Mountopia, Explained.

Posted on October 28, 2016

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With my friend Bjorn, I attempted to climb Peak Lenin without skis in 2014. We were there in June, which is early season, and it snowed on us almost every night. Without skis, we had to break trail in boot- to knee-high snow nearly every day, navigating crevasses and carrying everything with us, entirely self-guided and self-supported. If we would have had skis, we would have moved much faster up and down, which would have saved us precious time and possibly provided a second summit attempt. Instead, we got shut down 1,000 meters from the summit and returned to Almaty without a visit to the top.

Not far from Camp 4

The high point of my Peak Lenin attempt in 2014

Two years later, I have a chance to go back. Dynafit is hosting a competition called Mountopia, which ultimately features a grand prize of 8,000 Euros for a dream trip, plus a bunch of gear and coaching to make it happen.

At first, I was hesitant to jump into this Mountopia competition. The site and its promos felt a little cheesy, even by European standards. The site is bare-bones to say the least, and parts of it don’t make sense. For starters, when you type into a text box when uploading a photo, the font is in all capitals, but it publishes in a different upper and lower case font, making it impossible to proofread odd phone auto-corrects. You can’t edit anything after it’s posted, either.

But after the first week, I sized up the competition and decided I was going to win a trip back to Kyrgyzstan next summer to ski from Peak Lenin, and hopefully do a lightning ascent/ski of nearby Muztagh Ata in Western China as well. A jury will select the top 10 Mountopia athletes in January, and in the meantime I am accumulating as many votes and shares as possible as I document my Fall and Winter training with photos on Mountopia’s website.

To help me out, check out my Timeline and tap the hearts under each photo until you see the green success bar, shown above in an Instagram photo. I am uploading 1 to 3 photos a day, so if you’ve voted once feel free to go back and like my more recent uploads, and/or like everything again using a different device, browser, etc.

I am slowly catching up to the top 4, and any help I can get would be much appreciated. Some of the photos I am posting are my daily inspiration, but if you want evidence that I am training hard, you can also check out what I am doing on TrainingPeaks, which I recommend you use for your own training as well, and on my Strava.

Please feel free to comment below if you have questions or voted, I will definitely send some postcards to anyone who votes for me!

Please click this link and smash the hearts to help get me back to Peak Lenin!

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