Hi fellow adventurer,
My name is Clark Carter and during the last decade or so, I've been fortunate enough to travel to some of the most remote and extreme locations on the planet. The world is a seriously amazing place and through this blog, I want to help more people get outside and have a good old fashioned adventure.
The irony of having a website aimed at getting people off the computer and into the wilderness is not lost on me. I hope this blog does in fact inspire you to spend less time on the internet and more time exploring our amazing planet.
I'm not an adventure snob, by any means. I think the hour-long adventure you actually have is far better than the epic you never get around to. Adventure comes in all shapes and sizes, and I find that lots of mini-adventures can sometimes be more rewarding than a single big one.
One of my main goals is to get away from the computer regularly, and connect with the natural environment for a couple of hours, or days or weeks (and sometimes months). It's even better if I can do this with my girlfriend or some good mates.
Although I'm a big fan of having lots of little adventurers, I do find myself on the occasional epic.
VICTORIA ISLAND (2005)
Back in July 2005, a week after my 21st birthday, Chris Bray and I set off on our first full length expedition. Well, it was my first big trip - Chris had already done some amazing stuff in Tasmania the year before. The aim of the expedition was to walk unsupported across Victoria Island in the Canadian arctic, from its most easterly point to its most westerly. It's the eighth largest island in the world, but is still largely unexplored.
Because we wanted to do this in the arctic Summer, we had to pass through incredibly varied terrain – everything from mud, rock and grass to frozen coastlines, high plateaus, lake-strewn marshlands, ice and snow. As nobody had ever done this before, we had an interesting time devising a suitable cart/kayak that would not only get us across the countless lakes and rivers as well as over the tundra, but was also capable of supporting 200kg of gear each.
After 58 days alone, we found ourselves only a third of the way across the island. With the onset of Winter, and our food running low, we decided to call it a draw and come back again one day to finish the job.
SOUTHERN OCEAN (2007)
With the goal in mind to row across the Indian Ocean in 2009 with Ryan Storey, I decided we needed some ocean experience, and fast!
This is where it pays to have friends in the biz. A friend of a friend, and now close mate, David Pryce casually mentioned he was planning to sail across the Southern Ocean from Tasmania to Chile and invited Ryan and I to help out. The voyage ended up taking 39 days and was one hell of a steep learnng curve. My previous sea experience was limited to surfing and swimming at the beach. We made our merry way almost 10,000 kilometres across the roaring forties and fifties of the Southern Ocean, hand steering most of the way. It was a fantastic experience and really did give me some much needed respect for the Ocean.
VICTORIA ISLAND (2008)
Chris and I had a second go at trying to walk across Victoria Island. This time, we were dropped off at the finishing point from our 2005 expedition, and continued on our way.
This time though, we had the advantage of experience and hindsight and totally re-designed our PAC to be lighter, stronger, weirder and more importantly, easier to handle over the rough terrain. We also learned never to underestimate how long it might take us, and brought 100 days worth of food and supplies with us.
It ended up taking 70 days of non stop blood sweat and tears to make it to the far side, but we did it! After a combined 128 days, Chris and I became the first people in history to walk across this remarkable island.
SEPIK RIVER (2010)
My mate Andrew Johnson and I thought it would be a great idea to travel down the length of Papua New Guinea's longest river - the Sepik, in a dugout canoe.
The trip took about six weeks and we got to travel 1200 kilometres through some of the most remote and pristine jungle in the world. The people in some of the villages we passed through were so incredibly kind and generous. We often had one or two locals offer to walk with us to the next village (they were convinced we'd get lost otherwise). PNG is a seriously wild place. It provides good bang for your buck if you're on the hunt for adventure. Just make sure you avoid the crocodiles, malaria, bandits, infection or run out of food.
NORTH POLE (2011)
When I was still in Papua New Guinea, on the Sepik River expedition, I got an email out of the blue asking if I'd like to ski from the North Pole to Canada and film the expedition. Having spent weeks in the humid and suffocatingly hot jungles of PNG, I didn't hesitate in saying yes.
It turned out my job was not only to help film the expedition (as well as the whole skiing to Canada thing) but to send one minute of video each and every day to be streamed on the internet and broadcast on national television. It was something that had never been done and it didn't take long for me to figure out why (because it was really hard).
The four man team (Pat Farmer, Eric Philips, Jose Naranjo and I) dragged our 85 kg sleds across the frozen arctic ocean with a single re-supply after 20 days. We set foot on Ward Hunt Island - one of the most northerly points of land in Canada - 800 kilometres later. We came across everything from pressure ridges two stories high to open expanses of flat hard ice, leads of inky black water, thin ice and thigh deep snow. Despite having half the team fall through the ice, and dealing with constant gear breakages, the expedition was incredibly fortunate, considering the rather sobering statistics for full length North Pole expeditions.
The North Pole to Canada expedition was only part of the journey for Pat Farmer, who then ran down the Americans and on to the South Pole. He averaged two marathons a day for nearly a year. Yep, you heard me right - 85 kilometres a day every day for nearly a year.
ROWING (ATTEMPT) ACROSS BASS STRAIT (2012)
In Jan 2012, I set off with Ben Turner and Margaret Bowling in a seven meter ocean row boat from Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, with the aim to row across Bass Strait and into Tasmania's capital, Hobart.
The Bass Strait is a notorious stretch of water, and only a couple of days into the expedition, we ran into some 'interesting' weather. With winds gusting to 50 knots and waves cresting at 30 - 40ft we pulled the oars in, let out the drogue and jumped in the cabin. Within five minutes, the drogue broke and we had to deploy another. This one lasted most of the night, until, at some stage it broke as well, turning the boat beam on to the giant swells. With a load crack, a wave crashed into the side of the boat, capsizing it in a second, sending the three of us onto the roof (now floor) of the cabin. This was not unexpected and we were prepared for such things. The boat righted itself almost instantly and we set about assessing the situation. Everybody was mostly unharmed, except Ben who broke his elbow in the capsize.
After speaking with the land crew and AMSA doctors we decided to row towards the nearest island where Ben could get medical attention, but Victoria Police kindly offered to come and pick us up. Eight hours later, we were aboard 'Fearless' with the row boat in tow.
It was disappointing not to make it to Hobart, but I'm happy that everyone was safe and (relatively) unharmed. A special thanks to the crew aboard 'Fearless', Victoria Water Police, AMSA, Chris Martin, Ben Keitch, Tara Remington, Chloe Hill, Ben and Wendy Turner and the Australian Volunteer Coast Guard for their help and support during the recovery.
And that's me. Get in touch if you want to chat.