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Ross Webster
Back where he started, Ross Webster walked a total of 2000km from Kalamunda to Albany and back again.

A walk to remember

FOR most Bibbulmun track ‘end-to-enders’, Albany marks the finish line of the beautiful and challenging 1000km trek – but for Ross Webster it was just the mid-way point.

The Gidgegannup resident walked from Kalamunda to Albany in just 18 days, then turned around and did it all again for a total of 2000km in 37 days to set what is likely a new record.

The fastest known one-way record for an unsupported hiker is 15 days and it is not known if anyone has completed a return trip in under 37 days such as Mr Webster has.

Back on home soil this week, the former Brookwood Realty owner said the best thing about the experience was surprising himself with his own abilities.

“It’s a record that’s only a record because no one else has tried it,” he said.

“I never thought I’d be the kind of person that would ever hold any sort of record.

“We’re all capable of more than we think we are.”

Being an unsupported hiker means carrying your own gear including food, water and shelter and resupplying with preprepared supply drops along the trail or in track towns.

For many, the Bibbulmun Track is a place where people reflect on life and its many meanings.

This was no different for Mr Webster who said towards the end of his walk he had “solved life”.

“In the beginning the walking was all consuming, the focus, and by the end the walking was just in the background,” he said.

“I sort of went into more of a meditative experience.

“It’s the old stoic philosophy of Memento Mori, which is, ‘remember you will die’.

“It means to have an urgency to life without an anxiety about it.

“It’s a bit of a cliché but sometimes clichés are there because they reveal an underlying and permanent truth.”

The Bibbulmun Track, opened in 1979, is one of the world’s great long distance walk trails and passes through the heart of the Darling Scarp and the State’s scenic south-west.

It takes most end-to-end hikers about two to three months to complete one-way, though many complete it in sections over time.

Mr Webster said he hoped his journey would inspire others to get out and use the track and to challenge themselves at whatever pace suits them best.

“Get up whenever feels right, sit by the rivers, look for whales, take the side trips, rest in the track towns, enjoy the camaraderie and stories of camp life, that’s the Bibb,” he said.

“You will be surprised by the ever-changing environment and by the beautiful, genuine people you meet.”

By Claire Ottaviano

About The Editorial Team

Echo News gives readers an alternative to other media outlets in WA and enjoys a very high rate of readership in its distribution area. Our Echo News team are a small group of devoted individuals who work hard to give the local community an easy to read, yet intelligent mix of local community stories.

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