Back in November of 2018, Kimberley hiker Michael Meinig announced he would attempt to hike the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest in one day as a fundraiser for the food programs in School Districts 5 and 6.
We caught up with Meinig to see how his fundraising is going ahead of the challenge, which he will complete this June.
Meinig, who works for SD5, moved to Kimberley in 2001. Both of his children, Nathan and Michaela, go to schools in SD6.
He says he wants to raise funds for the school food programs so children learn, rather than worry about hunger.
So far, Meinig has raised over $500 for SD6 and over $200 for SD5. His goal is to raise $5000 for each school district and he is currently working on some local events to help boost the fundraiser.
“From now until June I think the fundraising will really pick up,” he said, adding that he is also preparing himself both mentally and physically.
“Training is going pretty good. With these kinds of things, you always wonder if you’re on the right track,” Meinig said. “Before the snow hit I was hiking the ski-hill, which I did around seven times. During the winter I was using the up-tracking route, so skinning up and skiing down. I was also doing some indoor training.
“Now that spring is here I’m excited to get back outside and get my legs ready. I’ll be hiking the ski hill as much as possible.”
He says that as the challenge gets closer, he’s both nervous and excited. The Everest Challenge will see Meinig climb 29,029 feet in an estimated time of 18 hours. It’s comparable to hiking up Fisher Peak from sea level three times.
“Now is the time to do it,” he said in anticipation.
Meinig is still working out the location for the climb, and says he’ll likely start around 3 or 4 a.m.. He wants to complete the majority of the challenge while it’s still light out, he says, and hopes to avoid staying the night.
“I’m going to try to use the daylight as much as possible, things will slow down once it gets dark around 10 or 11,” he explained.
In terms of what he’s bringing along, Meinig will be packing light.
“Nutrition-wise I’ll be bringing along lots of ‘hammer nutrition’ gels, bars and drinks. I’ve been using them for years and they’re really good. I’ll probably bring a donut or two as well,” he explained. “I’ll definitely be bringing ski poles for going up and down. It really helps when going down and makes it easier on the knees.”
He hopes that the weather Gods are kind, stating that rain is always a possibility.
“I’ll bring a few different types of jackets in-case there’s changing weather conditions,” Meinig said, adding that he will bring along his trusty iPhone to listen to music, which will help keep him motivated, and capture some photos of his journey.
“Some of the sunsets I’ve seen while hiking the ski-hill are just spectacular. I hope to get some photos along the way too,” he explained.
Meinig says he wants to thank his sponsors, friends and family for all of their support, along with those donating to the fundraiser.
“The support from everyone has just been awesome.”
If you want to find out more about the challenge or donate, visit www.everestkootenay.com.