MANSFIELD, PA – Three Mansfield University men will challenge themselves in ways few can fathom during the next few weeks as they hike the harsh terrain across approximately 400 miles, from Salton Sea to Whitney Peak in California.
Students Rolf Dengler and Anthony Mancuso, along with May graduate Scot Greevy, left Saturday for their journey through Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve and Death Valley National, according to a note from Terry Day, university spokesman.
Rolf, who has seen portions of the places theyâ€™ll hike, said the idea came from a contest Outside Magazine ran for a grant to finance the expedition. â€œWe put together our story, and there were something like 10,000 entries,â€ Rolf stated in prepared remarks. â€œWe didnâ€™t get it, but we told them we were going anyway.â€
The trio call themselves Team TASSC, which stands for Topography, Aridity, Span, Survival and Chronos. For more than a year, they sought sponsorships and developed relationships with companies whose gear theyâ€™ll use, Terry wrote. In exchange, the companies and sponsors will receive video, photos and testimonials.
To train, the men wore full hiking gear as they sat in the sauna at the Kelchner Fitness Center, hiked the regionâ€™s trails and drove with windows up and heat on full to simulate the harsh temperatures theyâ€™ll face.
Each day of their journey, theyâ€™ll average 20 miles, carefully mapped and marked by GPS, Terry wrote. Theyâ€™ll stop at the caches of water, food and supplies theyâ€™ll plant on the way to their starting point â€” and start each day with two gallons of water.
If they donâ€™t complete the journey, each man is OK with that. They agree on three priorities: safety, staying friends and having a good time. You can follow them online at Exodus Family.