New 24 Hour Vertical Ski Touring Records Set in Norway

Post by blogger | May 25, 2018      

This just in, probably getting plenty of air play, but I felt a strange compulsion to publish.

Edited and annotated press release follows.

Dynafit athlete Lars Erik Skjervheim set a new world record on May 19-20 after 24 hours of ski mountaineering. The 37-year-old Norwegian covered 20,939 vertical meters (appr. 68,697.5 feet). On a course of approximately 1.9k (0.56 miles), the athlete had to climb 460 meters of vert each loop.

(WildSnow note: Skjervheim significantly surpassed the existing record set by Mike Foote in March 2018. Foote got 61,170 feet, 18,644 in meters, on a course with 311 meters of vertical. Skjervheim did 20,939 meters. There had been no female specific record prior to Skjervheim’s fellow skier Malene Blikken Haukøy doing 15,440 meters of vertical. Now, girls, get out there and keep the contest going!)

Lars Erik Skjervheim setting his new record.

Lars Erik Skjervheim setting his new record. (Photos: Haakon Funderud Lundkvist)

Skjervheim completed the entire loop 44 times in 24 hours, including the climb and the descent on skis. At the same time, Malene Blikken Haukøy, 26, a member of the Norwegian National Ski Mountaineering Team, set for the first time a women’s
record. At 15,440 meters of vert in 24 hours (50,656 feet), she has set the bar high for those seeking to break the record.

For the world record attempt, the two athletes choose the Myrkdalen Ski Area near Voss, Norway. For equipment, the Norwegians relied on the DNA Line from Dynafit, which was developed specifically for ski touring races with its minimal weight.

The large part of the course took Skjervheim and Haukøy along a groomed ski run, which had been salted due to the spring skiing conditions. At the half-way point on the course, an aid station had been set up with fluids and, at the highest point, the team had set up a feeding station so both ski mountaineers could get nutrition on the downhill to keep themselves fueled and hydrated without losing time. For this effort, the Dynafit athletes were supported by a 15-person team which counted the completed loops, dried skis and skins in the valley, and were available for technical support. The starting gun for the world record went off at 3 p.m. MET on May 19.

“I will never do that again,” commented Lars Erik Skjervheim about his 24-hour world ski mountaineering record. “The hardest part of this project was between hours 14 and 19. I noticed how my energy bit by bit dwindled. Also, I started to get some very bad muscle aches in my right leg. But after 20 hours I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and that gave me another big push. I am proud and happy that I could set a new record. I have dreamed of this for the last three years.”


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32 Responses to “New 24 Hour Vertical Ski Touring Records Set in Norway”

  1. atfred May 26th, 2018 7:32 am

    Very impressive, but would you really call this a “ski mountaineering” record?

  2. See May 26th, 2018 10:39 am

    How about “skinning?” Accurate and smells less like hype.

  3. XXX_er May 26th, 2018 11:41 am

    When you got people out skiing at night you want control over the conditions hence using a ski area, I think maybe Greg Hill did actual ski mountaineering when he set his 24 hr record ?

    maybe calling it a “ski mountaineering record ” is a take-off on the ski-mo thing?

    A very impressive uphill skiing record for both the male and female athletes, he beat Mike Footes record of 62000 in 24hrs by a considerable margin which was also on a groomed course

  4. Jim Milstein May 26th, 2018 5:58 pm

    Lou is too modest about his conversion from meters to feet. It falls short by only seventy-nine thousandths of an inch. That’s about one part in ten million. Close enough for the mountains.

    As for the new record: Impressive, but why? Life is not really so boring as this endeavor would suggest.

  5. See May 26th, 2018 7:45 pm

    Indeed an impressive achievement. And I much prefer this sort of project compared to risky stunts staged for marketing fame and fortune.

  6. XXX_er May 26th, 2018 8:24 pm

    because its there would be the stock answer, but most likely cuz he is a paid athelete for Dynafit and this gets him press

    we have had 5 or 6 of the 24 hr events up here with the best year peaking at 130 participants team and solo to raise money for the Live it ! love it ! foundation which gets disabled atheletes back into the mountains which i think is pretty cool thing

    buddy sez he will never do it again but its type II fun so he will be able to walk again soon, 6 months from now he will forget how painful & boring it was and think it would be fun to do again

  7. Jim Milstein May 26th, 2018 8:33 pm

    To summarize: See sez there are worse things. Xs sez a) it’s for a good cause, and b) it’s Type Two fun. Xs gets the Cupid Doll. Both explanations answer the question. Now we know.

  8. Lou Dawson 2 May 27th, 2018 8:56 am

    See and Xer, indeed, I’ve always enjoyed athletic excellence that’s not contrived nor over-hyped. Eye of the beholder and all that, but in my view these attempts at 24 hour records have thus far been quite enjoyable to track. Historical note, I’m pretty sure the first of this was what we did at the original 24 Hours of Sunlight, many years ago. The Europeans might have done something just before that, but I’m not sure. Sunlight first time was conceived by Aspen ski mountaineer Mike Marolt as a fund raiser for the ALS Foundation, if I recall correctly. Lou

  9. See May 27th, 2018 9:42 am

    Given the popularity of activity tracking devices, strava, etc., it’s no wonder that this sort of event is of interest to people. I don’t collect data about my every step or foot ascended, but I know many people who do, and most of them are very fit. So good on them. It just seems like a bit of a stretch to cal this a “ski mountaineering record,” as atfred suggests.

  10. Jim Milstein May 27th, 2018 10:05 am

    atfred and See have a valid point.

    For a 24 hour ski mountaineering speed event, instead of yoyoing a groomed run at a ski area, how about starting at one end of a mountain range, say the Sawatch, across the street from Leadville CO, and skiing as many of its peaks as possible in 24 hours? The Sawatch has fourteen fourteeners, which should be enough. Twenty peaks in total. Tally total vertical and horizontal distances. Main rule: no yoyoing.

  11. Yellow Snow May 27th, 2018 10:37 am

    See, Jim,

    I’m pretty sure there’s room for all of this, traverses, and yo-yoing to see much much total vert can be accumulated (and much more.) As a matter of fact, I know there is enough room because these things are actually being done. You guys are putting way too much energy into being pedantic about this.

    Outside of the American-centric bubble, “skimo” and “ski-mountaineering” are as commonly used for the racing side of the sport as they are for technical ski mountaineering from summits.

    There is stil snow to be had. Go skiing!

  12. atfred May 27th, 2018 11:10 am


    I seem to remember some guy in Sweden doing that very thing last year; i.e., skiing all the peaks in a very short time.

  13. See May 27th, 2018 11:20 am

    In my opinion, “ski mountaineering” means ski mountaineering, and “skimo” means racing.

  14. See May 27th, 2018 11:30 am

    So this is a skimo record (ultramarathon). Fair enough?

  15. Jim Milstein May 27th, 2018 1:02 pm

    Okay, Yellow, suppose “ski mountaineering” were expanded by the Colorado Mountain Club to include going for a walk in August in the Boulder Mountain Park trail system. You might get pedantic and defend the phrase from dilution to meaninglessness.

    Of course, it’s cool not to care about anything.

  16. XXX_er May 27th, 2018 1:17 pm

    locally at various times Arcterxy, Dynafit , DPS and other mfgers donated prizes, some of the reps showed up and participated, It was all good for BC skiing.

    it doesnt matter what words you wana use or where you wana dot it skiing for 24 hrs is a challenge .

  17. Jim Milstein May 27th, 2018 1:33 pm

    Lots of things are challenging, but not all are describable as ski mountaineering. Subtracting everything from ski mountaineering but ski gear and going up and down on snow (not even wild snow!) pretty much sucks the meaning out of the phrase “ski mountaineering”. I’m fine with calling the reduced, racing version ski-mo racing.

    And, now that the snow is all gone, what else is there to do but ponder meaning?

  18. Lou Dawson 2 May 27th, 2018 2:23 pm

    Hey Jim, missed you at this year’s BBQ! At some hamburger buns in honor of you anyway (smile).

    We’re stuck with the term “skimo,” and actually many of the races have some components that one could call mountaineering on wild snow, though sure, it’s mostly not. The EU races are more rowdy, I went to one that was definitly ski mountaineering. Lou

  19. atfred May 27th, 2018 5:14 pm

    Well, I just think there should be some mountaineering in ski mountaineering, and skinning up and down a groomed track at a ski resort doesn’t do it.

    On the other hand, some skimo races require ice ax, crampons, etc., so more mountaineering there.

    An impressive achievement nonetheless.

  20. Aaron May 27th, 2018 6:05 pm

    If thinking this record actually highlights Greg Hill’s accomplishment where he pulled off 10 000m days over and over again in full mountain conditions.

  21. See May 27th, 2018 7:40 pm

    I think there’s a parallel with bike racing. Going for the hour record in a velodrome is very different from a mountain stage of the tour de France, but I still think of them as forms of the same sport. In other words, lapping a resort slope and ascending an alpine peak can be different versions of skimo racing.

  22. Mitch R. May 27th, 2018 8:06 pm


    it is only a matter of time before super athletic ski guides try the Nolan’s 14 traverse on skis in one big push.

    The Hardrock 100 ski traverse in 2016 showed what was possible and the Nolan’s course is the logical next step up from the HR 100 course.

    Old ultrarunner here with two DNS at both HR 100 and Nolans back in the day.

  23. swissiphic May 27th, 2018 8:13 pm

    See says: “I think there’s a parallel with bike racing…”

    I was thinking about this the other day while uphill hiking…and wondering, when comes the day when P.E.D.’s, blood doping and gene manipulation gets introduced into the quest for 24 hour uphill skiing vertical record attempts? and of course…as the record keeps getting smashed… drug testing, gene manipulation testing, etc… to verify that the record is broken by a human being in stock form?

    Joking but kinda serious.

  24. Mitch R. May 27th, 2018 8:13 pm

    For those in the mood to log big vertical in 24 Hours, check out the 24 Hours at Bolton skimo race n New England in mid-February.

    I entered it this year, but the race got cancelled due to warm weather.

  25. Jim Milstein May 27th, 2018 8:33 pm

    The Grand Traverse from CB to Aspen is a true ski mountaineering race, and everyone uses skimo gear, more or less, for it. (Never mind that the last part descends the ski area into Aspen.)

  26. See May 27th, 2018 8:58 pm

    Swiss, my guess is it’s already happening (maybe not the genetic part).

  27. See May 27th, 2018 9:01 pm

    And maybe not in the 24 hr. events so much as the rowdier, higher profile ones.

  28. Jim Milstein May 27th, 2018 9:08 pm

    In Colorado, everyone competes stoned psilly on mushrooms. True fact. Look it up.

    The thinking is that it helps getting over those high passes.

  29. XXX_er May 27th, 2018 9:51 pm

    when you just ski for 24 hrs you miss the party, I preferred drinking beer and doing a roman candle version of a torchlight parade at midnight trying not to hit the guy in front of me

  30. swissiphic May 28th, 2018 9:11 am

    @Jill: bad punny humor joke break:

    Q: How much room does a fungus need to grow?

    A: As mushroom as possible.

    Step aside, Psilocybe.

  31. swissiphic May 28th, 2018 9:17 am

    whoops: edit; @Jim, not Jill.

  32. Mike May 29th, 2018 10:24 am

    Jim Millstein – some folks are getting close to your definition. Jason Killgore, Chris Baldwin and Logan Greydanus just skied the Gore Range in one push, south to north, 40 miles and 20,000 vert. Not sure but I think it was under 24 hours. Just a matter of time before things like Nolans get attempted/done.

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