09 March 2018: A British adventurer aims to become the first person to walk the length of the Yangtze River.
Ash Dykes estimates the solo trek of almost 4,000 miles (6,400km) from west to east China will take over a year.
The extreme athlete and motivational speaker is no stranger to epic challenges. He has already claimed two world firsts, walking solo and unsupported across Mongolia in 2014, and hiking the length of Madagascar the following year – an expedition which nearly cost him his life after he contracted malaria.
He says this record attempt will be his most ambitious – and, thanks to our satellite connectivity, his most connected. Ash will carry an ultra-compact Cobham Explorer 510 BGAN terminal, which has been provided to him by our partner Navarino, and an IsatPhone 2 satellite phone from partner Galaxy 1 in his essential kit, so he can post on social media and his website, and conduct interviews with the UK media following his exploits.
“It will be packed with new experiences and amazing people who I hope to share the stories of,” said Ash. “I want this to be one of the world’s most interactive expeditions to date and I will be keeping everyone posted, so please follow the journey.”
Ash plans to set out in June from the source of the Yangtze 16,700ft (5,100m) up in the Tibetan plateau. He aims to raise awareness of China’s amazing biodiversity as he treks through wetlands, mountains, valleys and cities including Shanghai.
Travelling solo, Ash will rely on satellite connectivity to keep in touch and as an emergency lifeline when he is away from population centres.