Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Peak-to-Peak 2014: Summit of the U.K. to the Summit of France Under Human Power

Kiwi adventurer, and Everest summiteer, Grant "Axe" Rawlinson is just about to launch his latest adventure, and true to form it will be another physically demanding one. 

You may recall, that last fall, Grant completed the first ever human-powered traverse of New Zealand between the highest summits on both the North and South Islands. Starting on Mt. Ruapehu, and ending, on Mt. Cook, Grant, along with his companion Alan Silva, climbed, hiked, biked, and paddled their way through a number of tough environments. Now, they're ready to do it again, on a completely different continent, and traveling between two different countries. 

The Peak to Peak 2014 expedition gets underway today, with Grant and Alan first taking on the tower ridge route to the summit of Ben Nevis, which is the highest peak in the U.K. at 1344 meters (4409 ft). Once they have gotten up and down the mountain successfully, they'll then climb aboard their bikes, and ride more than 2000 km (1242 miles) through Scotland, England, and eventually France and Switzerland as well. Their cycling journey will be briefly interrupted when they reach the English Channel, which they'll cross in kayaks, covering approximately 30 km (18.6 miles) in the process. Once they hit French soil, the two men will resume their ride, which will finish with a complete traverse of Mt. Blanc, the tallest mountain in western Europe at 4810 meters (15,780 ft). 

While this adventure sounds like a grand one, Grant is also trying to show us what can be done in a relatively short span of time, and without much support. He and Alan will be traveling with as little support as possible, and they will squeeze the entire expedition into their annual leave from work. They intend to start the journey on August 16, and finish by September 10. Officially the trip begins in Fort William, in the Highland, U.K., and ends in Chamonix, France, the outdoor playground of Europe. 

You can follow Gran and Alan's progress on Grant's website. Good luck boys! 

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