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Often I have things to share (books, recipes, news articles, resources).  This blog will  be a repository of those things, so I can direct friends, family and colleagues here!  If you “stumbled upon” my blog – welcome!  Check out my categories and see if you find something of interest.

Indoor Mountain Climbing

A friend recently told me about a workplace challenge – to climb Mt. Everest!!  Really?!?  She works in a hospital setting in rural Wisconsin!  Just how could this challenge be undertaken from behind her desk you might wonder?  (Ok – one day she did it outdoors at the Westby WI ski jump hill: the hill is currehttp://farm4.staticflickr.com/3611/4004446120_98e1ce23be_s.jpgntly the seventh largest in North America with the current official record of 130.0 meters achieved by Fredrik Bjerkeengen of Norway on February 10, 2008.

How will my friend climb 29,029 feet to the summit of Everest?
ONE flight of stairs at a time!

I am not sure  if they calculated the actual height of a flight of stairs in her facility, but by Googling I found the precise page in the book “Building Type Basics for Office Buildings” (all without taking a single step mind you) and learned that the standard height is 9 feet.  She said she would be climbing the stairs 28 times over 40 days.  My math only gets her to 10,080 feet (28 flights times 9 feet times 40 days = 10,080)  Or if I do the reverse and divide 29,029 by 9 I get 3,225 sets of stairs and to accomplish that in 40 days would be over 80 sets a day - or if only doing 28 sets a day it would take 115 days.

So I Google again and learn from Wikipedia that…  “reasonable base elevations for Everest range from 4,200 m (13,800 ft) on the south side to 5,200 m (17,100 ft) on the Tibetan Plateau, yielding a height above base in the range of 3,650 to 4,650 m (11,980 to 15,260 ft)”  So maybe the math works… especially if their flights are 10+ feet.

Ok – so I’m a math geek, but I’m even more intrigued by the idea of setting a goal and a rule about how many sets of stairs to do each day.

So here is my Indoor Mountain CLIMBING challenge.

I work in a building on the UW Madison campus – the School of Human Ecology at 1300 Linden Drive. You can take a virtual tour if you aren’t local!  The building has lovely stairwells with welcoming views each time you make a flight – and there are four sets of stairwells to choose from!  Check out my about me photo for the stairwell window view – or this view looking out the window as I left one night.

Today I learned that floor to floor the climb is 14 feet.  Having spent about 1/2 my life in Colorado – I immediately thought of all the 14ers and the one I looked at daily – Pikes Peak!

14,115 feet. 

I can do this climb in just a little over 1000 flights, (14 times 1000 = 14,000) or 15  flights if I climb every work day beginning in February through the end of the semester – taking one week off for Spring Break of course!  That’s climbing for 65 days.  So no more pedometer – just one climb when I come in and 4 more trips after that as there are three flights of stairs…  Again with the math 3 flights times 5 trips = 15 times up 14 feet for ~ 210 feet per day times 65 days.  (It is a little short, but I walk up hill to get to work!)

I am sure some people would like to climb something a little less ambitious – so I have four offerings – the last being the highest point in the state of Wisconsin.

Mountain Feet Flights in SoHE (at 14 feet per flight)
Pikes Peak 14,115 1008.2
Mount Olympus 7,980 570.0
Mount Marcy 5,343 381.6
Sugarbush Hill 1,939 138.5

From my friends at wikipedia -

  • Pikes Peak is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains within Pike National Forest, 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, CO.
  • Mount Olympus is the tallest and most prominent mountain in the Olympic Mountains of western Washington state.
  • Mount Marcy is the highest point in New York State with an elevation of 5,343 feet.
  • Sugar Bush Hill, just off State Highway 32 and US Highway 8 between Laona and Crandon, has an elevation of 1,939 feet.

And for tracking purposes – a customized spread sheet for the SoHE Mountain Challenge  Join me won’t you?

School of Human Ecology building                                     Photo by John Loeffelholz

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