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Rafal Krol exploring the jungle in Haiti

Rafał Król during his expedition in Haiti. Photo: Paweł Łączny.

Rafał Król is a Polish adventurer and explorer who has pushed himself to the absolute limits of endurance! His expeditions include traversing the Greenland icecap in whiteout conditions, a 400-kilometer solo expedition across Spitsbergen and pioneering a route through Sarek and Padjelanta, Laponia, Sweden, which is of the largest national parks in Europe. Sponsored by Berghaus, Rafał Król has put their outdoor gear to test in extreme conditions and helped to improve their designs.

The Greenland traverse saw Rafał Król and his expedition partner Norbert Pokorski face conditions of extreme cold and near constant whiteouts. Not only was there snow but towards the end of the journey there was also rain, which resulted in a lot of their equipment becoming wet and then frozen. It took five days to hike from the coast up to the icecap, followed by 14 days for the icecap traverse. During blizzards it was not possible see anything except for the end of their skis. Beating the monotony of this extreme environment took immense mental will power.

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Explorer Louis-Philippe Loncke in the Icelandic countryside

Louphi on an expedition in Iceland

Known as Louphi the Versatile Explorer, Louis-Philippe Loncke has embarked on some extraordinary expeditions. He first started hiking on a weekend trip to Ireland, but it was when he went to Australia that he started backpacking in earnest. Armed with a Lonely Planet walking guide, Louphi started trekking in Blue Mountains. After 6 months he had covered more than 1100km in 40+ bushwalks. Moving his sights onto bigger adventures, Louphi trekked the across West MacDonnells National Park and along the entire length of Frazer Island. In Tasmania he hiked from Cradle Valley to the South Cape on a 49 day solo and unsupported “insane” expedition. Spurred on by these adventures, Louphi became was the first westerner to hike solo and unsupported, north to south across the Simpson Desert in 2008.

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