Photo Credit: swissinfo
Swiss climber and adventurer John Harlin III has finally completed his quest to travel the complete length of the entire Swiss border. His efforts have been totally self-supported, and have included the use of a mountain bike and kayak, in addition to other climbing/hiking/mountaineering equipment. His quest ended with a summit of Mount Dolent after having travelled a total of 1,150 miles.
John started his adventure in the summer of 2010. Initially, he chose to head south, and began his mission with a partner, Cameron Burns. Unfortunately, the first take at the trip only lasted 10 days. While climbing, John inadvertently grabbed a loose rock that ended up taking him for a rather sizeable fall, which broke several bones in his feet.
Only three months after the accident John was already back at it. He began this time heading west via kayak down the Rhine River from the northern border between Germany and Switzerland. Once he got to an area known as Basel, he met up with Americans Jay Sherrerd and Lee Greenwald. Together they biked the western border of Switzerland. After biking around the French border, past Geneva, John then kayaked Lake Geneva. He had now taken care of two-thirds of his mission, with plans to complete the journey in the summer of 2011.
This past July John began the final leg of his quest to travel the entire border of Switzerland. He traveled clockwise, moving from eastern Switzerland towards the site of his accident in 2010. This final leg was characterized by traveling over several 4,000-meter peaks. The final push was an ascent of Mont Dolent, which is where France, Italy, and Switzerland all come together.
John summited Mt. Dolent yesterday, September 12th. He was joined by another American, John Bird, for this last stretch of the trip. All in all, John travelled a total vertical distance of 170,000 meters. He took three months over the course of two years to complete his quest.