In fact, it will be the toughest ride I have attempted,” said Thomas from his Corlette home.
“I have been practising up and down Tomaree Head, the Gan Gan Lookout and along some of the Bay’s steeper streets.
“The ride should take between 20 and 24 hours, depending on a number of factors, including weather conditions.”
The criterion for “Everesting” is completing a minimum ascent of 8848 vertical metres in one continuous cycling effort.
Known as the most difficult climb in the world, Mauna Kea’s ascent is 68.6km long, and over this distance riders climb 4191 metres.
There is another reason why Vidler, who hopes to one day represent Australia in an Olympic Games in mountain bike riding, is tackling this challenge.
“We want to raise awareness and money for the work the Elim Kids charity does with orphans who have HIV in China,” he said.
The Volcano Riders fly to Hawaii on September 28 in preparation for their expedition.
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