I talked last week about Jesse Cseh and his buildup to Everest the hardest trail in Wellington by completing 8849 meters of vertical ascent AND 8849 meters of Grade 6 descending on Yeah Gnar. On Saturday he knocked the bastard off.
With only a few days to do Jesse was nervous about the weather - a typical NZ spring meant lots of rain and a very slippery descent. Jesse really needed a few days of no rain and a bit of wind to dry things out, and that just wasn’t happening, but despite the sub-optimal conditions he pushed on.
Starting off at 2am after only a couple of hours sleep he made his first of 36 climbs to the top of Makara Peak and dropped in. It was dark and foggy - his lights reflecting off the fog and making it impossible to see. Boston was up there to take photos but the conditions were so foul that his camera lenses kept fogging.
I stopped by a couple of times over the day to see him and was seriously impressed by the determination, fitness, and riding skill he demonstrated.
Initially he’d hoped other people would ride a lap or two with him, but with the conditions so wet and slippery there was barely anyone in Wellington brave enough to complete a single lap of Yeah Gnar, so other than having people to talk to on the climb he was pretty much alone.
This is a simply mind-blowing achievement. The vertical climbing is tough on any bike, let alone on a fully kitted Enduro bike. Then there is the descending: After riding Top of the World in Whistler my upper body and core were completely blown and that’s “only” 682 meters of descending - Jesse did 13 times that amount!
Tom Bradshaw’s Everest on Vancouver’s infamous North Shore was tough but I’m calling it: Jesse Cseh’s Everest is the toughest ever ridden.