Ski streaks!!!

Topics of a general nature regarding snowsports, which don't easily fit into one of our other Liftlines categories. This is also the place to post Letters to the Editor.

Ski streaks!!!

Postby Patrick » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:52 am

Okay, we all know about the consecutive month streaks happening.
Something like 14 years for the guy of endless.

http://www.endlessseason.com

http://www.turns-all-year.com/

Weeks streaks:

91 weeks from the same endless guy.

Now how about Day streaks? I did 13 this winter. :? We'll there is a guy outhere that up to over 1000 days in a row. No stopping everyday of the year streak. :shock:

I rode the chair up with him once at Timberline on Sept 4. he was flying the next day for South America, but not before getting his turns at Timberline at 1am on Sept 5th so he wouldn't lose a day.

Found this news story from the Mail Tribune (Oregon paper) on the web, read on...

http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2006 ... skiing.htm

September 1, 2006

1,000 days on skis

An inveterate skier breaks a Guinness record for most consecutive days skied by schussing down Oregon's Mount Hood July 27


By TODD JOHNSTON

Rainer Hertrich loves what he does so much that he hasn't taken a day off since Nov. 1, 2003.

No sick days. No vacation days. He doesn't need them.

After all, Hertrich is not stuck in an office or making sales calls. He's crisscrossing down another ski slope to keep his world-record streak alive.

Hertrich reached the milestone of 1,000 consecutive days of skiing when he barreled down Oregon's Timberline Ski area on July 27. Though he surpassed the next-longest streak long ago and already holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records, there's no sign the ultimate ski bum plans to stop.


"To me, it's flat-out fun," said Hertrich, a 45-year-old telemark skier. "I don't know of any other sport where you can go that fast on your feet."

The previous record was held by the British skier Arnie Wilson, who skied 365 consecutive days in 1994. Hertrich surpassed Wilson's mark in 2004, and kept going.

Hertrich follows winter by traveling from Oregon and Colorado to Chile and Argentina, zigzagging the Americas to ski year-round. When it's winter in the U.S., he'll be here. And when summer comes, he ventures to the Andes for South America's winter.

It's there he finds the right conditions for the other world record Hertrich set in his marathon: vertical feet skied.

He has already skied 34 million vertical feet. To put that into perspective, on an average day he skis 33,000 vertical feet. That is higher than Mount Everest.

"I'm going to South America for the adventure and keeping up the vertical feet," he said. "The adventure part is really my reward to myself."

In a telephone interview from Oregon, Hertrich sounds like a man of few worries. He is not married and has no children. There is no one to question his freewheeling ways.

His drive seems more for the adventure of the next great downhill or a visit to a new locale to meet skiing friends than it is to set a world record. Yet, setting records is certainly on his mind.

"When I passed the first year mark, that was a big mark," he said. "When I passed 500 days, that was a big mark to me at the time."

Following day 1,000 of his feat, he was a bit mystified on his daily Internet blog by all the attention: "For some reason, 1,000 days on skis seems like a big deal to a lot of people."

And while he's having way too much fun to contemplate the accomplishment for too long, there was more than the usual exuberance in his online diary following the day when he set the record: "Great day, snow, and fun!!! I think I'll have to wake up alive one more time and ski tomorrow."

Hertrich lives and breathes the cold environment. His day-to-day job as a snow groomer, manicuring and maintaining the very slopes that he skis, suits his passion perfectly. In the winter months, he works on Colorado's Copper Mountain and in the summer he helps maintain Mount Hood in Oregon during the race camp season.

Hertrich grew up in Boulder, Colo., learning to ski at an early age. A typical career path was not in his future. He dreamed of things beyond the confines of a classroom or an office cubicle.

"I didn't want to go to college. I thought about the outdoors while in class," he recalled.

His thoughts have not changed since he was young. The best part about skiing is "the freedom, being up on the mountain, and the scenery."

In 2003, his skiing endeavor began when he discovered an elite club at Jackson Hole, Wyo. ? for those who had skied 6 million vertical feet in a year.

Hertrich was up for the challenge, and he soon surpassed that mark, skiing more than 7 million vertical feet.

"You have to ski every day," he said, "and you have to ski a lot every day."

With all this skiing, he began to wonder if he was near any record. He was, and that's when his test of endurance against Mother Nature and himself truly began.

He began logging his vertical elevation with a sophisticated altimeter watch. Skiing daily was an easier calculation to compute.

Hertrich has weathered brutal conditions along the way. But he's continued to ski ? through bitter cold, frostbite, rain and illness.

"The worst days were when I'm camping in my tent, it's raining and I know I have to go," he said.

There have been close calls, too. Before flying to South America, for example, he's learned to take pre-dawn runs on Mount Hood before going to the airport on a travel day.

One time in Chile, he rented a car at the airport and got lost in Santiago. He almost did not make it to the slopes before the day was over. Another time, he hopped a bus to the mountain not realizing it was the scenic route.

Perhaps the most bizarre, though, was when he hiked up an active volcano since it had more snow to ski down than neighboring mountains during a dry spell in Chile's winter.

Hertrich generally welcomes such obstacles with open arms. "The adventure's great and I look forward to where it's not all you expected it to be," he said.

Hertrich realizes he's setting a marker for other skiers, and he encourages anyone who wants to take up the challenge.

He recalled some kids saying, "Oh, I'll beat that."

His response: "Go right ahead, buddy!"

So what about tomorrow's run? He paused and, without worry, said, "I'll be happy if I can go out and ski tomorrow, since I'm 40 miles away from the slopes."
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re: Ski streaks!!!

Postby Tony Crocker » Sun Sep 10, 2006 9:47 pm

I'm even more impressed by the 33K per day average on teles than by the 1,000 days. Amazing no "wear and tear" injuries. Ron Cram, the endless season guy, did have an ACL operation in early July 2003 but returned to action at Timberline with a huge brace in late August.
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Re: Ski streaks!!!

Postby Patrick » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:53 am

i was wondering what was happening with the ski day streak guy, I remember seeing him in October 07 at Loveland, over one year after his 1,000 days so I googled him.

This is what I found...

http://www.skinet.com/action/2008-11/fi ... -loving-it

Five Years and Counting: Skiing Every Day and Still Loving It
The world’s most dedicated ski bum hits a milestone without breaking his stride, er, slide


by Beth Jahnigen Pappas

Copper Mountain, CO - Can you think of anything you have done consecutively over a prolonged period of time? Most people probably haven't even brushed their teeth everyday or even slept every night in the past five years.

Rainer Hertrich is not like most of us.

On October 31, 2008, he marked his 1,825th consecutive day of skiing. Five full years. A few days later he hit another milestone: 61 million vertical feet skied.

I guess I forgot to mention that not only does the 47-year-old Hertrich ski everyday, he skis hard everyday. Which means rain or shine, summer or winter, Rainer averages 33,000 feet per day or one million feet per month.

The old record of 4.1 million vertical feet skied over 365 consecutive days was smashed by Hertrich years ago. And he’s still going.

I caught up with German-born, American-raised Hertrich while he was getting some early season turns at Loveland last month. His weathered bucket hat was pulled over his face, and his used-and-abused K2 Anit-Pistes dangled from his feet. Despite the untold obstacles he has endured over the years to see this dream to fruition, the only thing he had to complain about was the day’s vertical. At 3pm, he had only logged 40,000 feet. Bummer. He was hoping for 47,000 feet that day. All I could do was smile and nod…it was after all, my first run of the day.

A twenty six-year veteran of the Copper Mountain grooming crew, Hertrich is probably the only person in Summit County (home of Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Keystone, and A-Basin) who drives to the hill with his skis strapped to the back of a BMW motorcycle, wearing tele boots and a ski helmet. Yeah, Hertrich is a bit notorious in these parts.

So, I couldn’t believe my luck when I found myself on Chair 1 with him. It didn’t last long, because I soon found out, Hertrich waits for no one. At least when the lifts are turning.

“There’s no vertical standing around talking about it, “ he yelled as he pushed off the lift and headed straight down the mountain.

Motivated by his discovery of Jackson Hole’s Vertical Foot Club on a vacation six years ago, Hertrich got to thinking that it was possible for him to ski six million vertical feet in one season as well.

“I thought that even though Jackson is a pretty big mountain, I bet I could do it in Colorado too. So mathematically, I figured if I started on November 1st and ski 33,000 feet a day, every day, I could hit six million by the end of the season.”

When he realized he had already skied 7.25 million vertical feet by that April he figured he had set some kind of record. Sure enough, he had. So, like Forrest Gump who started running until he felt like stopping, so did Rainer Hertrich ski. Only he hasn’t stopped yet.

No Sick Days
During the winter, keeping up his streak is not a problem. He lives at Copper and grooms the slopes at night, leaving his days free to rack up the vertical off of the Super Bee lift. But come spring, things get a little tricky.

When Copper closes for the season, he makes his way up to Timberline Ski Area on Mt Hood where he works as a cat operator during the summer months. But just getting there, especially in drought year, poses a challenge to holding onto his record.

In the season he started (2003-2004), Hertrich said he was lucky to find a couple patches of snow on the top of Wolf Creek Pass and Soldier Pass in Utah.

“I just put on my stuff and skied back and forth for an hour and called it skiing. It was actually just a drift behind a tree. It didn’t do much for my vertical, but it was skiing.”

The following day he made it to Tamarack, Idaho and called in a favor from an old friend, who gave him a lift to the top of the mountain so he could ski what little snow was left there. Finally, he made it to Timberline the next day where he offered his grooming skills in exchange for lift tickets. He has worked there every summer since.

When the Timberline season comes to an end, he takes a pre-dawn run, then heads straight for the airport where he hops a flight to Santiago, Chile and lands the following morning with enough time to get a few late day runs at Valle Nevado (two hours away) or Termas de Chillan (four and a half hours from Santiago). Despite a long flight, a grueling drive, and bumpy train ride, Hertrich still doesn’t break his streak.

After six weeks in the Southern Hemisphere, he returns to Colorado just in time for Loveland and Arapahoe Basin to open amid their infamous competition. Its not easy, he admits. But it’s worth it.

“Some mornings I wake up and I just don’t feel like it, but I make myself go. Logic plays a part because it is a world record. That is a big motivator. Two, I have so much time, money and energy invested…Am I just going to let it go because I’m not feeling good? No.”

While Hertrich’s accomplishment is impressive to say the least, you won’t find his name in the Guinness Book of World Records yet. The category he will own is “accumulated vertical descent in consecutive days of telemark skiing” but they don’t acknowledge the record until his run ends. And when that will be is anyone’s guess, including Hertrich’s.

“I don’t really have a specific goal I am shooting for because every day is every day and the challenges are always there. When it’s over, it will be over," he said.

Hitting the five-year mark was big target for Rainer and the next milestone he has his sights set on is Day 2000, which by his calculations will fall on Earth Day in April 2009. But as he points out, after that it will be time to start his summer job at Timberline again. So he’ll probably keep going.

In the meantime, I say give the man a crown and Beer. After skiing five years straight, god knows he deserves it.


edit: So if he hasn't stopped, today should be Day # 1,929 in row. :shock: :shock: :shock:
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Re: Ski streaks!!!

Postby Tony Crocker » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:44 pm

His lifetime number strikes me immediately as being understated, since I'm at 17 million. He had 34 million when he hit the 1000 day mark. If he's really averaging 33K/day, the 34 million is the total for the streak alone. I suspect he skied for a few years before starting the streak. :wink: Unlike me, he probably didn't start counting until he had an altimeter watch.
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Ski Records
Season length: 21 months, Nov. 29, 2010 - July 2, 2012
Days in one year: 80 from Nov. 29, 2010 - Nov. 17, 2011
Season vertical: 1,610K in 2016-17
Season powder: 291K in 2011-12
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