Home News Exeter alumni take on Pan-Andean Challenge

Exeter alumni take on Pan-Andean Challenge


Previous Exeter students Joe Barrs and Gareth Davies will be embarking on a 2,500-mile journey through South America to raise money for charity.

Beginning on 1 January 2015, they will be land-sailing from Ushuaia, the southern-most city in Argentina to the Chilean capital, Santiago in under 56 days.

During their expedition, they will also be climbing Mount Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the world outside the Himalayas, at 6,962 metres high.

The pair will undertake their challenge by ‘Whike’, a recumbent tricycle attached with a sail, combining both sailing and cycling.

Speaking ahead of their journey, Joe said: “Naturally Gareth and I are extremely excited about the trip. It will be such a great way to see Chile and Argentina – proper travelling. But obviously it has also provided us both with a fantastic opportunity to raise money for two charities very close to our hearts, which is the main motivation behind completing the challenge.”

He continued, “Exeter was a huge part of both our lives and the sport there in particular. We are incredibly grateful for the support of staff and students at Exeter – former and current – especially from High Performance Sport. We hope to give you all a fascinating story to follow and that the expedition inspires more Exeter graduates to adventure.”

Gareth graduated last summer studying Spanish with a year abroad, and Joe will graduate in January with a Masters in International Relations after studying BA Politics.

The pair were greatly involved in sport whilst studying at Exeter. Joe was a cricket scholar and captained the 1st XI cricket team for the last three years, and Gareth played 1st XI hockey.

Mark Beaumont, the record-breaking Scottish adventurer cycled the length of the Americas, and reached the highest peak in each continent. He accompanied Gareth on some training rides, and said: “Joe and Gareth are heading to one of the most beautiful and unspoilt corners of the world – but Patagonia is also windswept, barren and with tough stretches of road. And the mighty Aconcagua is not to be underestimated – many do, which is why it boasts such a low summit rate.”

The pair aim to raise money for their two chosen charities, The Foundation for Prader-Willi Research, and the Ann Dodgson Foundation.

You can follow the expedition on Facebook and Twitter.

Watch the trailer here:

Rachel Gelormini, Online News Editor.

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