Four Hardy MTB cyclists have completed their own lifetime achievement by cycling the height of Mount Everest - 8,848m - by mountain bike, over a locally named climb called Skelp (or to be named Alp De Skelp after this challenge ), a hill that is located on the Western Way trail coming from Leenane to Westport.
The short but super steep segment used on the off-road trail attracted many sporting enthusiasts to the venue to watch the carnage unfold over 18 hours, with the conditions on the day of the event deemed near perfect - not too warm or windy or overcast.
A spokesperson reported: "The backdrop overlooking Clew Bay below looked stunning with panoramic views - not that the cyclists took any notice of it as their concentration focused on the stoney descent.
"To quantify the effort, the 700m segment had 88m of elevation gain with each climb, the ascent took somewhere between seven and nine minutes and the descent for the quickest was under 60 seconds.
"This had to be repeated over 100 times by each participant in order to get the accolade of being an Everester. For the participants it was mind bogglingly repetitive, to climb so many times (each participant had their own strategy ), stop, refuel, drink, stretch, check bike, go again; this was done over and over again until the task was complete.
"The descent was used for many years during Gaelforce adventure times but the ascent was always feared and not used, but for walkers or trail finders.
"Bryan Hyland, one of the organisers, was unfortunate in that he had to be pulled from the event due to exhaustion and dehydration - such was the extreme nature of the challenge; but after some medical intervention he came around to cheer home the four finishers - namely, Padraig Marrey (Ballinrobe ), Rachel Nolan (Ballina ), Colin Loughney (Hollymount ) and Trevor Costello (Islandeady ). The challenge was in aid of Mayo Mental health services and Croi so hopefully their efforts will be rewarded with a good collection."
If you would like to donate in support of this incredible challenge log on to www.idonate.ie/everestingoffroad