Three adventure athletes have set off on quite the endurance challenge down in Australia. The three men have embarked on what they call the Aussie 8 expedition, during which they hope to bag the highest peak in each of the eight Australian states, while setting a speed record in the process. The previous fastest time for climbing all of those mountains is three months, but this ambitious trio hopes to complete the feat in just ten days.On Wednesday of this week, Ben Southall, Luke Edwards and Patrick Kinsella began their quest to reach each state’s high point by first taking on the 6276-foot Bimberi Peak, located in the Australian Capital Territory. They managed to knock that off without too much difficulty, although it was a long first day on the trail. They followed that up by traveling to New South Wales where they scaled Mount Kosciuszko (7309 ft), the tallest peak on the entire continent.
With their first two successful summits behind them, they’ll now turn their attention towards Mount Bogong (6515 ft) in the state of Victoria, followed by Mount Ossa (5305 ft) in Tasmania and Mount Zeil (5022 ft) which is located in the Northern Territory. After that, it will be on to South Australia’s Mount Woodroffe (4708 ft), then Mount Meharry (4110 ft) in Western Australia, before wrapping things up on Bartle Frere (5321 ft) in Queensland.
A quick look at the sizes of these mountains tells you that none of them are particularly daunting in terms of altitude. But when you consider that the three men are not only trail running to the summit and back, and then traveling to a new state each day, you can begin to understand how this could become quite the test of endurance. The Aussie 8 team estimates that they’ll run a total of about 100 miles over the course of their expedition as they look to set the new speed record. The most challenging of those days will be when they climb the remote Mount Ossa, which will require a 26-mile round-trip run to the summit and back.
The team isn’t undertaking this challenge simply to set a new record however. They’re also hoping to inspire Australians to get outside and enjoy the amazing environments that exist right in their own backyards. That’s a good message no matter where we live, as it can become all too easy to dream about visiting some spectacular wilderness on the other side of the globe, without realizing that there are some fantastic opportunities just outside our own front doors.
The Aussie 8 team has a live tracker available on their website so we can follow their progress over the next few days and updates are being posted to their Facebook page as well. Just reading about their progress is enough to make your legs hurt however, so proceed with caution.