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Erden Rows to the Peaks

Posted on: June 3rd, 2011 by Luke Bauer

Last week we introduced American Alpine Club member Erden Eruç, who is traveling the globe via human powered circumnavigation. His “Six Summits Expedition” will bring him to the highest peaks in six continents and allow him to help impoverished communities along the way. Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator Eddie Espinosa will be climbing Kilimanjaro with Erden in mid-June. We’ll have pictures from their trip soon.

After Denali, Erden’s next step was to row across the Atlantic Ocean. Between October 3 and December 25, 2004, Erden biked from Seattle to Miami, where he would launch for Europe. The cross-country bike trip spanned over 3,980 miles and took him 82 days to complete. Then, between January 29 and May 5, Erden rowed from Gran Canaria to Guadeloupe, becoming the 33rd person to row the Atlantic Ocean east to west singlehandedly.

In 2007, Erden resumed his expedition. Between May 3 and May 16, 2007, he biked from his home in Seattle to San Francisco Bay. From there, he would attempt to row to Australia and climb Mt. Kosciuzco.

Between July 10, 2007 and May 17, 2008, Erden rowed across the Pacific, from Bodega Bay to Papua New Guinea. He stayed at sea for 312 days, rowing 5,514 nautical miles and becoming the Guinness World Record holder for the “longest solo ocean row” category.

Upon continuation of his row from New Guinea, however, Erden was unable to cross the equator and reach Australia on schedule. A storm pulled him away from course just days before his resupply and final destination. Fishermen were forced to rescue Erden and the boat, and they returned him to the Phillipines.

After preparing for relaunch, Erden left from the same point that he had retreated. Between January 15, 2009 and February 4, 2009, he rowed to Finsch Harbor in Papua New Guinea.  From Finsch Harbor, he walked to Bukawa village, and from the Village, he started his sea-kayaking adventure, first to Lae (40 km away), and then southeast toward Oro Bay following the Solomon Sea shores.

A coast to coast crossing of Papa New Guinea was completed in November of 2009, from Oro Bay to Port Moresby using the Kokoda Track over the Owen Stanley Range. Then, between January 10, 2010 and February 15, 2010, Erden rowed on the Coral Sea to Sharp Point on Cape York Peninsula.

Dodging Cylone Olga, crocodiles in mating season, mosquitoes, sand flies, march flies, and mangrove swamps, Erden reached Cooktown, where paved roads began. It took 40 days and 3,607km of biking to reach the alpine village of Thredbo below.

From the village, Erden climbed Mt. Kosciuszko, the second summit of the Six Summits Project, on April 10, 2010.

In the weeks to follow, we will give new dispatches from Erden’s adventures. If you would like to follow the expedition closer, please visit his website


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