#40by40 Volcanoes

In 2015 I decided to set myself a quest to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40 (#40by40) – a feat that needed to be achieved over a five and a half year time frame.

Progress, however, has been on the slow side as I battle with numerous excuses and self doubt. Originally, I made a lovely list of the 40 volcanoes I would tick off. They were extravagant and exotic. Some were in hard-to-reach corners of the globe, others breathed fire, while others still were capped with snow. It was exciting and adventurous, something that would push me outside my comfort zone. But as the journey began to unfold, self doubt started to creep in. Realities and excuses got in the way.

A new approach was needed. The quest had to evolve. I needed to be flexible in the face of changing circumstances. Now my plans are a little more fluid.

The physical challenge is still there but now I realise that conquering the mental mountain is half the battle to conquering the real, physical one.

You can read more about my motivation for this quest here.

This is the progress on my #40by40 quest to date…

Fourteen down, 26 to go!


  1. Mt Vesuvius, Italy – The volcano-virginity taker




Read about the Vesuvius adventure here.




2. Nevis Peak, St Kitts and Nevis, Caribbean – The muddy volcano




Read about the Nevis Peak adventure here.






3. Gran Cratere, Vulcano, Aeolian Islands, Italy – One of the opposite volcanoes




Read about the adventure here.



4. Fossa delle Felci, Salina, Aeolian Islands, Italy – the other of the opposite volcanoes




Read about the adventure here.



5. Stromboli, Aeolian Islands, Italy – The erupting volcano




Read about the Stromboli adventure here.






6. Mt Etna, Sicily, Italy – The first high altitude volcano




Read about the Etna adventure here.



7. Rangitoto Island, New Zealand – The successful New Zealand volcano




Read about the Rangitoto adventure here.



8. Scafell Pike, England – The accidental volcano




Read about the Scafell Pike adventure here.



9. The Cheviot Hills, England – The boggy volcano




Read Part 1 of the Cheviot Hills adventure here, and Part 2 here.




10. Puy Mary, Auvergne, France – The first thunderstorm volcano




Read about the Puy Mary adventure here.




11. Puy Chavaroche, Auvergne, France – The second thunderstorm volcano




Read about the Puy Chavaroche adventure here.




12. Puy Griou, Auvergne, France – The last-minute volcano




Read about the Puy Griou adventure here.




13. Puy du Rocher, Auvergne, France – The first train strike volcano




Read about the Puy du Rocher adventure here.




14. Plomb du Cantal – The second train strike volcano





Read about the Plomb du Cantal adventure here.




The unsuccessful ones…

Mt Ngauruhoe, New Zealand – Read about the attempt here.

Mt Taranaki, New Zealand – Read about the attempt here.


In the pipeline….

August 2018 – Four volcanoes in the Azores

November 2018 – Solo walking the 3,000km Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand taking in about five volcanoes.