Mt. Everest one rung at a time

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Matthew Coleman-Foster
  • 50th Space Wing Public Affairs

You are climbing to a peak. It is forever away from you, yet still you climb. Oxygen escapes you, as you chase it. Fatigue embraces you, you ignore it.

You are not climbing a mountain, you are climbing a never-ending ladder; your goal being 29,029 feet, the same height as Mt. Everest.

The Schriever Air Force Base fitness center held a Mt. Everest challenge for the entire month of March. Individuals who took on the challenge had to climb the 29, 029 feet on Jacob’s Ladder, a climbing cardio machine, without using the handrails.

Ryan Bosso, 50th Force Support Squadron fitness center recreation aid, was one of only four people able to complete it by months end.

Seth Cannello, Schriever Fitness Center director, also completed the challenge and said he started the challenge for a myriad of reasons.

“First, the Jacobs Ladder is under-utilized, because it’s hard. Second, I had a customer ask me to create an event centered around the Jacobs Ladder a few months ago. Finally, I started doing the Jacobs Ladder and set a goal of 5,280 feet in under an hour,” said Cannello.

Bosso said his reason for taking up the Mt. Everest challenge was because he saw the challenge and had never exercised on a Jacob’s Ladder before, so he wanted to see if he could do it.

“It’s my favorite machine to use; I don’t understand why a lot of people don’t use it, but I love it and I don’t think it is that hard,” said Bosso.

Only 12 individuals were up to the task of climbing to such great heights, with some starting March 1 and others starting a little later in the month.

“I started it the second week. I wanted to try and see if I could get myself to do it,” said Bosso. “The first time I did about 100 feet. It was hard, but I kept going to see if I could do it.”

Because of his perseverance, even though he started late, Bosso finished the challenge within the time constraints. Bosso did his Jacob’s Ladder sessions during his work week, averaging 1,500 to 2,000 feet per session.

“There were some days I did more than that, for instance, the last day I did about 3,300 feet, just to finish it. My goal once I started, was to finish the challenge before the end of the month and I was able to do that,” said Bosso with a huge grin.

Bosso had another goal he wanted to accomplish during the challenge.

“Towards the end, I wanted to see what I could do in an hour; I could never get it to an hour, but my last day I needed that 3,300 feet. It took me about 50 minutes,” said Bosso.

Cannello is currently the only individual to complete the 1-mile challenge in under 60 minutes (56:01) on the Jacob’s Ladder and said he is still waiting to see if anyone else can best him on the ladder.

The Mt. Everest challenge is still open to individuals who feel up to the task.

“This event is a great challenge and I've decided to continue the event throughout the year. Anyone who wants to register can do so at any time. They will have 31 days to complete the event regardless of when they register,” said Canello.

For more information, contact Cannello at 567-6658.