Erskine, Stuart – 2018

Erskine, Stuart – 2018

Stuart Erskine

2018 Achievement Award

Mountaineering – Camrose, AB

Stuart Erskine was an adventurer who took up the challenge of mountaineering after he suffered a running injury. He first embarked on a journey to complete the Seven Summits Challenge, then the Explorers Grand Slam which involved summiting the highest peaks on each of the seven continents and reaching the North and South poles. In a twenty-two-month span from 2013 to 2016, he completed each of the seven summits on his first attempt. On January 10, 2016, Stuart reached the South Pole after skiing 110 km of the last degree of latitude from 89 to 90 degrees in Antarctica.  He is scheduled to ski to the North Pole in April 2019.

Stuart's love for adventure and endurance running sparked after he finished over 20th in a children’s three-kilometer fun run at Crimson Lake, Alberta in 2008. Out of shape but determined, he set a goal to run in a half marathon in Las Vegas only three months away and began to seriously train. This was only the beginning.  Stuart began competing in half and full marathons, then in various world-renowned marathons, such as the Boston Marathon, New York City Marathon and Big Sur Marathon.

Stuart expanded his horizons by participating in ultramarathons, adventure racing, and various running races further than 100 miles. He competed three times in one of the world’s most challenging adventure running races, the Marathon des Sables in southern Morocco.  He endured the Sahara Desert’s 50°C grueling heat and extreme sandstorms as he raced 250 km over seven days. Stuart finished 18th in Canada’s 125km Death Race through the Rocky Mountains and 46th in the Hardrock 100 mile mountain race in Colorado. Stuart’s running career came to an end when he was badly injured, tearing his meniscus.

Stuart grew up in the southern alps of New Zealand, raised on tales of legendary explorer Sir Edmund Hillary. His desire to climb mountains developed after he had moved to Canada and was challenged to conquer the seven summits. In 2014, two years after hearing about the challenge, he took an eight-day mountaineering course on Mount Rainier in Washington, USA. In a twenty-two-month span from 2013 to 2016, he completed each of the seven summits on his first attempt, making Stuart one of only twelve Canadians who completed the Seven Summits.

In July and August of 2016, Stuart made a first attempt to summit K2, the second highest mountain in the world and one of the most dangerous and challenging to climb. His team had reached Camp Three and had climbed over 25,000 feet when a massive avalanche took away their essential equipment and supplies. The group was forced to abandon their summit quest. Due to poor weather and extreme conditions, there were no successful K2 summits in 2016.

“I don’t want to say, I’ve lived an ordinary life.  What I’m learning along this journey is not to be satisfied with something that is ordinary.  I want to continue to push myself to do extraordinary things. You can always do more than you think you can!”

Stuart Erskine

Additional Information & Summits 

Continent: Australia

Mountain: Mt. Kosciusko, Australia

Height: 7,310 ft.

Summit Date: October 21, 2013

Continent: Africa

Mountain: Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

Height: 19,340 ft.

Summit Date: August 29, 2014

Continent: South America

Mountain: Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina

Height: 22,860 ft.

Summit Date:January 23, 2015

Continent: North America

Mountain: Mt. Denali, Alaska

Height: 20,320 ft.

Summit Date: May 31, 2015

Continent: Europe

Mountain: Mt. Elbrus, Russia

Height: 18,513 ft.

Summit Date: August 4, 2015

Continent: Oceania

Mountain: Carstenz Pyramid, Papua New Guinea

Height: 16,023 ft.

Summit Date: November 4, 2015

Continent: Antarctica

Mountain: Mt. Vinson, Antarctica

Height: 16,067 ft.

Summit Date: January 17, 2016

Continent: Asia

Mountain: Mt. Everest, Nepal

Height: 29,035 ft.

Summit Date: May 19, 2016

High Altitude Mountain Ultra-Marathons:

Place: Grande Cache, AB

Race: The Canadian Death Race

Distance: 125 km

Time: 18 hours

Place: Colorado

Race: The Leadville 100 Mile Race

Distance: 165 km / 100 mile

Time: 29 hours

Place: Colorado

Race: The Hardrock 100 Mile Race

Distance: 167 km / 100 mile

Time: 38 hours

Place: France, Italy & Switzerland

Race: Ultra Trail Monte Blanc

Distance: 169 km / 104 miles

Time: 41 hours