Aussie 8 Update: And They’re Off…

Last week I posted a story about the Aussie 8 expedition just as the team members were gearing up to launch their efforts to climb the tallest peak in each of the eight Australian states. The team, which consists of Ben Southall, Luke Edwards and Patrick Kinsella, are hoping to smash the previous speed record for bagging each of these high points by completing their adventure in just ten days. Considering that the current record is three months, that is a pretty tall order.

The three men set out for their first objective, Bimberi Peak (1913 meters/6276 ft) in the Australian Captial Territory, today. You can chart their progress and follow along with updates on both their live tracking page and on the expedition’s Facebook page. After they’ve gotten their first climb out of the way, they’ll then move on to Mount Kosciuszko (2228 meters/7309 ft) in New South Wales, followed by Mount Bogong (1986 meters/6515 ft) in Victoria and Mount Ossa (1617 meters/5305 ft) in Tasmania. From there it is 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.

As I mentioned in my previous post, none of these mountains is particularly daunting in terms of altitude. But this isn’t just about getting up into the thin air. This adventure will be a test of stamina and endurance as the men mix traveling, running and climbing into one big adventure that will certainly test them bothy physically and mentally. For instance, the climb up Mount Ossa doesn’t sound all that tough at 1617 meters (5305 ft) in height, but in order to reach the summit, the boys will have to run a round-trip of 42km (26 miles) on difficult trails.

Good luck to Ben, Luke and Pat as they kick off the start of the expedition. It should be fun – not to mention exhausting – to follow along.

Kraig Becker