Meet the Team: Team Weekend Warrior

Meet the third team taking part in EIA 2024, Team Weekend Warrior! Training hard for the toughest challenge, we can’t wait to see how they tackle the Alps. Find out a little more about Mark, Brandon and Jonathan below. 

Who are you?

MH: Mark Hancock.

BJ: I’m Brandon Jones, 54 years old. A former finance person, I relocated 3 years ago from NYC to Jackson, WY to spend more time outdoors. I’m married with two kids, aged 22 and 17.

JV: Jonathan Vanica.

Mark & Jonathan

What’s your inspiration for taking on such an epic challenge?

MH: In life, I feel that challenges require one to focus the mind, dedicate and prioritise time and improve one’s inner kindness to one’s self.

BJ: I always need scheduled big challenges to keep me focused on health.

JV: “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organise and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept.” JFK, Sept 12, 1962.


What draws you to Everest in the Alps?

BJ: My good buddy, Mark Hancock, suggested we do it and it seemed right up my alley in terms of a big, fun adventure.


Have you ever done anything like this before?

MH: Nothing over as many days as EIA.

BJ: No. Lots of multi-day bike riding trips and one-day ski tours, but nothing like this.

JV: Most definitely not!

Galena Pass, Idaho

How are you tackling the training?

MH: Build a base, exert patience and ensure adequate preparedness.

BJ: Skiing backcountry here – I hope that is enough!

JV: I’m trying to build up leg strength by touring at least 1,000 metres, 5 times per week. I hope to tour 2,000 meters in 5 hours by mid Feb.

What are you most looking forward to?

MH: The community building, story telling, and getting it done!

JV: The camaraderie of our team, meeting new people, the air and beauty of the high alpine setting.

Does anything scare you about the event?

MH: Over four days – inclement conditions, bad equipment and nutrition.

BJ: Running out of gas on day three or four…

JV: Avalanches, finishing last, or my legs turning to jelly.

Team Weekend Warrior are raising money for The Brain Tumour Charity and The Ripple Fund.

You can support them below:

Phillipa Smith