JOHN CANTOR has made history! The 27-year-old Sunshine Beach man has become the first Australian, and just the sixth person ever, to complete a solo trek across the gruelling Brooks Range in Alaska.
He tried and failed three times previously to make the 1000km journey across the range on foot, followed by a 600km raft down the Noatak River, but he has pushed ahead relentlessly with his dream and this time he has made it.
"Words fail me, so proud. Just spoke to John who sounds ecstatic and amazed when told of the media attention here," said his mother Becky on her son's Facebook page late Monday.
Her fatigued but jubilant son posted this low-key but telling message: "I have successfully traversed the Brooks Range. Thank you everyone for your love and support".
The 1600km Brooks Range crossing is regarded among the toughest solo expeditions on Earth.
On the walk leg, he battled isolation and loneliness, painfully swollen ankles, fatigue and the threat of grizzly bears and wolves to walk some 50km each day.
The raft leg was marred by blustery and chilling headwinds.
His parents hope to plan a celebration after he arrives back home on the Sunshine Coast.
"We'll just wait till we have him here and see what he wants, his mental state. I think all his friends will want to see him and we'll have something where he can tell them about it," Mrs Cantor said.
Follow John on Facebook by searching John Cantor's Brooks Range Traverse 2012 or at www.johncantor.com.au.