After scrutiny by the Hells 500 group, which maintains and ratifies Everesting record attempts, Lachlan Morton’s attempt on Saturday, June 13 has been disallowed, which means that Utah’s Keegan Swenson’s record of 7:40 still stands.
The segment that Morton used was determined to actually have 10 meters less elevation gain than originally indicated on Strava. This means that Morton’s 42-lap attempt ended up more than 400 meters short. Morton’s Garmin 1030 head unit only recorded a total elevation gain of 8509 meters, 349 short of the total climb, prompting the deeper dive into the data.
Strava segments originally created by older GPS devices without barometric pressure could often report inaccurate elevation gain data, due to system limitations in early consumer GPS devices.
Going forward, Hells 500 has indicated that they will need pre-approve all segments before Everesting record attempts. In a Facebook post, Hells 500 group founder Andy van Bergen states, “Rather than retroactively applying additional rigor to our approval methodology after a new record is claimed, we feel that a fairer method is to pre-approve segments for record attempts. As mapping data varies in accuracy from country to country (and indeed the exact height of Everest itself is still a matter of some debate!) we will – to the best of our ability with the resources to hand – agree on a set elevation gain prior to an attempt.”
In a response on Instagram, Morton says, “Well looks like I gotta do it again.”