Australia’s awesome sitski downhill racer and current Paralympian Sam Tait added another achievement to his list with the first sitski ascent and descent of Mt Kosciuszko back in late 2020.
Film maker Lucas Wilkinson and other buddies of Sam helped his quest and made a doco about it which you can catch this Saturday 26 February at 1:30PM on 7 Mate. All The Way Up was produced capturing the essence of hard work, preparation and teamwork for this endeavour.
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Set to the backdrop of the incredible Australian Alp, it follows Sam’s journey not only to the top of Kosciuszko but to the top of his sport around the world.
We have skied with Sam on home turf at Perisher a few times – the family own the popular Corroboree Lodge there – and have been amazed how quick he skis and his skills at riding lifts.
The doco shows how hard it was. Sam was joined by a support crew of friends who helped manage the immense logistical task to make this dream a reality. Sam had to travel via hand-cycle, wheelchair and a specially constructed cross-country sit-ski to reach the summit.
Arriving at the top (13km) entirely under his own power in just over seven hours, followed by an amazing descent down the main face of Mt Kosciuszko as the sun set over the Main Range.
The journey began in 2019 when filmmaker Lucas Wilkinson and Sam hatched the idea of an unassisted ascent after Sam made an assisted trip to Kosci during the winter. In winter 2020, Sam decided he would go for it.
Sam and Lucas recruited Tom Hodges, a para development coach and expert at adapting para-compatible snow travel as well as Matt Deck, colloquially known as the “Mayor” of the Australian backcountry to join the team.
They developed a whole host of travel methods for Sam in his sit-ski and then set about training and practicing their methods on the Perisher XC trails in preparation for Summit day.
Meanwhile Sam had to train specifically for the ascent on top of his already busy athlete training schedule, to make sure he was ready for the13km unassisted journey.
Don’t take our word for it – check out the doco,. If you miss it catch up on 7 Plus &/or look out for it on Qantas inflight entertainment.