GENEVA, 10.03.2015: Alpina Watches athlete and Brand Ambassador Patrick Sweeney, a technology entrepreneur turned adventurer, reached Everest Base Camp by mountain bike at 09:45 Nepal time on Monday 24 February, becoming the first person to be verified by the officials at Sagamarth National Park to officially conquer the 18,000' high iconic location by mountain bike, after a treacherous and exhausting six day ride starting from Lukla, Nepal.

The trip, a scouting and reconnaissance expedition for Sweeney's attempt this fall to complete the legendary Sherpa Mail Run by mountain bike from Base Camp to Kathmandu – touted by many as the world's most extreme route. During the February scout Sweeney was surprised to learn that while other athletes had attempted to reach base camp by mountain bike in the past, no one was successful either because of physical issues or permitting issues, making Patrick the first to successfully accomplish the feat.

Sweeney has already spent 14 months training and planning for this milestone Sherpa Mail Run effort. In the fall of 2015 he and six-time world champion Red Bull rider, Rebecca Rusch, will attempt the famed 200-mile long Mail Run non-stop by mountain bike and, if successful, will set three world records in the process. The Sherpa Mail Run is considered by many unobtainable non-stop on a mountain bike because of the deadly combination of treacherous downhill's, harrowing single track and exhausting climbs (over 35,000 feet of climbing along the route). The combination of that unreasonable route and the extensive sleep deprivation are what lead many to call the attempt "suicidal." Sweeney however remains undeterred.

"I want to prove that the Mail Run can be done on a bike. Getting to base camp was just the start, even though it was the most difficult ride I've ever done. However to find out I'm the first official rider to reach this iconic spot is a huge privilege and gift." Commented Sweeney "the Nepali people along the route were very kind and supportive. For many of them it was the first time they had seen a bike. I wish all the order pioneers who tried to blaze this route by bike could share the moment, and I hope this recognition inspires others to plan their own amazing adventures. I'm intimidated and nervous about the mail run attempt, yet confident it can be done."

"I'm fast but he's furious!" Said Tina Maze fellow Alpina athlete and recent winner of four medals at the FIS Alpine skiing world championships "It's great to be part of such a diverse team of athletes at Alpina. We are all committed to raising the bar and inspiring others while never forgetting our roots."

"We are proud to support Patrick Sweeney who is living his passion with perseverance and independent thinking," said Guido Benedini CEO of Alpina, "Alpina's core values were exemplified by Patrick in doing something that many have talked about, but not attained. We're very proud of his monumental accomplishment and are anxious to see his fall attempt at the Sherpa Mail Run."

The Sherpa Mail Run is being developed as a multi-tiered media project that will be broadcast in the US in 4th Quarter 2015.

About the Sherpa Mail Run:

The Sherpa Mail Run has been one of the world's toughest physical challenges since the time of Sir Edmund Hillary in 1953. Without modern communication Sherpas were charged with getting communication back to the Airport at Kathmandu so explorers could keep in touch with their home countries and supporters. It was not long before the Sherpas were competing for the fastest known time (FKT) across the 200-mile long route. The route has over 35,000 feet of climbing and more than 50,000 feet of descent. The scenery is breathtaking but deadly as athletes have to traverse suspension bridges 1,500 feet about raging rivers, and balance tenuously along cliff edges in sub-zero weather. The current FKT was set in 2013 by British Ultra Endurance Runner Lizzy Hawker, part of the North Face Endurance team with a total time of 68 hours.

About Patrick Sweeney:

Was born of first generation Irish immigrant parents in the blue-collar suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. His dad worked three jobs while his mom stayed home with young Patrick and his brother. His parents gave him no advantages - no inherited skills, special training or expensive equipment, but they did give him the gift of confidence. Patrick was taught there were no limitations on what he could accomplish in life. In college, he finally hit on a sport that suited him: rowing. He started rowing his junior year in a Division II club program. Forced to work twice as hard as other crewmembers, he and his under-dog boat mates would end up winning the National Championships. Passing this first trial of body and mind, Patrick wondered if he could more. In a gamble, he decided to chase an Olympic dream that had been burning in his belly. He dedicated the next five years of his life to training and finished second in the US Olympic trials. He was now ranked in the top echelon of global rowers. After his Olympic quest was over, Patrick earned an MBA at a top 10 school and went on to start four companies – the most recent asocial media leader that counts Facebook as one of its clients. Today Patrick is an adventure athlete recording his endeavors in the "Live Big" media series, which he produces himself.

Twitter: @PJSweeney
Instagram: Patrick_Sweeney_Adventures

About Alpina:

Alpina, famous for its red triangle signature, is a fine watch manufacturer based in Geneva, Switzerland. Founded in 1883, Alpina's watchmaking history spans more than 130 years. A true pioneer of the Swiss watchmaking industry, Alpina has been the source of numerous innovations, patents, and calibers. With the birth of its legendary Alpina 4 in 1938, Alpina invented the concept of the sport watch, as we know it today. Faithful to its long tradition of creating mechanical calibers, Alpina manufactures, in its Geneva manufacturing facility, four movements in-house: the Tourbillon, the World Timer, the Automatic Regulator, and the Small-Date Automatic. Alpina's mission is to design and engineer luxury sport watches that operate with the greatest precision and reliability possible in the most demanding sporting environments, like the Alps."