The 8,000 Meter Challenge is Southern California's ultimate dealer hiking challenge, open exclusively to outdoor industry retail staff. Participants climb So Cal's three highest peaks, the "Three Saints," in one day: first hike 9 miles up 10,064' San Antonio (aka "Mt. Baldy"), then they hike 18 miles up 11,502' San Gorgonio, and finish with a 12-mile hike, to 10,804' San Jacinto, for a total of 40 miles and 12,000 feet elevation gain!
Founded by Mark Fulton in 1995, with five original participants, this unique event has grown to several hundred participants. It is a team event, not a race, in which retailers compete for the coveted "Summit Party Trophy;" a vintage ice ax engraved with team member's names, that can be proudly displayed inside the store of the team with the most finishers. In 2007, the event became more than just a Challenge. Under Mark's vision, we partnered with Big City Mountaineers, and asked teams to raise money for this remarkable non-profit. So far, the event has raised over $25,000 for BCM, sending dozens of inner city kids on a wilderness experience for their first time.
The team with the highest average score wins. Team members are divided into rookies or veterans, and earn points for their team by finishing, and can earn bonus points by making the down tram, fundraising, and wearing sponsor's gear. The points are totaled, then divided by the number of participants on each team, for a total average score to determine the winner.