Video: One Million Down

Oct 16, 2013
by Anthill Films  
 
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Mountain bikers seem to have an unwavering desire to challenge how far they can push their limits. For some it means jumping farther. For others it means riding a line that terrifies them. For Whistler legend Adam Billinghurst, it meant attempting to ride way more than he ever had in a single season.

The mission: to descend one million vertical feet as quickly as humanly possible in one bike park season. Armed with a GPS to track the ride, Adam started racking up the laps, and filmed every single run on his Sony Action Cam. By the numbers, completing a million vertical foot descent is equivalent to walking down the Empire State building 750 times, or down Mt. Everest 48 times. A mountain high enough to complete the descent in one run would rise past the atmosphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, and past the Aurora Borealis – all the way up to the orbit of the International Space Station.

Adam Billinghurst s Dream Capture One Million Down

Riding all day, every day may sound like a dream... but sometimes you need to be careful what you wish for. Anyone who’s ridden in a bike park knows the opportunity for disaster drastically increases with your lap count. Adam's mission wasn’t complete without hitting the deck hard a few times. Fortunately, none of those crashes prevented him from reaching his goal. In the end, Adam’s Dream Capture took 57 days. He rode 565 lower mountain laps, 169 from the Garbanzo chair, 2 from the round house and 1 from top of the peak.

One Million Down

bigquotesI was able to drop in to Adam's final day of riding and I couldn't believe what he had already been through to get there. Riding 1 million vertical feet is one thing, but to do it in 57 days requires a full time commitment and takes a huge physical toll on you. It's a very impressive accomplishment, one that I have no interest in trying to match. - Thomas Vanderham

One Million Down

bigquotesAdam is the king park rat! If anyone could commit to 1,000,000 feet of big riding, it's the berminator. Now he looks like Popeye. - Kenny Smith

One Million Down

bigquotes3 years worth of riding in less than two months.... mind blowing. Adam is a beast! - Ian Morrison

One Million Down

bigquotesI turned what I love to do most into something I had to do. It became the best first world problem I've ever had. I had to ride my downhill bike too much. Sometimes it wasn't as fun as I wanted it to be, most of the time it was. Even after 15 years of riding here like a fiend, every October I felt like I didn't ride the park enough that season. This is the year though. I rode enough. I say that now, knowing I'll be dying for an A-Line hot lap as soon as it closes for the season. Thanks to everybody that helped me accomplish this goal and good luck to anybody else who wants to go for it. - Adam Billinghurst

One Million Down

Subscribe to Sony's Action Cam YouTube channel to see more Dream Capture short films.

#dreamcapture
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160 Comments

  • + 112
 it would take you 54 years to find that much descending in Australia. Very decent effort and well edited
  • + 40
 Yeah, and it would take 54 billions of years to that much descending in DenmarkFrown Wish i lived in BC
  • - 22
flag LiamRenaut (Oct 16, 2013 at 3:15) (Below Threshold)
 Incorrect statement is incorrect.
  • + 21
 Denmark is one of the flattest countries in the world, and we have no lifts at all. So it would take 54 billion years Wink
  • + 2
 Yeah, and it would take 54 billions of years to find that much descending in DenmarkFrown Wish i lived in BC
  • + 40
 Don't get me started about Holland..
  • + 12
 Quit wishing and make it happen! I moved to Summit County just so I could wear goggles year round...
  • - 1
 Hideous video quality, but good angles
"boner cam" lol
  • + 15
 I´ts a little difficult to move when your only 14.
  • + 3
 And only 345 years in San Diego!
  • + 3
 Denmark has wicked XC in Silkeborg though!
  • + 6
 Come to México, four high altitude volcanos around Mexico City with over 15,000 ft over the sea level so good 6,000 ft rideable single track every time down.

All year round!!!

Cheers,
  • + 37
 Noinpo, start planning now. When I was 14 I was reading about whistler in bike mags (No Internet or videos yet), drooling over $5000 bikes I could "never" afford, and riding shitty logging roads and 4x4 trails in rural Australia. In my early 20's I rode whistler for the first time, a few years later I moved to BC, and now I live in Squamish. If its the life you want, you can make it happen!! Go for it!!
  • + 11
 listen to him dude, i dreamt about living in whistler for a long time, and now i do! Make it happen!
  • + 4
 I hate the term 'YOLO' but it's true, you only live once an you should go for it if it's feels right! I'm getting out too, to Whistler! or something near.
  • - 1
 yah I wish I didnt have a normal job and could just go and ride every day all day
  • + 7
 I have a full time job just like everyone else. i pay rent and bills. im a normal person that chooses to live in whistler so i can ride.
  • + 6
 But how do you get a visa and a job to just 'do it'!? Please do tell, ad I'll be on the first plane out!
  • + 7
 ^somebody answer this guy
  • + 1
 On 'The internet' there's a lot useful information, also about immigration to Canada
  • + 3
 I can ride down 1000000 milimeters in my flat country Big Grin
  • + 10
 Philip92 is on to something. If you are still in your teen years I would advise 1) start saving 2) Finish your education 3) keep riding 4) survive the next few more years. After this or if you are of age already, visit the Canadian immigration website and follow the links to working holiday or temporary visitors visas and check your eligibility. You could try to line up a job before you come, or if you have a little savings cushion (highly recommended) you could pay for the visa and a ticket and then look for work when you arrive, while riding the sweet, sweet trails. I remember my first overseas trip, it seemed like such a massive deal when I was young, but isn't really. I have sacrificed friends and families weddings, funerals, babies, and general good times to live on the other side of the world, but the lifestyle is what makes me happy. If it's what you want, you will find a way, it's easier than you think.
  • - 8
flag LiamRenaut (Oct 16, 2013 at 17:51) (Below Threshold)
 If you did exactly what he did at Thredbo in Australia, it would take you less days, so incorrect fucking statement is god damn fucking incorrect.
  • + 1
 Noinpo and clarky78, get a good education, good enough that countrys want you emigrate and you can move anywhere! I am setteling in BC rigth now (hopefully) and I should have done it 10 years ago...
  • + 1
 so liam you're saying you can go do 17,543 vert per day in Thredbo Straya, there's already 1100 feet less vertical than a garbonzo lap you're gunna be doing a lot of extra runs there little fella. Good luck
  • + 1
 Adam did an average of 9.9 runs per day, it takes 10 runs a day to achieve 1m in 54 days at Thredbo.
  • + 0
 A MILLION DOWN I RODE A BILLION DOWN!
  • + 4
 if you are so sure about it "lame-renault", why don't you pick up the gauntlet and show everyone what an easy task mr billinghurst has just acheived, that way you can stop posting your whiny jealousy fueled comments, and just get out the house and ride
  • + 81
 Awesomeness. So now Adam needs to auction off that bike for charity or something. That's a lot of miles on that bike. It should go to a museum or something. Maybe Trek wants it in their headquarters on display. I'd be interested in a follow-up article on his maintenance schedule and parts replaced, etc. Interested to see how he prepped his ride, what was rebuilt and how often, what failed, what never broke or needed attention....stuff like that. Tell us Adam! Inquiring minds need to know!
  • + 12
 yes this has been one the most aggressive durability test ever. I would love to know what had to repaired.
  • + 8
 Yeah I was wondering the same. To ride every day means those mechanics must have been working hard many nights. How many fork rebuilds for example?
  • + 6
 look at the end of the movie.....there are the stats
  • + 13
 Well, it mentions his new set of tires each week, and 4 suspension rebuilds, but I want more details. You telling me that after almost 1900 miles (1,000,000 feet) nothing else broke or had to be replaced? No cracked crank arms, bearing replacements in the pedals, broken seat rails....etc.? I want to know it all! Give us an in-depth review, Adam!
  • + 4
 I'd like to know this and also how he funded it!? I mean, not working for 2 straight months, paying lift pass, paying for massages (must have had loads), paying for parts, must have cost a small fortune!
  • + 2
 he works for sram.
  • + 9
 Season's pass + sponsored = very easily doable.
  • + 1
 @clemson, thanks, I had missed that. 1 pair of tires a week!
  • + 1
 Glad to see his Easton havoc dh wheels kept on going, means im never going to break mine ! Big Grin
  • + 8
 next day on Ebay: Lightly used Trek session, mint conditions... hahhaha
  • + 1
 by the numbers: how many spokes, chains, brake pads, and minions he went through...
  • + 20
 2013 Trek Session for sale! Like new! barley ridden! Contact Adam Billinghurst Smile
  • + 20
 If you think this is good you should check out Mark Weir who climbed the same distance! www.nsmb.com/2156-mark-weir
  • + 1
 Thank you for that article, great find.
  • + 10
 Holy crap! A million UP? man, that's impressive!! a million down does sound like more fun, but that wasn't the point for Mark.. he's not one to take the easy way out. His pain cave is deep, cavernous and well furnished. He seems to enjoy his time there.
  • - 1
 Greg Hill ski toured and skied 2,000,000 vertical feet. The vid was great, and so were the photos, but this is something any solid rider could do if they have the time and desire to. Big props to Adam for doing it though.
  • - 9
flag patrickdemo9 (Oct 16, 2013 at 12:26) (Below Threshold)
 I got 3 million verts this season at Whis.....jus sayin.
  • + 5
 I wish my pain cave was well furnished Smile haha
  • + 11
 only a pro rider has time to ride at 57 days!
  • + 2
 I did 57 days exactly, And I was out 2 months of the season with injuries.
  • + 2
 and I guess you had no job/lost job as a result of 4 months off/won the lottery? (delete as appropriate)
  • + 6
 Haha, no I had a full time job, just very flexible hours. Why live in Whistler for a year if you cant ride as much as humanly possible?
  • + 1
 @AdReNaLySmUs Not really I got in 79 and i missed 42 with injury I work full time too. I have friends with way more days would be cool to see how much they descended. If you work an evening job its easy to rack up the days and laps.
  • + 1
 I spent the last three months riding whistler with no job. Not that expensive if your sensible with money. Got 70 days and 458 fitz laps since end of July.
  • + 10
 Adam Billinghurst is the coolest guy to walk the face of the Earth. FACT.
  • + 8
 Nice video! Cool editing. Hhaha, at 4.25, he walks in with a boner cam.
  • + 3
 The thought makes my bones hurt but lots of smiles. Well after that many rides in a season, how much better of a rider do you think you've become? Never say "last run," that's when all the forces of evil come down on you like a hammer (claw side down).
  • + 2
 Even if we all got paid to perform such a feat, I bet only a few could actually accomplish this. Much Respect for where you're at. Well done Adam!

I'd be curious to get the count of all the broken, used, or thrashed pieces over the 57 days. I saw a pile of tires, be curious about brake pads, tubes, etc.....I'm sure the cost alone to replace all that would have most of us in the poor house, if not the "dog" house....hehehe.
  • + 1
 I spend 7.5 hours on the shitter per month so, does that make me a legend? Ok, in all seriousness, I really dig that Adam loves riding his bike and that he has accumulated so many frequent flyer "feet"! Hats off to Adam and me too!
  • + 2
 That was a fun and intense recap of an epic feat! Based on the footage, it doesn't look like Adam was riding timidly - very impressive to put that much riding in without catastrophic results. Congrats!!
  • + 1
 pinkbike, can we please have a Q+A session with Adam B. would be great to find out how he felt in those 2 months, how he motivated himself on crap days, what mechanical help he had, what new tricks/skills he learnt, how many new lines he decided to take even if they were shit, just to get out of the monotony of riding the same stuff, did he ride every possible trail in whistler park, what was his fave trail, what was the first and last trail? what was the maddest moment on the hill
  • + 2
 Nothing more inspiring than to see someone accomplish the goals they set for themselves. Congrats Adam. Have to disagree though, I highly doubt your 'finished'. On to the next challenge!
  • + 1
 Nice, however, in all reality this is quite easy to accomplish as 708,660+ vertical feet can be accomplish very conservatively in only thirty days on this little play ground call the Alpes. If one is fairly motivated, you could exploded the 1 million mark in nearly no time at all.
  • + 1
 i need to do something like this if only i had a camera like that i already got the TREK bike. maybe santa claus will bring me one and then my story and video will VOD on PINK BIKE and then i will be even more famous than i am right now and you the public will add it to your favorites . you all have a nice day now peace and love.
  • + 2
 Last year I climbed 550,000 ft, so I must have descended the same. However, that was over an entire year and I ride almost every day year round. 1,000,000 ft in under two months is mighty impressive! Nice video.
  • + 1
 A few weeks back, Thomas Frishknecht and Fabian Giger descended over 45000 ft. in one day ( Switzerland). Not one mention on pinkbike. They beat the unofficial record by almost 15k.
  • + 1
 Thats equivalent to just under 12 laps at Kickinghorse, that doesnt seem that impressive. I didnt know I was personally holding the unofficial previous record by getting 8 laps in...
  • + 1
 Adam also had days over that amount.
  • + 1
 just watching vids of whistler bike park makes me want to go back again, let alone someone doing something as epic as this. whistler rocks, you couldnt pick a better place to do 57 straight days of riding
  • + 3
 Imagine riding that much of whistler, that you get bored of it. like is that such a thing ?
  • + 1
 nooooooope. chuck testa.
  • + 1
 Was thinking the same.. You MUST get bored eventually. I get bored of riding the same trails, even if it's, same thing.. Repetition is boring, even in the thing you love.
  • + 3
 He could of done it Chainless LOL
  • + 4
 He only ride park.
  • + 2
 Is it me or did the Sony action cam capture depth/perspective much better than Gopro??? Is it me or do you agree?
  • + 1
 So jealous of these guys... Riding their bikes for 57 straight days in one of the best bike parks in the world. This is my dream!
  • + 2
 Liked the video......though it didn't make me want to run out and buy the Sony it was shot with.
  • + 1
 Cool Video!!

By the way, I want to buy action camera for MTB.
Which camera is better, Gopro HERO3+ Black Edition or Sony HDR-AS30V?
This is huge question for me...
  • + 3
 You would get your lines so dialed!
  • - 1
 So just throwing it out there, Greg Hill put in 2 million vertical feet in one year on skis, WITH HIS FEET!!!! Twice this without any mechanized assistance, all touring. That is 5,500 vert a day for an entire year without lifts. Pedal up a million vert and I'll take bigger notice.
  • + 0
 Couldn't agree more. It's hard but....
  • - 3
 Hard to compare skiing and mountain biking in this regard. With the skiing it's easier in both regards, up and down. The hard part in sling is the climb. The run down is easy physically. With biking the run down kills you too. The climb I think would easier on skis too. As you can't ride a bike up the same terrain as you could climb with skis.
  • + 10
 Haven't you heard of Mark Weir? He climbed 1000000ft in 11 months (in 2010 or something) on a VP Free.
  • - 3
 I realize you can climb alot on a bike. But I'm talking in terms of doing something like this, where you are climbing in order to get to the gnarly descents. You can't pedal to the top of many of these type of runs like you could if you were hiking or skiing.
  • + 8
 how is it possibly easier to skin up a mountain on skis than ride a chairlift with a bike?
  • + 3
 Training to endure climbing is much different then what Adam has done. Riding park is very abusive, this is a much different accomplishment then these other feats of human shreddding-dom. There is a reason why is hasn't been done yet.. try it, don't hate or try to minimize this accomplishment as its a 'first'. This video gets me stoked to get out and RIDE.
  • + 3
 I'm sure Adam now thinks less of his accomplishment thanks to you pointing that out.
  • - 1
 It's not about hating or bringing down what this guys done. I think it's more down to the fact that if a privateer had done it with no backing and a job, it might be slightly more impressive.
  • - 1
 Yeah, I find this pretty underwhelming. Wow, someone gave you a bike, some tires, a video camera, and you did 2 billion a-line laps... I'd be more impressed if that time off with no work was used to tame some big descents. Chilcotins, Selkirks, Yukon, etc...
  • + 1
 I did 43 days straight in the whistler bike park riding from opening to close with a sweeper run most evenings. It was fun but hard on the body.
  • + 1
 Great video, encapsulated whistler perfectly! I'll be watching this video come next spring to get my hyped and ready to ride the park again.
  • + 1
 Nice. Congrats on completing your dream.

Whats the cost of doing this to a meer mortal like us. Season pass. Parts ect how many tires,pads etc did you get through?
  • + 2
 This looks like a lot of fun, but also very exhausting. Next year measuring with the metric system?
  • + 1
 Very impressive. Almost as impressive as Mark Weir doing 1,000,000 ft in 2005 (in the other direction)
  • + 2
 I have the new Sony Action Cam and it is beautiful !!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Shit yeah Adam! rode garbo up with him while I was visiting from Utah. He was a way rad dude. Congrats man!
  • + 1
 I'd like to strap one of these things to Gee or Stevie and see what kind of numbers pop out.
  • + 1
 what does "suspension rebuild" mean? changing bushes/axles/bearings or just reassembling for lubricating and cleaning?
  • + 1
 Could be any of that plus shock rebuilds
  • + 3
 i would say stripping/cleaning/new oil etc. Probably not new bushings/seals every time
  • + 2
 Mark Weir once climbed over 1,000,000 vertical feet in a year !!
  • + 21
 Me too... I live on the 8th floor and the lift is always broken or smells of piss.
  • + 3
 Damn he's a beast!
  • + 1
 Sweepstakes on how many punctures anyone? (Before you watch)
I go for.....

12
  • + 1
 57 days of riding? I'd say more than 12...my guess is around 23.
  • - 2
 At the end of the video it says he got 7 flats, pretty good for 57 days straight riding
  • + 9
 Jaaaaames you plonker, why do you think i said (before you watch)!!!!!
  • + 2
 Oh god haha my bad
  • + 2
 A set of tires every week?! dang...
  • + 1
 I really hope that Whistler gave him a deal on lift tickets...It would be very expensive if they didn't!
  • + 3
 Yup, it's called a season pass. =)
  • + 4
 Oh...:P I just made myself look like an idiot
  • + 1
 Where did my comments go? I even said that this was nice.
  • + 1
 In one run I can do 6,561.6798ft. of down-hilling, and that adds up fast.
  • + 1
 That was rad, nice work .
  • + 1
 screw vertical feet, i wanna know how many times that boxxer was serviced
  • + 1
 Awesome job man !!! Definitely in my bucket list !!!
  • + 1
 I can't even imagine how his hands felt after completing this!! OUCH
  • + 1
 56 straight days in Whistler would eat your bike and shit it out as dust
  • + 1
 That one way to get the most out of your season pass
  • + 1
 By far the best Whistler park video I've seen. You Sir are a legend!!!!!
  • + 1
 Big goal congrats, but I I bought the bike for pleasure
  • + 1
 billinghurst you animal congrats
  • + 1
 At least know we know a carbon session will last 1,000,000 vertical feet!
  • + 1
 To set the record straight?
  • + 1
 Congrats Adam!!! Nice vid too.
  • + 1
 I think we can all learn something from that.... Don't buy his bike!!!!
  • + 0
 Probably the only person to EVER say this but... I would get bored of whistler! :/
  • + 1
 how did his hands not explode
  • + 1
 3048 km for normal person ... I kindin'
  • + 1
 Hero! I'd have watched an edit twice as long as that!
  • + 1
 Legend!!!!!!
  • + 1
 Respect bro
  • + 1
 incredible.
  • + 1
 Sony GoPro
  • + 2
 Is it me or did the sony cam capture depth way better
  • + 1
 LENCO!!!
  • + 1
 how do u afford that?
  • + 1
 Thats a lot of riding...
  • + 0
 how many frames did he use to do this ?
  • - 3
 I don't understand why this took so long to do, this is less than 300 laps in the bike park. Hell, i've done 1,000,000 down 3 years in a row lol.
  • - 1
 lol i dodn't know bears are so common in whistler Big Grin
  • + 2
 Now you do. Cheers!
  • + 5
 They feed off the slowest riders
  • - 3
 the yolo is strong in this one
  • - 6
flag adamlaycock (Oct 16, 2013 at 0:05) (Below Threshold)
 He yolo'd that one well
  • + 3
 aaaand this is why your thread is in the "below threshold" section...
  • + 3
 8====D - - - - (-_-) -- this is you kdstones
Below threshold threads are hidden

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