"Ascending Everest" in Grand Junction

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Climbing Mount Everest is on a lot of people’s bucket lists.  However, for one local man, he is going to accent to the same distance at the Colorado National Monument in a different way than expected, all to benefit local youth.
Some people drive to the top of the National Monument, while others bike, just to get a view from a thousand feet up.  
Mike Tofel biked his way up Friday, but starting May 3rd at midnight, he is going to try it a few more times.  
“It’s an attempt to ride my bike the west side of the monument from the gate to the visitor center, 28 times to equal the amount of feet from sea level to the top of Mount Everest,” said Tofel. 
The fundraiser is called “Ascending Everest," which benefits at risk youth by allowing them to experience the outdoors.  Tofel is attempting to bike more than 29,000 feet uphill which is the same distance as the peak of the infamous mountain. 
“Most people think ok that’s a little crazy, that’s a little nuts,” said Tofel.
That feeling was shared with Mesa County Partners Joe Funk.  “I said, are you sure?,” said Funk.
Tofel is hoping to get the trip done in 20 hours, but he’s prepared to ride as long as it takes.  “Just have to keep going, don’t have a choice,” said Tofel.
It’s all a numbers game for Tofel.  The 28 trips he is making up the monument, equates to just over 29,000 feet, which may raise around $10,000 to help a countless number of kids through Mesa County Partners.  
“It’s going to benefit us tremendously, and just to have someone so dedicated, to do something something so extreme just to raise awareness for our program, that’s awesome,” said Funk.
What is awesome to Tofel, is not only helping the kids, but also crossing that finish line.
“I’m probably going to be glad to be done, get my butt off the seat, and have a drink and be grateful it’s over,” said Tofel. 
Feel free to cheer him on at the west entrance of the Colorado National Monument starting on May 3rd.  
Tofel would like to thank the sponsors of this event which include, The Christi Reece Group, Guaranteed Rate - Lonnie Knob, Elevation Now Chiropractic, Fidelity National Mortgage, Porter Homes, Ken Christoff Insurance, In Touch Therapeutic Massage, Fidelity National Title, Lannie and Rund General Contracting, Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties, & Bicycle Outfitters.  


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