On Saturday December 29th 2018, Crotched Mountain in New Hampshire became the target for setting a new record. The resort’s infamous Crotched Rocket lift would spin from 9am-3am into Sunday morning. Both Zac Mercauto and Sean Bagdon decided it would be a good chance to attempt to break the current record for the most runs in a 24-hour period. The current record they were trying to beat was held by Scott Howard who recorded a mind blowing 143 runs during Crotched Mountain’s “Vertical Extravaganza” in February of 2018.
Zac and Sean skied the mountain one night prior to the challenge in hopes to get a feel for the terrain. That night, the weather wasn’t what either could have hoped for as it was raining throughout their few hours on the hill. The morning of the 29th arrived and clouds broke open to reveal a beautiful sunny day. With the assistance of Peak Resorts and SeasonPassSales.com the two were able to access first chair at 9am and ski all the way through 3am Sunday. Reaching their goal before the lifts closed was totally up to them and how well their bodies could handle this tedious mental and physical feat.
Mercauto finished with 126 runs and stating “The vertical challenge was amazing even if the goal of 150 runs that was set was not reached! I skied 56 runs on the night of Friday the 28th from 5PM to 10PM. After that night my partner Sean and myself woke up and continued our assault of Crotched on Saturday the 29th..... We reached 126 runs together that day by 10:30PM (a total of 182 in 29.5 hours). Sean continued after I got extremely tired since I skied 11 days in a row prior to the vertical challenge on Saturday. What was learned is that even if you do not reach your goals you still have a lot to be proud of regardless of what happens. When I felt tired and felt that I could not keep going I decided to play it safe as the Skiers Code of Conduct states. I want to thank Brian Smuda for being our liaison for this whole project, Greg Fisher of Peaks Resorts who set us up with passes for the whole event, lift attendants and anyone else who may have been involved in this event. A special thanks to my mother (Ann Pinkham) for sticking it out and waiting for Sean and myself to finish!”
Bagdon surpassed the existing record and finished with 145 runs. He was quoted “I trained for this event by skiing at Burke Mountain for several long endurance days as well as doing more than normal leg and core days at the gym. Another thing I had going for me was I have completed and trained for many different endurance events such as long distance hikes, century bike rides and more…During the event we pushed each other to make racking up the runs more exciting. We would do this by letting one another get ahead by a good amount so that it would push the other to try to catch up. This worked well for the first 115 runs or so and then we hit a psychological wall due to us feeling like we needed to beat one another which lead to a few runs where we got mad at each other on the chair lift. A few runs after this my partner. Mercauto decided to stop on his own for safety over the competition. After this he told me I could continue on to achieve the record which helped me fight the mental battle that was the last 18 runs. I dedicated my last few runs to skiing for Zac so that I did not let him down and move on to finish what we started some 15 hours earlier”
A HUGE congratulations to both of the fellas keep such a dedication to skiing while continuing their studies in college!