Dream Trip: Ski Two Million Vertical Feet in a Year

Ultimate Adventure Bucket List: Ski mountaineer Greg Hill skied two million vertical feet in one year around the globe. Learn about this trip and Greg's top gear pick.

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Ski mountaineer Greg Hill and his climbing partner are seen deep in the Selkirks, British Columbia, with Mount Adamant in the background. They completed the first ski descent of the peak.

On December 30, 2010, ski mountaineer Greg Hill skinned up Rogers Pass in the Bonney Moraines near his home in Revelstoke, British Columbia, familiar terrain he’d been climbing and skiing his entire career. But this time was different. His wife, friends, and even his mother were waiting at the top with a bottle of champagne. Hill was about to complete a quest to ski two million vertical feet in one year, an endeavor that had taken him up (and down) 71 different mountains in North and South America. “It was the most incredible adventure that I have ever been on,” says Hill. “I skied from summits into hot springs in remote valleys and spent days alone searching for my personal limits.”

Hill’s journey was completely human-powered. Whether navigating a smoking volcano or a 16,000-foot peak, he used skins on the bottom of his skis for traction, and when it got too steep, strapped them to his 40-pound backpack and boot-packed his way up. His feat has been equated to running 250 marathons in one year—in avalanche country. Despite the grueling personal challenges Hill experienced, he says his family’s involvement is what made the undertaking so impactful. As part of the adventure, he relocated his young family to Chile for four months. “I got to watch my three- and four-year-old experience a completely different culture,” he says. “It was a cultural, physical, and emotional journey.”

Greg Hill
Ski Mountaineer
In the 2004-2005 ski season, ski mountaineer Greg Hill skied a million vertical feet in one season, completely human-powered. Using skins for traction, or strapping his skis to his backpack and boot-packing up the steeps, he didn’t ride a single lift, gondola, snowcat, or helicopter. Five years later, Hill doubled his own record, skiing two million vert in one year. In doing so, he climbed 71 mountains in four countries, averaging 5,500 feet a day.
Greg Hill's Gear Pick: Arc'teryx Jacket
“On any adventure the weather can change drastically, so to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws at me I always carry an Arc’teryx Gore-Tex Stingray jacket. It’s my go-to safe and comfy place when the world around me isn’t. And technology in the Salomon Rocker 2 skis has made all powder skiing more fun and fluid.”

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