Aussie trio smashes record for Australia’s 8 peaks

By Leila Berney 18 September 2014
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Three Aussie guys have climbed the eight highest peaks in Australia’s states and territories in record time

AN AUSSIE has smashed the record for summiting Australia’s highest peaks in each state and territory.

In 2013 the record of eight days and 14 hours was set by a trio of men, two of them British.

On 17 August, 2014, 30-year-old Henk Morgans, and 25-year-olds Dale Cokley and Thomas Cramer not only completed the eight peaks unsupported and during winter, but smashed the old record, in a time of six days, 21 hours and 30 minutes.

To complete the 18,000km self-funded journey, the group endured 12 flights, 60 hours of driving, 42km on bikes (to circumnavigate a locked gate) and 42 hours of running. Operating on as little as three to five hours of sleep per day they finished the challenge in the ACT at Mt Bimberi.

“We decided that we were really keen to push ourselves to see what we were really capable of doing'” says Henk Morgans, the rock climber and mountaineer of the group.

Record for Australia’s 8 peaks smashed

Temperatures ranged from a blistering 37°C in the outback to -12°C one night in the mountains. Due to the season, four of the peaks were covered in snow, with Tasmania’s Mt Ossa’s waist deep, forcing the group to ‘swim’ through it.

“Mt Ossa was definitely by far the hardest, but it was also the most beautiful,” says Henk. “A lot of people were telling us it was going to be physically impossible because nobody had ever done it in winter at that stage and that was a really big test.”

Climbing a total vertical elevation of 13,783m in such a short amount of time whilst racing across the continent, the guys said it was teamwork and camaraderie that kept them going.

“This journey was a struggle both in terms of logistics and the physical side; there wasn’t one smooth sailing leg of the trip,” says Henk. “I don’t think that any of us could have done it by ourselves.”

“We went from desert to snow-capped mountains to tropical rainforest all in a very short amount of time. You finally realise how big and vast Australia is when you do something like that.”

The trio are now back in Brisbane and already talking of planning some new adventures.

Australia’s highest peaks in each state/territory

NSW: Mt Kosciuszko, 2228m

VIC: Mt Bogong, 1986m

ACT: Bimberi Peak, 1913m

QLD: Mt Bartle Frere, 1622m

TAS: Mt Ossa, 1617m

NT: Mt Zeil, 1531m

SA: Mt Woodroffe, 1435m

WA: Mt Meharry, 1253m