Father, son from Denmark come for hiking challenge
SARANAC LAKE — At 10:10 p.m. on Monday, Askel Bang, with his father Per Bang looking on, rang the Ultra 6er bell six times at Berkeley Green, celebrating the completion of the challenge that brought the duo from Denmark.
This was the father and son’s first trip to the Adirondacks, Askel said. They traveled to New York from their home in Aalberg, Denmark, for the six peaks of the 6er challenge: McKenzie, Haystack, Scarface, Ampersand, St. Regis and Baker. The hike evens out at just over 33 miles and must be hiked in under 24 hours for one to be an Ultra 6er.
“I followed him to the last mountain yesterday evening, eight o’clock in the darkness, in Mount Baker,” Per said.
“He followed his son’s crazy adventure,” Askel said.
Askel said he hiked the six mountains in 13 hours, with transportation time between peaks included. He said he first became interested in hiking during his military service in Denmark — “You know, just walking around with a backpack and challenging yourself.” He’s currently a student studying energy planning.
Askel said he’s climbed mountains in Norway and Sweden, but never any in America, and never in such icy conditions, as a few of the peaks were.
“I’m doing an Ironman in Denmark, but I heard there is one in Lake Placid,” Askel said. He’s considering a return for the July triathlon in the coming years. “There’s just so much to do around here. We’ve only seen a fraction of what the area has to offer.”
“I’m 60 now, and I’m fond of hunting and fishing,” Per said, “especially fishing. I want to come up here and catch the trout, or the salmon maybe, but we did not have the time. Maybe next year in October.”
The Bangs returned to Denmark on Tuesday after their two day-stay in the Adirondacks.
“I like to take up a good challenge,” Askel said, “and the Saranac Ultra 6er seemed like really good one. It was tough, you know?”