“So what is the next big adventure you have planned?”
“You are going to Heard Island – why? Just remind where that is again”
This is now a common opening passage in discussions as I meet friends and work colleagues.
I first became aware of the Heard Island Expedition several years ago. At that stage I was looking for an Australian based adventure, something to take up some time I had available while a friend recovered from illness.
I knew nothing about Heard Island other than it was an Australian Territory. That initial chance happening on the web site of Cordell Expeditions from California was interesting, I made some enquiries and found that it conflicted with a planned trip to Tanzania to climb Mt Kilimanjaro – and that was the end of it.
Then everything changed – I left my job, I had the time to chase after my 7 Summits objective and then by chance I checked in on the HeardIsland.org web site to see how expedition fared and to my surprise it had been rescheduled.
December 2015 was now the new departure date and I had support from my family to join the team roster. I contacted Bob Schmeider, the Team Lead again and tried to convince him I was a good candidate to join the group.
There’s been a few iterations of the project schedule and roster since that contact was made but in short – I’m now one of the 14 person expedition team leaving Cape Town in March 2016 for 3 weeks on Heard Island.
Initially I wanted to summit Big Ben, the active volcano on the island, and more importantly to me, a summit that is higher than Mt Kosiuscko on the Australian mainland.
That opportunity is outside of the expedition brief at present but although disappointed I still can’t wait to go to Heard Island. The opportunity to go to such a remote island, to witness an environment essentially untouched by humans, to see the range of wildlife, birds and flora on the island is one so unique I can’t afford to miss it.
It genuinely is a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Maybe you want to find out more about the Heard Island Expediton?