The BASQUE ULTRA TRAIL SERIES circuit is inspired by the deed carried out by the well-known mountaineer, Sheve Peña, in 1953.
It consisted of joining a march on foot and by mountain the three Basque capitals and Navarre. Shebe Peña carried out the walk without stopping between May 25 and 28.
It was called the March of the Four Cathedrals, since the mountaineer, undoubtedly imbued with the religious spirit of the time, listened to mass in the cathedral of each of the cities before going on his way.
Sheve Peña, who was then 45 years old, prepared and organized the march for months, taking care of every detail: crossing and resting points, food, companions, moon phase, etc. Finally, on Monday, May 25, he left the Bilbao Cathedral of Santiago at 00.00 hours.
The destination of his march was Donostia / San Sebastián-Iruña-Pamplona-Vitoria / Gasteiz-Bilbao. After 400 kilometers, 7,400 meters of positive elevation difference and 93 hours and 5 minutes of walking, of which 66h.25 ‘correspond to the time of active march, on Thursday, May 28, the mountaineer returned to the portico of the Bilbao Cathedral.
Many miles away and coinciding with the Gipuzkoan mountaineer in the Himalayas, a British expedition was the first to conquer Everest (8,848 m). On May 29, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first humans to tread the highest summit on the planet.
That coincidence gave rise to the title of the book that was published with the gestation of Sheve Pena, ‘At the same time that Hillary and Tenzing …’. The work, small format but with full details and information on the march, was sold for ten pesetas and the profit obtained from the sale was 5,000 pesetas, which were allocated to the Santa Casa de Beneficencia, nowadays called Residencia Yurreamendi , in Tolosa.