The AT50: Ski Mountaineer Greg Hill (#16)

Hill has logged more vertical feet than any other skier on the planet

Age: 37
Sports: Ski Mountaineering, Backcountry Skiing
Highlights: Climbed and skied over 2 million vertical feet in 2010; summitted and skied over 190 mountains; climbed and skied 9 of the 10 highest peaks in the Selkirk Mountains; first North American to climb and ski 40,000 feet in 24 hours and set a world record of 50,100 feet in 24 hours (since beaten); pioneered the Selkirks' Northern Monashee Traverse, a 21-day ski traverse where he summitted 21 peaks along the way; climbed and skied 12,000 feet up and down Mt. Blanc in 11 hours; planted more than 1 million trees in his life
Quote: "Failure is fine. I prefer success, but you have to fail to figure out how to succeed."
Fact: Hill's favorite drink is gin and tonic.
AT50 Point Total: 43.5

At 1:30pm on December 30, 2010, Greg Hill skied to a halt on Rogers Pass and glanced at his watch. Rather than the time, it displayed "2000015." Hill had made it, he'd skied 2 million vertical feet in a single year on his own power, skinning, ice-axe-and-crampon mountaineering or just plain trudging up every single one of those feet. Though he completed the mission in his home range of British Columbia's Selkirk Mountains, the journey had taken him—and his family—to remote mountain ranges from the Yukon to Patagonia (he went south during the northern summer), and up 71 different mountains for a total of 1,039 runs. To pull it off, Hill had to power through bad weather, sickness and more than his fair share of avalanche risk in order to average 5,500 feet a day.

That day was more a culmination of a lifetime of backcountry touring than a single year of grit and determination. Over the years, Hill’s enthusiasm for earning his turns has takn him up 190 separate mountains, many of them first ascents.
—Kurt Miller

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