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Tasmania Winter Trek

Mountain Oceans

Attempt to traverse Tasmania unresupplied in the winter.

My last 3 expeditions were desert crossings (Death Valley, Simpson Desert, Bolivian Salars) completely unsupported. Done in a 12 months time frame ending in October 2016. In Feb 2017, in Munich, for these 3 expeditions I got the European Adventurer of the year (2016) award.

It is now time to go back to the cold and attempt a challenge I have announced 11 years ago. A crossing/traverse of Tasmania in the winter. It will start at the town of Penguin and I will go as far as possible towards the south cape of the mainland of Tasmania.

What does it exactly mean? I simply won’t get food or gas underway. In TAS, there’s water (or snow) almost everywhere. Making fire is prohibited so I’ve to carry my fuel… and all my food. With all the equipment (camping, packraft, video & spare batteries…) I hope to not go above 65kg as I’m not even sure I can lift this weight and put it on my back.

Walking with that weight on the hard terrain of TAS is hard and somehow dangerous. I’ll start north as it’s the safe region to carry the big load. I’ll be using official summer trails (Penguin-Cradle including Cradle Mt summit/ Overland, including a summit attempt of Mt Ossa the highest point of TAS) and then it will be mainly off-track walking+packrafting until the latitude of Mt Anne as I’d like to summit it. Then if all goes well, the last part should rather be “easy” on the Port Davey Track and South Coast Track. I aim of course to reach the most southern point of the island and finish in Cockle Creek.

I think to carry around 40 days of food if it’s about 1kg of food per day.

I’ll be wet and cold for 40 days and that’s what I want to push my mental limits.

Happy to hear any advice on “polar” food, equipment, …

Why not fully unsupported? Because I plan to perhaps have a person to come filming a few days before and perhaps during the packraft part down the Gordon river. This could be also a time to swap dead to fresh batteries. I’m also looking for experience in the duration of batteries in the cold. To estimate how much I need compared to my estimated consumption.

Will I make it ? normally not. I know Tasmania very well, my last trek was 49 days (I had planned 40). But in the winter with a 65kg pack at the start and +-losing only 1kg per day it means I’ll be super heavy for the first 3 weeks (21 days = +-20-21kg)…and still at around 40-45kg for the start of the off-track part. I hope to reach the Port Davey Track after 30-32 days.

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