My 4th Everest on David Hill Road at Monbulk was completed at 7:00 pm Wednesday night. I planned on knocking out 5 – 6 repeats of Mount Donna Buang. Less than 54 hours later on the Saturday. With two full recovery days it would be touch and go. Thankfully the legs recovered ok. But I still had concerns with my pressure sores from Wednesdays ride.
I packed as if I were doing an Everest. The difference from 6 laps to 8 laps isn’t that much difference in terms of preparation. I had no intention of going for an Everest. But I knew myself well enough to be prepared. When I arrived in Warburton I was able to get this awesome car park. Almost directly opposite the turnoff, which was gold. It was quite warm and humid, and it was looking good for perfect conditions.
Mount Donna Buang Everest
There was a buzz on the first lap, and there was a mixture of excitement, and what am I doing coming from the girls. For the most part, the group stuck together on the first lap. The first lap was quite a brisk pace. There were quite a few Hells 500 boys along. We all love climbing, and all know what it takes to finish one of these things. My concern for getting through the ride was the descent. Its given me hell too many times, but today thankfully it seemed warm enough. I felt a bit soft bringing leg warmers, arm warmers & a spare vest for the descent. But the warmth they offered me made it worth the while.
“Maybe its time for a break” I thought.
Not nice, feeling like crap, and wondered what I’d be able to do. I knew I’d have to do at least 4 laps, and headed straight out. Halfway up to cement creak I remembered that when I stopped off for the tea I was also going to go to the car and get some food as I had been hungry, and realised that when I could feel myself bonking. I ran out of energy, and the day was turning to shit. It was a crawl up to cement creak, and rested there. Wondering how the hell I was going to get up just this climb.
This was not looking good, and I continued on. At the toll booth I noticed a massage table next to it, and I stopped to check it out. This nice lady had volunteered to give massages. Didn’t have to ask twice, and I jumped on the table. Boy was I sore, and she was a gem. The kinks she was finding were quite painful, but after she finished I felt human again. I thanked her and headed up the hill, and was surprised that I had the legs to climb again.
The Accidental Everester
If this was the response I’d get for doing this crazy thing I’d have to do it.
My pace was going all right, but I knew I was fading and had to ride really smart. I was blessed when Steve Gardner who I had ridden with on his Everest on the Wall passed me about 7km’s to the peak. When I told him what I had planned and he said “right, I’m doing this with you!”. His conversation was gold, and I didn’t notice the km’s fly to the top. On the way down I couldn’t handle to pain in my foot anymore & pulled over at the ticket booth.
My big toe was pretty swollen, & several of my toes were swelling up.
I was lucky that some of the guys Everesting the second half of Donna had a first aid kit, and gave me some ointment & a bandage. The pain died down enough that I could feel comfortable again. Shortly after, another mate Ethan Edwards (no relation), joined the party and it gave me much confidence that it was in the bag.
That section up to cement creek was hell!
It was a major struggle from cement creek. My sore tail bone from Wednesdays Everest made it uncomfortable to ride. I tried getting out of the saddle as much as I could, but just couldn’t hold any power for too long. At one of the lookouts, I suggested we stop for a photo, but more for a break. I needed to stop before the last 3km steep bit, and we filled our bottles up at the carpark.
Descending Mount Donna Buang for the last time was a pleasure. Simply too exhausted to do anything and rolled the whole way. I felt elated that I was about to turn around and do it for the last time. I looked at the board, and a couple of the girls had almost finished. There were quite a few on the same lap as myself. They were such an inspiration for me. I hoped that my stupidity could possible help motivate them to finish. Ethan left us, and I headed off with Steve to finish this off. Two Everests in 3 days.
I was running on empty, and it was hard.
Looking through my playlist for a victory song, I couldn’t think of anything appropriate. In hindsight I should have played “I’ve done all the dumb things”, but opted on Survivors “Eye of the Tiger”. The beat really helped to push me along, and I rode really well until the song stopped and then collapsed in a heap and went back to crawling.
My first Everest when I completed it I was on sky high. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. 4 Everests later, and it’s just business. I was relieved and happy, and given that I only committed to doing the Everest around lunchtime, was one of those ones like Olivebank where I can ask myself “how the hell did you do that?”
|Didn’t feel great right from the start|
Most people would see me as crazy for doing this Everest, but I was fine with that.
I’ve done some incredibly tough rides under very difficult circumstances. I don’t see myself as a hard rider, I just know that I can deliver when I need to. Most of my Everests have been on short climbs, and doing one on a HC climb was amazing. I also had to remember George Mallory who owns this climb. He has done an Everest, not once but twice, and who is the true Everester of Mount Donna Buang. And of course all the girls. I was a mere tourist trying to knock off a few laps. They were the true heroes of the day, and my effort shades in their performance.
I came to do 6 & ended up doing 8.5. Feeling tired right from the start, I really had to pull something special out for this one. I was now sitting on 19,000 vertical and just under 700km’s in little over 4 days of riding. Honestly I was disappointed with what happened with me on David Hill Road, and really wanted to make amends for it on another Everest. I let Stryder down by not being able to make the 10,000. Maybe this was the driving force behind my effort today. I am certainly happy, and it still hasn’t sunk in what I’ve done yet.
5 Everests in the bag, but I can’t keep on doing Everests forever. I had talked with Stryder about an end game. The motivation behind my first success on Perrins Creek Road was the number 7. The image on Perrins Creek Road looks like a 7, and so does David Hill Road. With that in mind I have 2 more that I’d like to complete. Swans Road I failed on last year, and will be one of them and who knows what the other will be. Boy was I tired after this one. I stayed in bed almost the whole day.
Was it worth it?
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: