There are a few sporting events out there that stand out as being quite… insane. IRONMAN triathlons, ultramarathons, and events like that tend to stand out. One of the lesser known, but still quite intense competitions is Ski The White’s Last Skier Standing. To be clear, I don’t think it’s as intense as an IRONMAN or an ultramarathon, but it’s still pretty insane.
This year’s Last Skier Standing, which took place at Black Mountain of Maine and began at 10am on Friday, February 10, and ended a few days later, was the fourth edition of the competition. Last Skier Standing isn’t a race, it’s a test of endurance. Competitors have an hour to skin up the mountain and ski back down, repeating the process every hour, over and over again, until they’re no longer able to make it up and back in 60 minutes. The winner, of course, is the skier who’s able to last the longest, completing one more lap than the second-to-last person to drop out.
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? If the mountain isn’t too tall, you can probably make it down and back well within an hour. Well, this year, the winner, Dan Romano of Brighton, MA, completed 63 total laps. That’s 63 hours in a row of hiking up the mountain and turning around to ski back down, 189 miles traveled (1.5 miles up, 1.5 miles down, ~1,200 feet of gain). Sleep and rest is limited to what can be caught between runs, so the top two competitors went more than two and a half days with very little sleep.
Brent Underkoffler of Portland Maine took second place after completing 62 laps and traveling 186 miles. The third place competitor, Ben Eck (who took second place in 2022), completed 55 laps and traveled 165 miles, a remarkable distance nonetheless.
The video below details Ben Eck’s and Brody Leven’s duel for first in 2022. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Image Credit: Ski The Whites via Instagram