Australia isn't exactly known for its massive peaks, after all, the highest mountain on the continent is Kosciuszko, which tops out at a mere 2228 meters (7309 feet). But that doesn't mean there aren't alpine challenges to be overcome there and the team behind the newly announced Aussie 8 expedition has certainly found them.
Make no mistake, this will be a test of endurance. Not only will the trio be taking on the eight mountains, but they'll have to also travel incredible distances to do so. In order to complete this challenge, they estimate that they'll be running 150 km (93.2 miles), climb 5500 meters (18,044 ft) and travel more than 13,000 km (8077 miles). Remember, they plan to do all of this in just ten days. To put that in perspective, no one has ever climbed all eight peaks consecutively in less than three months.
This race against time will throw all kinds of diverse environments at Ben, Luke and Pat. They'll travel from the dry and dusty Outback to the rainforest of Queensland and the lush green forests of Great Dividing Range. They'll even travel to Tasmania to take on the 1617 meters (5305 ft) Mount Ossa, a peak that will require them to run a marathon from the trailhead to the summit and back.
In addition to Mt. Kosciuszko (located in New South Wales) and Ossa (Tasmania), the team will aslo climb the following mountains: Bimberi Peak (Australian Capital Territory, 1913 meters/6276 ft); Mt. Bogong (Victoria, 1986 meters/6515 ft); Mt. Zeil (Northern Territory, 1531 meters/5022 ft); Mt. Woodroffe (South Australia, 1435 meters/4708 ft); Mt Meharry (Wester Australia, 1254 meters/4110 ft) and Bartle Frere (Queensland, 1622 meters/5321 ft).
The clock will start running on this adventure on April 11, when the team hits the trail for their first climb. You'll be able to follow their progress on the Aussie 8 Facebook page or on Ben's blog.
I'm told that they would have loved to have done the 8 peaks in 8 states in 8 days, but the logistics were simply too difficult to overcome. They have to settle for doing it in ten days instead, which should still be quite an incredible challenge. Good luck boys!!