(Ed’s note: British Columbia ski mountaineer Greg Hill has reached his goal of climbing and skiing two million vertical feet in the year 2010. What follows is Hill’s blog post from today—The 2 Mill Day.)
By Greg Hill
Published: December 31, 2010
It started off as it should, I got to the parking lot first, dilly dallied around till a few girls got ahead. Passed them and then I broke trail for 2 thousand feet up onto the Bonney moraines. Although I was super driven I still had to make sure the skin track was decent to follow since I knew many friends and family would be following my track today. By the time I was at the top of the moraines I looked down and I could see lots of people heading up. So I skied down a quick lap and saw quite a few friends. We toured back up to the top.
I chose the Bonney area because itwould be the only place that had absolutely no sun on this -18′C day. No, I chose it because I knew that lots of people could hike the 3,500 feet in and we could all enjoy untracked powder all day.
I pulled in a couple of great laps, did some simple math at the top, 2,000,000-1,998,500 = 1500 ft, skied down 1500 ft and then I hiked back up and met Tracey, my mom, Don, plus some great friends on the top just as my watch was ticking over. I thought I was going to be fine and that this imaginary 2 mill line wasn’t going to be so real. But watching it tick over,thinking about all the time and effort that has gone into that tiny number, and all the fantastic support that my friends and family have given me over this ordeal, it all summed up into me crying at the finish. So much was invested into this silly goal that finally achieving it was overpowering and having Tracey there to witness the final moment, with friends and champagne, it was incredible.
It was such a cold day that we did not want to wait too long at the top so, so enough, we all skied down.Was my 2 Millionth foot turn any better because of all the effort? Perhaps…
But what felt even better was getting to the bottom of the run and putting my skins back on for another lap… a carefree lap that was simply to do extra. My legs felt light, my pace free and the turns great of course.
A great ten thousand foot day to finish it off. Well kinda finish it off since, today is the 31st and I still have some time and energy to raise the bar a few steps further…