Video: Jens Voigt completes challenge to 'Everest' hill in Berlin – or does he?

Neither cold, hail, snow nor wild boar stopped German legend – but did he fall 3 metres short?

UPDATED: Jens Voigt has completed his challenge to 'Everest' the Teufelsberg climb in Berlin and raise money for a cancer charity, and neither freezing temperatures, hail, snow, nor the presence of around 30 wild boar, managed to put him off course. Some are questioning, however, whether he has in fact climbed higher than the elevation of the world's highest mountain.

In a tweet sent at around 3pm local time, the retired Tour de France stage winner and former UCI Hour Record holder said it had taken him 27 hours to climb 8,845 metres – but some people replied that he was three metres short of the target.

This is where things get complicated, because of a long-running dispute between Nepal and China, whose borders meet at the summit, about how the mountain's height should be calculated.

A 1955 survey conducted by India put the height of the summit at 8,848 metres, and was confirmed by a Chinese survey in 1975.

But in 2005, China remeasured the mountain's height, putting it at 8,844 metres. That calculation was based on the rock height and excluded the 4 metres of snow at the summit, which Nepal insisted should be included to give the height of 8,848 metres.

The dispute was resolved in 2010, with China accepting the official height at 8,848 metres, but Nepal acknowledging the rock height at 8,844 metres, as claimed by China.

The missing three metres in Voigt's attempt suggest he wouldn't be eligible to join the Hall of Fame on Everesting.cc, which stipulates 8,848 metres as the required elevation gain, though the rider himself has been clear throughout that 8,845 metres was his target.

He was raising money for the Tour de Cure charity and set off at noon yesterday, with his ride initially expected to last around about 24 hours including meal breaks and stops to post pictures and video to social media to keep his supporters involved.

To make the required elevation gain, the 45-year old, riding a Trek Cronus CX bike, had to make around 100 ascents of the man-made hill in Berlin's Gruenwald forest. 

Journalist Martin Heller posted a video to Twitter of a 30-strong sounder of wild boar coming close to the road where Voigt was riding.

The police were said to be nervous at the animals' proximity, but the former Trek Factory Racing rider kept pedalling.

Teufelsberg – the name translates into English as 'Devil's Mountain' – is a man-made hill built after World War II using rubble from Berlin. During the Cold War, a US listening post was stationed at its summit.

Voigt has already beaten his initial target of raising €10,000 and has set a new one of €20,000. Donations can be made here.

 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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