The Plan

Length of the walk: 4,000 miles (6,500km) approx.

Duration of the walk: 265 days approx. (80 mountain days, 150 walk days, 35 rest days)

Start: Paul and Tom leave the UK on February 2nd at 9pm, arriving in Japan the following day. They hope to start the trek on Yakushima island on February 10th.

Finish: expected in mid November 2001 on Rishiri island

Tom and Paul will start walking in February 2001. Ben will join them approximately 3 months later after he has completed his University course. He will meet up with the other two before the Japan Alps, the most technically difficult section of the entire walk.

Although the use of transport will be kept to a minimum, ferries will need to be used on 3 occasions (marked on the map - to come). Transport will also be used to get to the start point of the walk and return from the end point.

To keep costs to a minimum the team will be camping and carrying all their gear. During most of the walk only 1 or 2 days worth of food will have to be carried, however in the Japan Alps there will be points when up to 2 weeks worth of food will be needed as resupply will be difficult. During the walk the team will be experiencing a range of climatic conditions from snowstorms to tropical typhoons and temperatures ranging from -15C to 30C. Because of this there will be times when they will not need items such as down jackets, ice axes or crampons. During the walk they will forward these items to post offices at points along the route where they will need them again.