Aaron Rice Just Skied 2.5 Million Human Powered Vertical Feet In a Year

Matias Ricci |
He did it! 2.5mil in 364 days!
He did it! 2.5mil in 364 days!

December 29th is a date Aaron Rice will never forget. It sounds crazy. But he did it. It took him 364 days to ski 2.5 million self-propered vertical feet. He just showed the whole world that if you have an objetive, and you work hard to get it done, nothing can stop you.

Evening lights.
Evening lights.

“5 Winters ago I skied ~75,000′ vert, The next year I skied 117,000′ vert. The next year 248,000′ vert. The next year 447,000′ vert, and last year 703,000′ vert. This year, my goal is to earn 2.5 Million self-propelled vertical feet. This will beat the current record held by Greg Hill. I know this is within my physical limits, but I keep asking myself if I can do it mentally, emotionally, and logistically. I believe the answer is yes, but I need to prove it to myself.

I plan to start January 1st 2016. My current plan is 150 days in Alta averaging 10k/day, then 1-2 months in CO trying to average 6-7K/day due to longer approaches. I also plan on taking a couple trips in the spring at weather dependent locations, though the gears are already turning. In the summer I will travel to Bariloche, Argentina and average 5K/day due to travel and long approaches for 2-3 months”.

Tres Marias at Refugio Frey
Tres Marias at Refugio Frey

So he started on January 1st, 2016 and never stopped. He skied mostly in Alta, but also in Colorado, Argentina and Chile.

Las Leñas, Argentina.
Las Leñas, Argentina.

AARON’S ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Wasatch Descents: S. Face of Superior, E. Face of SLC Twins, Super Couloir (Boxelder), Battle Creek (Timpanogos), The Needle, The NW of the Pfeiff, White Pine, Little Pine, Tanners, Limber Pine, Monte Christo Gully, All Wolverine Chutes, and many more
  • Colorado Descents: Grizzly Chute, Tuning Forks, Witches Hat (Buffalo Mtn)
  • South American Descents: Cerro Madsen (Fitzroy Range), Alaskita (Cerro Catedral), Tres Marias, El Monge (Refugio Frey), Glacier Hielo Azule, Volcan Casablanca
  • East Coast Descents: Dodge’s Drop (Mt. Washington), Casses Gully (Smuggler’s Notch), Sunset Ridge (Mt. Mansfield)
  • Completion of a 25 Hour tour with no breaks (more than 10min for water and food) earning 24,000 feet in that time and skiing all 21 named runs in Days Fork. (Jan. 7th&8th 2015)
  • Boxelder Traverses: White Pine TH -> No Name Baldy -> Boxelder (Super Coulior, Shotgun Chutes, NE face) -> Lake Chute -> White Pine TH (13hrs, 11K, 16Mi) (Mar. 28th, 2015
  • 726,000′ earned in 365 Days (’14-’15)
  • 211 Days skied in a Year (’14-’15)
  • 158 Days skied in a row (’13-’14)
  • 155.000′ earned in 30 Days (Jan-Feb 2015)
  • 22 Month streak (Ongoing)
  • 10 10,000′ days in a season (’14-’15)

MONTH-BY-MONTH PHOTO TOUR

January

First day of the journey.
First day of the journey.
The beginning of Aaron's adventure.
The beginning of Aaron’s adventure.
Sunrise in the Wasatch's.
Sunrise in the Wasatch’s.
"The perks of staying out late!"
“The perks of staying out late!”

February

He broke his hand.
He broke his hand.
But he kept on skiing.
But he kept on skiing.
It wasn't easy...
It wasn’t easy…
But some moments made it worth the effort.
But some moments made it worth the effort.

March

Great day in the Wasatch.
Great day in the Wasatch.
Aaron with his mom.
Aaron with his mom.
Taking some rest.
Taking some rest.
Party skiing.
Party skiing.

April

Aaron RIce's 2.5mil

Aaron's first three month's map
Aaron’s first three month’s map
Backcountry potatoes
Backcountry potatoes
First Million!
First Million!

May

Aaron had to take his skis off in this colouir.
Aaron had to take his skis off in this colouir.
May skiing.
He arrives to Colorado.

June Aaron RIce's 2.5mil

Aaron RIce's 2.5mil

Aaron RIce's 2.5mil

July

Last sunset before traveling to Argentina
Last sunset before traveling to Argentina
Everything ready for Argentina
Everything ready for Argentina
Cerro Martin, Las Leñas, Argentina
Cerro Martin, Las Leñas, Argentina
Las Leñas, Argentina.
Las Leñas, Argentina.

August

Backcountry near Bariloche, Argentina
Backcountry near Bariloche, Argentina
Moonset over Refugio Frey
Moonset over Refugio Frey
Skiing from Refugio Frey, Bariloche, Argentina
Skiing from Refugio Frey, Bariloche, Argentina

September

Skiing from Refugio Jakob
Skiing from Refugio Jakob
Tres Marias at Refugio Frey
Tres Marias at Refugio Frey
Bright sky at Refugio Frey
Bright sky at Refugio Frey

October

Volcan Lanin
Volcan Lanin
Volcan Villarica
Volcan Villarica
500.000 to go!
500.000 to go!

November

Mount Shasta
Mount Shasta

December

December powder
December powder
Evening lights.
Evening lights.
December powder
December powder
Touring through the woods
Touring through the woods
He did it! 2.5mil in 364 days!
He did it! 2.5mil in 364 days!
Congratulations Aaron!
Congratulations Aaron!

ABOUT AARON 

“Aaron’s dedication to skiing began in earnest while racing in high school and taking weekend trips with friends up to Vermont and Maine. He attended school in VT where he truly fell in love with the mountains, and began touring and pushing 100 day seasons. After graduating from the University of Vermont, he headed out to Alta, UT and spent the next three years backcountry skiing. He began pushing himself to ski LONGER days, FASTER on the uphill and HARDER lines of increasing technicality. Going on 24 hours long tours, rappelling into lines and skimo racing for fun became the standard. For 2016 he plans to skin/hike/climb and ski 2.5 million self-propelled vertical feet in a year to break the current record”.


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9 thoughts on “Aaron Rice Just Skied 2.5 Million Human Powered Vertical Feet In a Year

    1. I worked for three summers saving money, had a few sponsors, but mostly just lived ridiculously cheaply all year. No alcohol, minimal driving, worked for my food at a ski lodge, basically just skiing all day every day. I also have a loving family and was lucky to be born with privilege as a cis, straight, middle-class white male allowing me to take large life risks with much smaller consequences than someone without said privilege, it is something I try to remember and be thankful for daily. I wish i had a trust fund or mega sponsors, but this is also proof that anyone can do it if they just want it bad enough and are willing to make sacrifices.

      VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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  1. At the Flyin Ryan Foundation grateful for the opportunity to have been able to assist Aaron on his quest. I met Aaron while hiking the green mountains and our relationship spontaneous and, from my viewpoint, privilege. The organization and physical determination necessary to achieve this goal is awesome. He not only broke the world record,, he smashed it. Aaron, you da man!!!

    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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