I met Gabriel when I was on a club ride with Ciclos Teto. I remember him casually riding in front of me taking photos with his camera, while I was killing myself trying to keep up with the pace (see photo). Needless to say, I realised then that Gabriel was in another league. This was highlighted still further later in the year when he took part in some epic rides, including the Brevet 300 and 600 here in Asturias and he also took part in the Prudential ride London back in August.
Always one to find a new challenge he decided to try his hand at Everesting. Yes! you heard right, Everesting, which is basically climbing up and down one climb until you have reached 8.848 meters of elevation gain; the height of Mount Everest.
There are certain rules that one must abide by to complete an official Everest (you can find the rules at http://www.everesting.cc/the-rules) and one of them is that you must choose one climb and just keep riding up and down it until you have completed the required elevation. Gabriel chose the Puerto de la Cubilla. I rode this climb for the first time back in early August with my good friend Mark and Tim and I have to say it’s one of the most beautiful climbs I have ever ridden. Gabriel chose wisely as it’s not only beautiful but also long and not too steep which I would imagine is an important factor in such an attempt.
So one grey October morning, Gabriel sets off to attempt the epic challenge. Indeed, the weather is grey, and at the top the cold and windy conditions certainly don’t help but as Gabriel says ‘noboby said climbing Everest would be easy’. Various friends join him during the attempt and he makes good progress. One, Two, Three and Gabriel starts his Fourth ascent. It’s getting tough but he is still going, until disaster! His GPS starts turning on and off. Why such a disaster? because one of the rules for an official Everesting attempt is that the ride must be recorded on a GPS device. I can’t imagine how he must have felt as he realised the machine wasn’t recording the ride, and to make matters worse this was all happening just as he was going through a little bit of a bad patch. So, reluctantly, but quite sensibly, Gabriel and his friend Jesus decided it made no sense to carry on and bade the Cubilla a fond goodnight but promised to return.
Was he disappointed? Hell No! Gabriel said he learnt a lot from the ride and not completing it simply helped him to understand what the challenge is about and what changes he would need to make for his next attempt. You would think he would be sick of the sight of the Cubilla by now but I think it’s impossible to get bored of the Cubilla. It’s one of those climbs that every time you ride it you learn something new about it, as around every corner you are presented with a completely new vista.
Gabriel hopes to attempt it again in November and I hope to join him for one of the ascents but certainly not all 7. In the end he climbed well over 5000m in just over 8 hours on his first attempt, averaging over 20kph – quite an achievement in itself.
I’ll be sure to let you know how he gets on in his next attempt
For more photos and information about the climb of the Cubilla visit: http://wp.me/P6NvXG-zm
Here is a video of the climb that I took when I rode with Mark and Tim back in August: