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Ready for the Mother of all Challenges?

Everest in the Alps returns in 2020 with its signature ski touring challenge, described as the toughest four days on skis. If you are looking for the ultimate winter endurance challenge this could be for you! Ascending on skis to the equivalent height of Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak, whilst raising money for a cause close to your heart. The goal is simple. The challenge is anything but…

It’s a gruelling event, the stats speak for themselves:

  •  An overall target climb of 8,848m
  • Daily climbs of between 2,000-2,500m
  • Altitudes of up to 3,500m
  • 10,000 calories burnt per day (the equivalent of running three back-to-back marathons!)
  • 40 hours of ski touring
  • 20 individual ascents

Are we peaking (pun intended) your interest? Rob Ritchie, EIAs Event Founder explains how this could be the challenge for you…


And it’s not too late to sign up with places still available for next year’s tour –  not only that, you’ll be in great company too!

We speak to Charlie Burchill – about what’s driven her to take on the ‘mother of all challenges’ and how the training is going so far…

Of all of the challenges that are out there, what made you choose this one?

It was after my friends cancer diagnosis, where I realised the true ‘ripple effect’ that the illness has on families and friends, that I decided I wanted to do something to help support the amazing work that Cancer Care do for people who are dealing with the disease. As I’m a really big fan of endurance challenges – I’ve already run marathons and ultra-marathons before, I needed a challenge where I would have to work harder, that would really push me to my limits, and something that was a completely new experience for me.



“Everyone has their own Everest – their own, seemingly unreachable goal. It’s personal to you, and reaching your summit is your own personal achievement, which is something you will always be proud of.”

Why is this the ultimate challenge for you?
EIA encompasses so many of my favourite things, it’s got the endurance side with it being a multi-day event and it’s on skis…it couldn’t be more perfect! I’ve ski-toured before, but not for anywhere near this length of time.

What’s your training regime?
I have a training plan for each stage of the lead up to the challenge. Right now, I’m working in the ‘consolidation phase’, so my week consists of two endurance sessions at 90 mins or more – this includes a combination of hiking and running one of the Yorkshire peaks. This is combined with a couple of strength and endurance sessions, comprising body-weight and weighted exercises.

What makes you the most nervous about the challenge?
Being strong enough to keep going day after day, dealing with the terrain and gradients – with the kit on your back and the skis and boots on your feet. I recently spent a weekend in Verbier running and hiking, and you really do forget how steep those mountains are! I’m also starting to get some weather-related nerves…the white-outs, where you can’t tell what’s up or down, the wind is howling and the snowflakes hit your face like pins!

What do you think will be the biggest hurdle to overcome on the run-up and during the challenge?
I know that endurance isn’t an issue for me, and with that does come some strength, but not enough to allow for the hours of repetitive movements carrying a backpack and then having to get up and do it all again the next day – you don’t get a rest day with this one!

What would you say to someone else who is thinking about taking part?
I’d say do it! What are you waiting for? If you have a cause that’s close to your heart that you want to raise awareness for, there is no better way.

“EIA is something different, it’s totally unique, and there is only a small group of people that know what it’s like to reach that summit… you could be one of them… what a great feeling!”


If you are interested in taking part either individually or as part of a team click here to find out more.



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