Way back in January I shared an upcoming expedition during which three adventurers hope to knock off the tallest peak in each of Australia’s eight states in record time. Dubbed the Aussie 8, the plan is to complete all eight climbs in just ten days, smashing the previous record of three months in the process. Now, nearly three months later, the team is preparing to embark on this challenge which will kick off on April 11.
In order to reach this very ambitious goal team members Ben Southall, Luke Edwards and Patrick Kinsella will not only be scaling these mountains but also running more than 150 km (93 miles) as well. Their journey will begin by first ascending Bimberi Peak (1913 meters/6276 ft) in the Australian Captial Territory. From there it is on to Mount Kosciuszko (2228 meters/7309 ft) in New South Wales, Mount Bogong (1986 meters/6515 ft) in Victoria and Mount Ossa (1617 meters/5305 ft) in Tasmania. After that the expedition will move on to Mount Zeil (1531 meters/5022 ft), located in the Northern Territory, then South Australia’s Mount Woodroffe (1435 meters/4708 ft), Mount Meharry (1253 meters/4110 ft) in Western Australia and finally Bartle Frere (1622 meters/5321 ft) in Queensland.
At first glance none of those mountains seems particularly imposing based on their altitude alone, but when you consider doing them back-to-back over the course of eight to ten days, and factor in the amount of trail running the team will be doing, you start to get a sense of the challenge ahead. For example, in order to reach the remote Mount Ossa, the team will need to make a round-trip trail run of more than 42 km (26 miles) through some very tough terrain. As the days – and miles – go by, the difficulty of this undertaking is sure to increase.
The Aussie 8 expedition isn’t just about trying to set a record however. Ben, Luke and Patrick also hope to inspire others to get outside and look for adventures in their own backyard. We all have some excellent outdoor playgrounds not far from where we live, but sometimes we forget that they’re even there. Part of the message that this trio of adventurers hopes to pass on is to not take our favorite outdoor places for granted and be sure to head out and enjoy them whenever possible. This was something I was recently reminded of on visiting Texas’ very own Enchanted Rock for the first time in awhile.
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