Lewis Taylor climbs 158 Abel peaks in 158 days to raise money for cancer charity

A man from Hobart did the unthinkable – braving the most adverse conditions to scale 158 Tasmanian mountains in just a few days.

Spurred on by his mother’s cancer diagnosis, Lewis Taylor climbed 500 meters a day to achieve his goal of climbing the highest peaks in the state.

He ended his five-month mountain mission on Friday, flanked by an army of supporters as he braved freezing conditions to climb Abel 158, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, on his 30th birthday.

“[There were] some moments when I just wanted to go home, some moments when you’re in the undergrowth that doesn’t want to let you through, those moments when you need to dig deep,” he said.

“For me, inspiration and motivation comes from cancer sufferers.

“They get me out of bed every morning because they don’t have a choice when to fight, when to get up. They just have to fight every day.”

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Taylor was diagnosed with COVID-19 during his adventure, munching on valuable rest days.

“The first day out of isolation, I had to go back and out into the snow in the northeast and head into the mountains the first day back,” he said.

Lewi Taylor in the Tasmanian desert.
Taylor said he was inspired by the stories of cancer patients.(Instagram: Tassie Taylor)

Taylor said his hardest stretch was when he had to walk 19 days straight around the northwest and west coast.

“That was very hectic,” he said.

“Long time no shower. Lots of people have been showering me along the way, and welcoming me, which is just amazing.

“It’s just a sign of our amazing Tasmanian community who have really joined the challenge.

Lewi Taylor's leg with suction cups.
Lewis Taylor suffered a lot of pain completing the climbs.(Instagram: Tassie Taylor)

He said he found Mount Pelion West in Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park and Mount Weld in the southwest of the state to be the most difficult peaks to climb.

Lewi Taylor on a rocky outcrop in the Tasmanian highlands.
Lewis Taylor was diagnosed with COVID-19 during his adventure, which meant time wasted in quarantine.(Instagram: Tassie Taylor)

Mr. Taylor has raised $57,000 for the Tasmanian Cancer Council, which will be used to fund cancer research and services, including its wig library and Transport2Treatment program.

Lewi Taylor and her trekking gear.
Lewis Taylor with some of his equipment.(Instagram: Tassie Taylor)

Cancer Council Chief Executive Penny Egan said Taylor’s achievement was “extraordinary” and that her fundraising would make a huge difference to the organization.

“He’s a very determined and wonderful young man,” she said.

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“He has given six months of his life to fundraise for the Tasmanian Cancer Council, doing an activity that most people would think was downright impossible.

“He always believed in himself and because he believed in himself, we had to support him and we wanted to support him.”

Lewi Taylor near a mountain lake in the Tasmanian highlands.
With the mission complete, Lewis Taylor can now rest.(Instagram: Tassie Taylor)

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