British adventurer and extreme athlete Ash Dykes has reached the Yangtze river on the Tibetan Plateau and has officially begun #MissionYangtze, his third world-first record that will see him traverse 6,437km (4,000 miles) alongside the Yangtze River on foot over the coming year.
The Yangtze River is the world’s longest river to flow through a single country and has never been walked – until now.
Ash will face wildly varying climates throughout his year-long trek, from freezing cold sub-zero temperatures in the west to tropical environments in the east, whilst also encountering wildlife such as snakes, bears, wolves and Asian killer hornets.
The sheer length of the mission, with its isolation, difficult terrain, including treacherous v-shaped valleys and thick forests, variable climates and everyday dangers, makes this his most intense and challenging mission yet.
After months of intensive fitness training both at his home gym in North Wales and in China, people around the globe will be able to follow the expedition and witness Ash pushing himself to his absolute limits as he covers the challenging terrain and interacts with some of the 400 million people who live alongside and depend on the Yangtze River to survive.
The world record-setting #MissionYangtze will attempt to be the most digitally engaging expedition in history. Ash is being supported by leading technological and corporate partners (Navarino) to enable followers to interact with him during his mission via social media and his blog and allowing people around the globe to be part of the action, as it happens.
The expedition is also being filmed by Mandarin Films, for a TV documentary series and weekly web video episodes will be distributed weekly by some of the largest online and media channels across China and worldwide.
Ash promises it will be just as digitally entertaining as it will be intense. He’ll take on local rituals, compete in martial arts, try the weirdest foods, give back to the communities and encourage people to join him along the way.
A respectful environmentalist, Ash will ensure he leaves only his footprints during his journey. Part of his mission is to provide communities with fresh drinking water and education on plastic pollution, and how to enjoy but protect the world we live in. Ash will take care of his own plastic waste and, in partnership with Water to Go China, will distribute water filter bottles to children at key points along the expedition.
Ash will experience first-hand the fast development of China as he moves from isolated rural communities to urban civilization, through isolated deep forests and jungles to exploration of some of China’s historic cities.
Ash is excited to share one of the greatest expeditions of the decade and inspire children and adults alike to experience the importance of pushing yourself to your limits, dreaming big, setting challenging goals, and having the focus, drive, commitment and persistence to achieve them.
Ash expects to complete #MissionYangtze in August 2019.