Some might call Tarrawanna’s Tom Begic mad, others would say he is inspirational.
But for the 41-year-old who climbed the country’s 17 highest peaks in what’s believed to be record-breaking time last week, he is just an average guy who enjoys the great outdoors.
‘‘I’ve been going down to the snow for quite a few years now ... and one of the things I’ve done with friends in the past is to go out snowshoeing for fun and climb a few peaks here and there,’’ Mr Begic said.
‘‘Having read a lot of literature on climbing peaks around Kosciuszko [National Park] I decided I wouldn’t mind having a crack at knocking off all the peaks, and from there it led to, ‘I wouldn’t mind trying that on one trip’.
‘‘I decided to do it because I like a challenge, especially a physical and mental challenge where you have to drive yourself pretty hard to achieve a goal.’’
And drive himself hard, he did. He pulled on eight kilograms of alpine gear and his 18-kilogram pack – filled with everything from food and alpine equipment to an emergency beacon and GPS – and set off solo from Eagles Nest, at the top of Thredbo, around 10am last Monday.
From there he trekked 43 kilometres and scaled 17 summits, returning to the Eagles Nest Restaurant for a hard-earned beer early Wednesday afternoon.
Mr Begic is unaware of anyone else who has pulled off the feat, the previous best being a group of four hikers who scaled 16 summits in four days.
It is not a bad effort for someone who describes himself as being ‘‘not an extremely fit person’’.
‘‘Most of my preparation was equipment, mapping routes, emergency equipment – just making sure that everything else was all right,’’ Mr Begic said.
‘‘But physically I didn’t do much training, which made the hike pretty difficult for me – I’m not at my fittest.’’