Thursday, June 04, 2015

Polish Adventurer to Attempt New Speed Record for Iceland Traverse

A Polish adventurer by the name of Rafal Bauer is preparing for a very big adventure in July. That is when he will travel to Iceland to embark on an attempt to set a new speed record for traversing that country north to south on foot. He'll also be making the journey completely solo and unsupported.

The trek will start in Rifstangi, the northernmost part of Iceland, and will continue south until reaching the ocean in Kotlutangi. All told, the route will cover approximately 560 km (348 miles), a distance that Raf hopes to cover in just 13 days. That means he plans to cover more than 43 km (26.7 miles) each and every day, while crossing over rough terrain and carrying a pack that weighs 25kg (55 pounds). No easy task to say the least.

Raf is no stranger to adventurous endeavors. In the past he has hiked the length of Scotland along the Cape Wraith Trail, and has spent a lot of time backpacking through remote regions of Northern Europe. He has also participated in ultramarathon events, which will likely serve him well on this journey too.

One of the more challenging sections of the trek will take place when he passes through Iceland's volcanic desert. For roughly two days he will have no available sources of fresh water, so he'll be forced to carry plenty with him on that leg. Additionally, since he hope to complete the expedition in an unsupported fashion, Raf won't be able to accept outside aid of any kind from anyone he meets along the way.

Bauer is still a few weeks away form launching his Iceland traverse attempt. Once it does begin however, you'll be able to follow his progress on his official website, his Facebook page, Link to Poland, and National Geographic Traveler.

Incidentally, the record he looking to beat is 19 days, which was set back 2007 by our friend Louis-Philippe Loncke. If successful, Bauer will complete the trek 6 days faster. Good luck Raf!

1 comment:

Louis-Philippe LONCKE said...

Just back from Istanbul and catching up with the news... Will contact him. Interesting. I like it when people want to "beat" my time. It feels I set a standard and it means the crossing I did has some value.
Actually a French (Jérôme) did a crossing in 2009 of 11 days. He started at the supposed (but wrong) point north and did not end at the bottom south but as he went on easier path and using at times hiking tracks he managed these 11 days which is amazing. He could have completed the journey to the bottom south after his end point in a few hours and still done it in 11 days.

I have a massive tripod, Iridium, camera etc... So I wasn't so light and didn't train. I also spent about 5-6 totally on the 19 days to perform cognitive tests (science). So with appropriate gear and training + A LOT of CHANCE with the weather (Iceland can be dangerous also in the summer) I believe it's possible in 10 days or less. Humanly, I think it wouldn't be possible to do less than 7 days on the crossing (unsupported). That would mean 3-4h of sleep per day. and walking like 18-20h per day for 1 week.

I think my pack was 35kg at the start.
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