How a World-Record Holder Skied Every Day for Over Eight Straight Years

Want to attempt to established the planet document for most consecutive days at any time skied? It could possibly price tag you an ankle or two, as well as a hip.

That’s the sacrifice designed by Rainer Hertrich, a longtime snow groomer for Colorado’s Copper Mountain, who skied a whopping 2,993 straight days in a row—and is now paying the selling price in appendages.

“The accidents just came from skiing also considerably,” states Hertrich, 59. “I wore out the cartilage in my ankle and obtained Charcot foot. The bones ended up grinding with each other so I experienced to get it amputated.”

As in-depth in his ebook The Longest Operate: How a Colorado ski bum skied every day for more than eight yrs (thelongestrunbook.com), co-authored by MJ contributor Devon O’Neil, Hertrich skied every day for eight yrs, two months and ten days. He was compelled to end his planet-document streak on Feb. 12, 2012, at his doctor’s request, immediately after he was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia.

Nonetheless, he took just one previous run even that day, bringing his tally just seven days brief of 3,000—every single day considering the fact that his quirky quest commenced on Nov. 1, 2003, when the Marlins won the Earth Sequence.

Hertrich commenced his streak immediately after witnessing the hoopla designed by some Jackson Hole skiers who notched six million vertical ft in a season. Immediately after he passed seven million vertical in 2004, he kept likely. And likely, through bouts of the flu, accidents, and temperature and logistical hurdles.

He tallied six months of day by day skiing just about every 12 months even though doing the job at Copper Mountain. Then he’d hit shoulder-season days at Loveland and Arapahoe Basin, nearby in Colorado. From there, he’d head to Mount Hood, OR, in which he labored as a snowcat driver by the summers.

“You have to stay devoted,” he states. “Some days ended up tricky, and there ended up a ton of logistics to offer with. I also skied by some depressing ailments, as well as agony and disease. You just have to get up and offer. When I separated my shoulder, I however skied the upcoming day I just did not plant my pole.”

He’d etch the last notches on those poles every 12 months by touring to South America—still somehow eking out operates on consecutive days.

“Changing hemispheres was tricky,” he states. “Santiago is a few several hours afterwards than Oregon, so I’d pre-pack my gear and take a pre-dawn run on other equipment right before my flight, then pores and skin for a different when I arrived. When I obtained lost driving in the fog and barely designed it in time. Coming house to Colorado, my flight ordinarily arrived in the morning so I’d hit Loveland on the way back again.”

Anything at all counted, he mentioned, “as extended as your skis are underfoot on snow” — even while some days that intended just a lone strip of corn.

En route, he amassed approximately a hundred million vertical ft, as well as a peculiar document in Guinness. “To me the vert is more important—the document is accrued vertical descent in consecutive days,” he mentioned. “That’s a million vertical ft for each month, which is a ton.”

He admits that any one hoping to mimic his feat throughout today’s COVID era could possibly have it tougher. “Resorts in South The us did not open until finally early September, lacking most of their season,” he states. “If COVID hit even though I was performing it, it would have been around.”

Climate transform is also building it more tough. “It’s building it more challenging in equally hemispheres,” he states, including he however watches the temperature all-around the planet. “To have to hike a 14er just to get to a tiny patch of snow is type of absurd.”

Rainier Hertich ski record
courtesy Rainier Hertich

The accidents started racking up right immediately after his streak finished. That spring, he joined a team of mates on a raft vacation down the Grand Canyon, walking barefoot in the sand for a few months. That was also considerably for ankles accustomed to remaining locked inside of ski boots just one of them “swelled up to the size of a soccer,” he states.

“The health practitioner mentioned I was likely to have problems,” he states, including he lastly obtained it amputated in 2016. “I just wore myself out.”

The hip alternative came a couple yrs afterwards in 2019, also a target of approximately 3,000 straight days of schussing down mountainsides. Then, this previous summertime, even though hoping to journey his BMW 1200 bike to South The us, he crashed on California’s Rubicon Path, crushing his other previously compromised ankle. If the surgery doesn’t function, that just one, also, could possibly be a part of the prosthetic club.

Nonetheless, he’s delighted he obtained the consecutive days in, and established the quirky document, even though he did. And, for each doctor’s orders, he options on skiing once more occur January. As for his prosthetic ankle, he states it even has its pros. “For just one, it in no way receives frost bite,” he states, including he carries a spare anytime he travels. “And you can buckle your boots as limited as you want if it receives crushed, it functions as components.”

And he’s not that fearful about any one thieving his thunder at any time shortly. “I believe I’m quite safe and sound with the document,” states Hertrich, who, when not skiing, now has options to get his captain’s license and run sailboat excursions in Florida. “I doubt any one will at any time break it.”


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