Wilheminaberg finally vanquished!
25 October 2010
Milan Vader has become the first to complete the famous stair challenge (‘Trappenchallenge’) on one of Europe’s highest stairways in Landgraaf. The stairway, the longest in the Netherlands, was built in 2007 on the slopes of the Wilheminaberg, a giant slag heap left over from the Dutch coalmining industry of the last century. The 248-metre long, 508-step stairway consists of 22 individual flights of steps with intermediate landings. The bottom of the steps is located at 130 metres above sea level and the top at 225 metres, so bridging a height difference of no less than 95 metres.
Several serious attempts have been made to ascend the steps in one go by mountain bike, but hitherto all in vain. Milan Vader, a Dutch mountain bike champion from nearby Sittard is the first to complete the challenge. “My legs were smarting like hell,” he said about reaching the top without stopping. “It was almost as tough as riding a world cup race.”
The video below shows how Milan, with little air in his tyres and after several unsuccessful attempts, managed to mount the 22 flights without even pausing on the intermediate landings! His achievement will be certainly honoured at the DMFF 2020 Award Show on Friday 6 November 2020 in the Royal Theater in Heerlen.