ExWeb interview with Todd Carmichael; There is only one way to know if something is possible - and that is to try it.

ExWeb interview with Todd Carmichael; There is only one way to know if something is possible - and that is to try it.

Posted: Oct 14, 2010 05:41 am EDT

Two weeks after equipment failure and a gruesome environment forced Todd Carmichael to end his challenging Death Valley walk, ExWeb gets a chance to talk to Todd about his experience:

ExplorersWeb: You stated in your reports that this trek was harder than your previous trek at Antarctica. In what way?

In Antarctica, you can put your foot on the gas and keep it there, your body won't boil over and there are few obstacles. Death Valley, however, is one long kaleidoscope of seemingly impossible obstacles and your radiator is always just short of exploding. There is simply never more than 20 feet of clean rolling and relief. That's what makes Death Valley so appealing. It will never give a break, you can count on that. It truly is a formidable opponent

Explorersweb: So, what would than be your main drive to such an ardous trek?

Ah yes, the never ending "Why?". Although there are endless benefits to these things, which many of us often convert to good reasons, the real reason to me is... "Because one day we'll all need a walker to get around. There's no mistake about it, now is the time to take your body for the best ride you can - before its too late".

ExplorersWeb: What was the single most, mentally, hardest part of the trek?

Mentally what was difficult was knowing I had a lot left in the tank while my tires were being torn to shit. The cart design was right on - an although the tires are fine for most any other desert - it was clear 1/4 the way there they were going to let me down. The exped then changed to "as far as possible, Todd" as recon for the next attempt.

ExplorersWeb: And what was the physically hardest challenge?

Physically, giving up all my sleeping hours to working on tires. Three days of no sleep and the body and mind begin to shut down. Pushing forward regardless is ugly business.

Explorersweb: What were the dominating thoughts when slogging on?

The coral like surface was wearing through my boots rapidly and turning my tires to rags. I was thinking "go go go"- it was like an hour glass and it was running out fast. I needed to make distance before they wore all the way through. It was like an endless chant "go go go go" right through all those hours of repairing tires and taping my boots.

Explorersweb: what is your input on Contact 5 after using it on this trip?

Contact is the best comms system for anyone off the grid. You would be silly to turn to any other system. Now, if they only made low pressure tires.

Explorersweb: Any lessons regarding water that you can share with us?

Like food in Antarctica, never underestimate how much you will really need. Sure its heavy and slowing, but bring the worst case amount with you - especially in DV. The worst case is what will inevitably happen, I guarantee it.

Explorersweb: What is your next goal?

My next goal is to wrestle Death Valley to the ground - in June - put my knee on its throat and apply unkind amounts of pressure - at least until it coughs up some blood. Twice it has done this to me and my gear, the third time it will be me and the Pig - we will cross it, then I'll pour the last of our water on its southern boarder mockingly. Sure we made it past the toughest parts, nevertheless, we want revenge - and we will have it.

Explorersweb: Haha, splendid attitude! Let me then finish off this interview by asking: What lessons of the life of the explorer, did u learn on this trip?

Simple - failure is when you give up trying - time and effort are what separate you from victory, if that's what you truly want. I'm not through with Death Valley - as I doubt it is with me. Life lesson: if you want it then go get it, no matter what stands in your way.

Explorersweb: Ok, just another one then....What would you like to achieve as a goal in life?

Be successful in everything that matters to me: in my family life, in my charities, my business and my treks. Strangely, when an attempt goes wrong, my interest and my dedication increase, as does my excitement. Taking it down in June will be all that much more enjoyable.

Explorersweb will of course keep you updated on Todd´s next challenge!

American Todd Carmichael will be attempting a 400 mile (643.7 km) trek in 18.5 days through Death Valley in the USA; and circumstances permitting he will trek another 30 km. He will be hauling his reportedly 450 pounds of water (33 gallons / 125 liters), food and gear.

Todd skied solo to the South Pole in the 2008-09 season in a speed record time of 39 days, 7 hours and 49 minutes. His other expeditions have taken him to various places in Africa.

He was born in 1963 and is married with one daughter and more on the way, he added. Founder of Americas premier coffee roasting company La Colombe, his hobbies include reational physics (there is not other way to explain it), said Todd, as well as heli-boarding, surfing, free diving and drinking conspicuous amounts of coffee.

Todd stated about his comms equipment, I am fully kitted out with the best high tech communication equipment available a kit assembled by Human Edge Tech. He dispatched over CONTACT, From flexible solar panels, to a portable satellite link to the rugged mini laptop, Tom built an unbelievable system. Add cameras and a SPOT tracker and not only can I be tracked every step of the way but I can send pod casts, videos and images to share. You can even send me an e-mail.

Death Valley is a desert located in the southwestern United States of America and located on the border between California and Nevada. Some areas are located below sea level, which makes it one of the hottest places on earth.

#Trek #interview







In Antarctica, you can put your foot on the gas and keep it there, your body won't boil over and there are few obstacles. Death Valley, however, is one long kaleidoscope of seemingly impossible obstacles and your radiator is always just short of exploding. There is simply never more than 20 feet of clean rolling and relief. That's what makes Death Valley so appealing. It will never give a break, you can count on that. It truly is a formidable opponent. IMAGES SENT BY CONTAC 5
Image by Todd Carmichael courtesy Todd Carmichael, SOURCE
I was thinking "go go go"- it was like an hour glass and it was running out fast. IMAGES SENT BY CONTAC 5
Image by Todd Carmichael, SOURCE
Mentally what was difficult was knowing I had a lot left in the tank while my tires were being torn to shit. IMAGES SENT BY CONTAC 5
Image by Todd Carmichael courtesy Todd Carmichael, SOURCE
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