At 9 am on March 18, 2018 Mike Foote beat the world record in Whitefish, MT coming in with an impressive 61,200 vertical ft gained in 24 hours.
“Honestly it feels like the biggest physical accomplishment of my life. And to do it in a place where I have so many friends, community and history means so much. I’ve been obsessing over it for the last 6-7 months and made a lot of sacrifices for it; it feels good to dream big and accomplish what you set out to do” Foote explains.
A record previously held by Eckhardt Dolshlag, an Austrian pro mountain biker and skimo racer. Dolshlag set the record of 60,000 ft in 2009, besting his previous WR of 57,000 feet from 2007. In 2011, World Champion skimo racer Florent Perrier set out to break the record and fell just short of the 60,000 mark.
Foote beat the previous benchmark by lapping a 1500-foot ski run at Whitefish Mountain Resort 60 times. To put this into context, 60,000 feet is:
- 48 Empire State Buildings
- 600 Blue Whales stance nose to tail
- 067 Everest’s from Sea Level
The run Foote chose to ascent and decent for 24 hours was Ed’s Run at Whitefish Mountain Resort, which has a long history as his go-to training spot. “I chose Whitefish because I spent my 20’s learning to move in the mountains on skis there. I grew up playing baseball in Ohio and never even saw a mountain until I was 18. Whitefish was the place where I began loving the uphill. I ski patrolled there for a few years and often hiked up the mountain before work. My fellow patrollers all thought I was kind of crazy” Foote said. With times changing, Whitefish has one of the strongest uphill skiing communities in the country, dozens of athletes hiking up an established route to the summit daily. “I have such an emotional connection to this place, these people and this route that I couldn’t do this attempt anywhere else.”
Mike Foote, an accomplished ultrarunner and skimo racer on The North Face Athlete Team, is known for loving a good sufferfest. In 2016, Foote alongside teammate Mike Wolfe, ran Crown of the Continent Traverse, a “trail” from Missoula, MT to Banff, Canada. The adventure took 24 days and the pair conquered 600 miles. Foote has also podiumed the famed Hardrock 100 on three separate occasions, as well as boasting podium finishes at Ultra-Trail Du Mont Blanc, Squamish 50 miler, Yakima Skyline 50K, Lavaredo Ultra Trail, Ultra Trail Mount Fuji and The Bear. Foote and Wolfe alongside Big Sky Mountain Resort hosts The Rut, a gnarly international skyrunning competition with 50K, 25K, 11K and VK distances.
The new world record will be verified in the coming weeks.
Photo Credit: The North Face/Matt Irving