Endurance runner Piotr Babis climbs Cradle Mountain 10 times in a row

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Endurance athlete Piotr Babis has conquered Cradle Mountain to recreate the elevation of Everest. Picture: Supplied/ Piotr Babis
CHALLENGE ACCEPTED: Endurance athlete Piotr Babis has conquered Cradle Mountain to recreate the elevation of Everest. Picture: Supplied/ Piotr Babis

Endurance runner Piotr Babis is no stranger to gruelling physical challenges.

It was only late last year when he smashed the 480km Tasmanian Trail run by almost 12 hours, completing the run in 3 days, 23 hours and 27 minutes.

But tackling Cradle Mountain - 10 times in a row - was a whole other challenge, Mr Babis said.

"I didn't expect it to be that challenging," he said. "It was the worst conditions I've seen on the mountain."

"I wanted to end the season with a big challenge and adventure... but I had to post-pone three times because the weather was so bad."

NO FEAR: Piotr Babis has demonstrated once again what his body is capable of. Picture: Supplied/ Piotr Babis

NO FEAR: Piotr Babis has demonstrated once again what his body is capable of. Picture: Supplied/ Piotr Babis

The challenge itself, to run up the mountain enough times to match the elevation of Mount Everest, was an idea that came to him on a relatively standard run on Cradle, as Mr Babis ran from the lake to the summit as quickly as he could.

"I looked at my watch, and the elevation was 884.9 meters. If you multiply it by ten, that's the height of Mount Everest," Mr Babis said.

He considered recreating those conditions on Kunanyi/ Mt Wellington in Hobart, where many of his friends are based, but he knew it had to be Cradle.

"I lived at Cradle Mountain, worked at the hotel, for a year and a half. I'm familiar with, and deeply attached to, those trails," Mr Babis said.

"That mountain is special."

So, he set out to conquer it - facing 45 kilometre winds covering his tracks, near zero visibility and waist-deep snow.

"It's very empowering to complete those kinds of challenges, especially as I wasn't sure if I could do it or not," he said.

"I started just after sunrise and the first lap put me in doubt a lot... but I decided to keep going.

"I just find that it's really important in my life to have something exciting, something challenging, that I have to train and plan ahead for. I got a lot of messages of support, and after as well.

"The trail community is really close, so we motivate each other."

Mr Babis is already considering his next projects, although he'll keep them on a smaller scale - he's not headed to Everest just yet.

"I went for a run the next day," he said. "Of course it was tiring, so I didn't feel 100 per cent... but my muscles were not a problem, the main problem was sleep deprivation (as I) skipped about a whole night of sleep.

"There are so many trails around Tasmania I haven't been to. I'm not worried about running out of ideas."

This story Meet the man that just conquered Cradle Mountain - 10 times in a row first appeared on The Advocate.