A couple of weeks back we told you about three adventurous outdoor athletes who were preparing to set out on an ambitious project to bag the highest peaks in each of the eight Australian states in record time. They dubbed their journey the Aussie 8 expedition and the plan was to scale each of the mountains in just ten days. Turns out the team underestimated their own abilities as they were able to claim the new record in an even faster time. Ben Southall, Luke Edwards and Patrick Kinsella launched their expedition on April 10 by first running to the top of the 6276-foot Bimberi Peak located n the Australian Captial Territory. From there they continued on to Mount Kosciusko in New South Wales, the tallest peak on the continent at 7309 feet. They followed that up by scaling Mount Bogong (6515 ft) in Victoria and Mount Ossa (5305 ft) in Tasmania. After that it was off to Mount Zeil (5022 ft), located in the Northern Territory, then South Australia’s Mount Woodroffe (4708 ft), followed by Mount Meharry (4110 ft) in Western Australia. Every day for a week they managed to knock off one peak after another, spending their days first driving to the trail head that led to the mountain and then running to the top. Once they reached the summit, they’d spend a little time reveling in their accomplishment before turning around and running right back down to where they started . After that, they’d grab a flight to their next destination and do it all again the following day.
By last Friday, Ben, Luke and Pat knew that they were running ahead of schedule and if everything went right, they’d not only set the new record, they’d do so well ahead of the goal that they had set for themselves. The only mountain left to knock off was the 5321-foot Bartle Frere in Queensland, and when a late flight and a long drive delivered them to the trail that would take them to the summit, they knew they had accomplished their goal. It was a long day of trail running up to the summit and back, but when they finished in the dark that evening a new record had been established – 8 peaks in just 8 days and 14 hours. That crushed the previous record which was three months.
The three adventurers were of course happy to have accomplished their goal, but the point of the expedition wasn’t just to set a new speed record for reaching the eight high points. They also wanted to encourage people to explore the adventures that are available in their own backyards and get them to realize that there are some fantastic things to do in the outdoors not far from home.
I’d say mission accomplished.