Josh Worley's first ever ice climb in 2013.
Josh Worley's first ever ice climb in 2013. contributed

Why this guy is climbing 33 dangerous mountains

NOT satisfied with just one, Gladstone's Josh Worley will tackle 33 of the world's toughest and most dangerous peaks in the next 12 months.

Mr Worley, who grew up in Gladstone, but now lives in Brisbane, is hoping to raise $100,000 for ReachOut Australia and the Australian Climate Council as he navigates his way up peaks in Canada, South America, USA and New Zealand.

His project is called Vertical Year.

"This whole thing started from a dream of mine to climb a particular mountain called Alpamayo in Peru before I turned 30," Mr Worley said.

"That dream came about when I first started climbing in the mountains about five years ago."


Josh Worley.
Josh Worley. contributed

Mr Worley will tackle his first peak in the ice in Canada and continue climbing the world.

"One I'm really looking forward to but it's quite intimidating is Mt Cook in New Zealand, I want to try and do the grand traverse," he said.

"It essentially means you go from one side to the other and it takes about three days, so you're ... living on the mountain with whatever food and shelter you can carry on your back. "Even though it's not an extremely high mountain, Mt Cook is extremely dangerous."

The adventurer will not be taking on the world's highest peak, Mt Everest.

He said he had chosen peaks that were more of a technical challenge, rather mountains with the sheer height of Everest.

Mr Worley said climbing was quite a "selfish pursuit".

"Nobody else really benefits from it, so I wanted to look for ways to give something back and contribute to the community," he said.

"Mental health and conservation of the environment are two causes that are closely linked to climbing for me, so that's what I went for."


BIG EFFORT: Josh Worley climbing in the Blue Mountains. He's ready to tackle the world now.
BIG EFFORT: Josh Worley climbing in the Blue Mountains. He's ready to tackle the world now. contributed

The 29-year-old said the other inspiration for his project was to show everyday people could do some epic things.

"If you have a passion, follow it, and don't be afraid to dream big," he said.

Mr Worley said he had been climbing all his life, starting on rain tanks and trees throughout Gladstone, when he was a young kid.

He has climbed on Mt Larcom itself and around Rockhampton and Agnes Water.

Although Mr Worley is comfortable with the climbing side of the project, he said fundrasing and generating publicity had been a steep leaving curve.

To officially launch Vertical Year, Mr Worley will host a charity event in Brisbane on January 20, next year, with all proceeds going directly to ReachOut Australia and the Australian Climate Council.

Fast facts:

  • Josh grew up in Gladstone and spent 26 years here. He worked as an engineer at the Gladstone Power Station until the end of 2016
  • The Vertical Year encompasses more than 80 primary objectives across ice climbing, mountaineering, rock climbing and alpine climbing
  • The Vertical Year will attempt to summit 33 peaks between 3000 - 6800m elevation, totalling more than 34 vertical kilometres of terrain
  • Josh is expected to spend more than 1100 hours on near vertical terrain next year; that's more than 20 per cent of his waking hours for the entire year
  • To follow Josh's journey and/or donate go to

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