The Canning Walker's Challenge for 2013

To Walk Every Step of the Way, from Billiluna to Wiluna, never stepping foot into or on a vehicle at anytime, raising funds for Walk 4 Wheels- The Eagles Quad Rugby Team in South Africa and for Walk 4 Wings - Wespac Rescue Helicopters, Australia.

No-one  had ever attempted to walk the Canning Stock Route alone. Gaynor took the first step just 14 months after breaking her back in a paragliding accident that nearly robbed her of her ability to walk.

Canning Stock RouteTracklog: SPOT Walla recorded the journey. Scroll down to the big empty square and allow a few seconds for the track to load.

Start date: 31 May 2013

Completion date: 05 August 2013

Duration: 66 days

Includes Rest Days: 10

Actual Walking Days: 56

The Route: The iconic Canning Stock Route, is an old drovers trail linked by wells established over 100 years ago in order to move cattle from the north to the south of the country. The Canning Stock Route is now a popular 4x4 track, the attraction being its remote location and history. It is one of the longest, and at times, most isolated 4x4 tracks in the world. This is what makes it a challenge.

This was planned as a team walk with Pam Armstrong, but Pam pulled out two months before the journey was to begin and started one month earlier, from the opposite direction, with her support vehicle and driver. Gaynor was left to decide whether to give up or make it happen, walking alone with predropped supplies.

The Schedule: Arriving in Kalgoorlie 5 May, Gaynor began purchasing provisions, vacuum packing them into parcels and making the final adjustments to her kit. Starting from Wiluna on the 20th May, Gaynor and Andy Sutcliffe established a supply route across the desert, marking 70 food and water supply positions with GPS coordinates, pink ribbons and sticks marking the exact spot, approximately 21km apart. Arriving 11 days later in Billiluna, on 31 May, Gaynor wasted no time, setting out the same day, this time walking. A minimum of 21kms walking a day was required in order to replenish her daily supplies of food and water. The walk was expected take 3 months. Gaynor completed the journey in 2 months and 5 days, her back growing stronger with every step.

Based on a track distance of 1657km, Gaynor's overall average distance was 25km per day over 66 days or 29km per walking day over 56 days. The reality is that the distance walked was very much shorter due to the walker taking more direct lines between watering points.

Who is the Canning Walker? 46 year old South African Gaynor Schoeman is a seasoned off the beaten track traveller and the only person known to have hitched the Canning Stock Route, and she did it twice. In 2013, Gaynor walked the Canning Stock Route solo with the aid of supply drops established prior to the walk, becoming the first person in history to achieve this.

Media articles

Sponsors:  "My thanks to my sponsors for aiding me in this venture and to Andy for helping out with the supply drops. You all made a tough walk a little easier and for that I am grateful."


The Canning Walker's Challenge for 2013

End of the CSR for Gaynor Schoeman Canning Walker

Starting from Billiluna in the north near Halls Creek on 31 May 2013, Gaynor Schoeman walked 1657km solo for 66 days, carrying a backpack of 30kg, finishing on the 05 August 2013 in the tiny outback goldfields town of Wiluna.

Gaynor was raising money for quadriplegic wheelchair rugby players under the banner Walk 4 Wheels and Walk 4 Wings in memory of hangglider pilot and friend, Bruce McClunan, who broke his neck on 1st April 2011.

Many class this walk as unsupported, done in a similar way as the first successful walkers lead by Murray Rankin in 1976.

Whilst I did not walk with vehicle support, or with another person, without the help of Andy Sutcliffe in establishing my supply route before the walk, and my food sponsors, this walk would not have been possible.  For this reason I class my 2013 desert walk only as SOLO .... by my own standards. Media interviews - TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines.


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