A Belgian adventurer became the first person ever to make an unsupported solo trek across Death Valley.
Louis-Phillipe Loncke made the 143-mile journey across one of the harshest landscapes on the planet in eight days, with no assistance and no company. He carried all of his supplies on his back for the entire expedition, which weighed 95 pounds at the outset.
He started with 14 pounds of food and seven gallons of water. Loncke encountered temperatures between 40 and 95 degrees during the trek.
Death Valley is the hottest and driest location in North America. It also holds the highest recorded temperature ever in history on Earth at 134 degrees! Interestingly, in 1929, no rain fell on Death Valley.
Loncke hiked from 2:00am until 7:00 pm most days, taking a break during the middle of the day for the first four. He actually decided to abandon the trip halfway through, when he overheated so badly that he stopped sweating: a deadly combination. Somehow, he discovered a source of fresh water just in time and kept on walking.
These days, there are not many new outdoor achievements that have never before been accomplished. This Death Valley trek is an impressive one. Even more amazingly, Loncke thinks it’s possible to complete it in six days!
Maybe that will be his next goal.