When Ski the Whites’ Last Skier Standing event began in 2020, Rick Chalmers, of Portland, Maine, finished first with a remarkable 34 consecutive hours hiking and skiing. That’s 34 laps up and down Jackson, N.H.’s Black Mountain, which boasts a summit elevation of 2,350 feet and a vertical drop of 1,100.
Thirty-four-year-old Brody Leven, from Salt Lake City, Utah, took the top prize in the 2022 Last Skier Standing by skinning and skiing for a jaw-dropping 65 consecutive hours.
That was one hour — or one lap — better than the second-place finisher, Ben Eck, of Somerville, Mass.
During the event, each skier has one hour to ascend and descend the 1,000 vertical feet to and from the summit. At the beginning of the following hour, the skiers line up before starting their next lap together. Only one lap is allowed per skier per hour, and the lap must be finished within that same timeframe.
The process repeats until, of course, only one skier is remaining.
Leven was able to outlast the 29-year-old Eck, last year’s winner with 61 laps. In all, 96 skiers from across the nation took part in this year’s event. The youngest participant was only 13 years old (Dominic Smith, Portsmouth, N.H.); the oldest, 62 (John Litherland, Newport, R.I.)
Leven, a professional skier, describes himself as an “adventure skier and storyteller” on his personal website (www.brodyleven.com). He has made first ski descents on six continents, has been featured on the cover of Powder Magazine three times, in award-winning adventure films, and as an Outdoor Industry 30 Under 30.
“It’s just a proof of concept that once you have this barrier broken down, people just push beyond it,” Ski the Whites’ Andrew Drummond told New England Ski Journal recently while previewing this year’s event. “It opens up the doors for them to realize what’s possible.”
The top female finisher this year was Meri Harrington, of Cambridge, Mass., who finished 27 laps.
Check out New England Ski Journal TV’s feature on Black Mountain and Ski the Whites: