Alissa Bradford is attempting to be first young solo Australian female to summit the highest mountain in every state & territory of Australia. With only two peaks left she is racing across the country to finish her final two mountain climbs by her 30th Birthday – this June 2017.
Local Parramatta girl started climbing 8 years ago when she was 22 years old. Now a school teacher, she has been on the pursuit ever since. Her quest began when she found out how remarkably exhilarating it was to exert herself beyond what she knew capable into a place of beauty and wonder – the view from the top. This is what keeps drawing her back. “It humbles you, moving you in a way that transcends human understanding”.
Her last expedition was to Mt Woodroffe located on the sacred Indigenous APY land in South Australia. In order to ascend this peak it involved a lot of planning and preparation over a period of a year. It is forbidden to climb without a permit from the Anangu people of the land. To do so can take as long as 6 months to gain permit approval and it is not generally guaranteed. Overcoming such obstacles became challenging so she sought clearance through a private company that specialise in taking experienced climbers out to Mt Woodroffe base camp. They have a strong relationship with the elders and give access to climb their mountain for an exorbitant fee of $990pp. Once granted permission to climb the group are left at their own means to find their way up. With no track, guide or map it’s every man for himself. Alissa found it both “mentally and physically demanding…particularly navigating through a mutiny of spinifex”. While she was there she learnt that her group would be the final climbers to summit this peak on the APY land for the last time as they would be closing the land to protect its sacred Indigenous history.
When she is not mountain climbing, Alissa can be found bringing smiles in the classroom. Being a local school teacher in the area Alissa has seen a lot of hardship faced by young children, including the passing of one of her former students to cancer. “You think nothing can break through your classroom walls until they are sitting in front of you with months left”. In her final endeavours she is hoping to raise much needed funds for the Starlight Foundation – helping critically sick children in hospital. With Mt Zeil and Mt Meharry left in her sights she is committed to seeing these peaks conquered for kids with cancer.
To get behind Alissa and support her, please go to Starlight Children’s Foundation and make a donation.