Simpson Desert Challenge Coming May 2009


Speaking of endurance events in vast deserts, check out this one, scheduled to take place next May. It’s called the Simpson Desert Challenge, and it’s being billed as “The world’s toughest long-distance team walking event”.

The website doesn’t have a ton of information, although they promise a full website soon. What we do know is that the event will take place from Thursday May 21 to Friday May 29, 2009, with the participants spending six of those days covering an average of 40km per day, as they trek across the Simpson Desert. The race is a supported event, with the organizers transporting camping gear and supplies between the daily checkpoints. The racers will be responsible for carrying their daily food, water, and other gear with them, as they cross more than 100 dunes per day.

The Simpson Desert is a vast, arid landscape covering more than 176,000 square-kilometers in Australia. The region is the home to some of the longest sand dunes anywhere in the world, with some stretching as far as 200km in length and reaching 40 feet in height, presenting an imposing challenge to any who attempt a trek of the region.

Thanks to Louis-Philippe Loncke for sending me the info on this event, which looks like it could shape up to be quite a race. Louis-Philippe has plenty of first hand knowledge of the Simpson having successfully trekked it’s length from North to South earlier this year. Thanks for the tip LouPhi! 🙂

3 thoughts on “Simpson Desert Challenge Coming May 2009”

  1. Info also that came out 2 weeks ago. For the first time ever, the Simpson desert is CLOSED due to high temperatures(mainly the national parks but all (well there are basically 4-5 tracks) main 4WD tracks pass through it).

    It quite hard to think of that one can close an area that size. I mean not closed to walkers (they are no walking tracks) but closed to vehicles !

    Indeed, ant tourist or even experienced 4WDriver must be careful and plan a lot of water and carry any rescue and communication equipment while driving across it. But this year even the rescue is not willing to get you out of there!
    Most of the deserts of the planet are getting warmer, desertification is a reality. Aboriginals were heroes when they survived in there for milleniums, but now, there’s just no water anymore to be found, survival in there without water is a question of a few days in the winter, but in the summer I just don’t wanna know how many hours.

    Anyway, a walk in there, COMPLETELY remote (no tracks to be followed) where basically you might walk on some square miles where no men has been previously is a on thing in your life to do!

  2. Thanks for the first hand account and information, and you’re right. Global Climate Change is causing even more desertification, making these regions grow in size and eat more fertile land. The Sahara is growing at an alarming rate as well.

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