American explorer Todd Carmichael is set to return to Death Valley tomorrow, as he sets off on his second attempt to become the first person to make a solo, unsupported crossing of that desert. Many of you will recall that Todd attempted a similar crossing last year, only to be stopped by terrain that was impassable at times. In his latest dispatch however, he vows to cross Death Valley on his hands and knees if he has to.
Located in California, at the heart of the Mojave Desert, Death Valley is famous for being the lowest, driest, and hottest place in all of North America. At its lowest point, Death Valley falls 282 feet below sea level and temperatures have been recorded at 130ºF+ at times. The terrain throughout the region is rugged and challenging to say the least, with rocky outcroppings, sand dunes, and desolate salt flats, which makes it an incredibly difficult place to travel through on foot.
Because DV is so dry, Todd will need to carry all of his water, along with his food and other gear, behind him in a specially designed cart that he lovingly calls the pig. Last year, the cart performed about as well as could be expected, especially considering it is hauling several hundred pounds of supplies, but Carmichael has modified it somewhat this year in order to meet the demands that he knows are waiting for him.
Sometime tomorrow, the man who once walked to the South Pole in record time, will begin another adventure in an environment that is the polar opposite (pardon the pun!) of the one he conquered at the bottom of the world. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll see if he can tame this one too.