During my 2008 ski challenge I did wonder at one point how many vertical metres would be “a lot” to ski. So one day in February 2009 Daughter No 1 and I were at Argentiere/Grandes Montets at Chamonix and decided to do a dummy run at setting a target – which was to ski the vertical equivalent at Everest. We acheived 7000m and realised that the only way to do it was starting early as the lifts opened and on a day when there are no queues – you actually spend most time on the lifts. So thats what I did.
I went one Friday, early and skied just over 14000m. My legs were still ok and I half considered skiing a bit more but it was getting quite late. The legs were even ok the next day, though my back was sore. I had tried to do as many turns as possible – so I slalomed all day rather than giant slalomed which would have been easier. I reckon I did 3500 turns. Given that I was slaloming this does not sound right (4m vertical per turn) but I did check this over 2 long runs (300+ turns) and it was on steep slopes. The final thing is that I did it all non-stop – no rests apart from a lunch break and a quick stop for fluid in the mid-afternoon. I varied the runs (which at Chamonix are a little restricted) and so most were 600 or 800 m vertical but I did quite a few top to bottom – 1500m vertical – all non stop.
Slightly mad, but at least I know I’m reasonably fit.