Grahame Murphy

Grahame Murphy, 57- years old, is no stranger to extreme sports including canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, bungy jumping, triathlons, downhill and slalom skiing, hang gliding and hot air ballooning. You could say he keeps fairly fit, having run approximately 150,000 kms since the day he stopped smoking 32 years ago.

His more bizarre experiences include climbing to the top of a live volcano, out-running a kangaroo, out-sprinting an aircraft on a commercial airport runway and painfully jogging 9 kilometres on a broken ankle!

Sporting achievements

  • Set a world record as part of an international team reaching the Geographic North Pole in 1994 by free fall parachute jumping from the rear doors of Russian Cargo plane 12,000 feet above ground
  • Ascended the 22,834 foot summit of Mount Aconcagua
  • Scaled the Linda Glacier ice wall to complete an ascent of Mount Cook in New Zealand
  • Completed a 68-day, 1,150km sled-hauling journey from the coast of Antarctica to the Geographic South Pole without support vehicles
  • Impulsively ran the Grand Canyon’s ‘Angel Trail’ from top to bottom – and back – in four and a half hours
  • Spontaneously took off up Mount Fuji on a 3-hour and forty-seven minute run
  • Completed 67 full-length 42.2km marathons, with more than 35 completed in under the magical 3-hour mark
  • Eight-time competitor in the Sydney Tower Run-up, including two age-group wins
  • Survived more than 20 ultra-distance running events
  • Achieved fifth in his final of the 5,000 metres track race at the 2009 World Masters Games.

Major achievements

Geographic North Pole Skydiving Expedition – April 1994

Expedition Logistics :- Bill Booth, Skydiving DeLand, Florida, U.S.A.

Grahame was one of four Australians in a large international team to reach the Geographic North Pole by freefall parachute jump. This world record setting event involved a global media campaign with footage sent by satellite from Moscow to all the Australian T.V. networks. Khatanga in Northern Siberia was the location of the base camp. The exercise necessitated jumping from the rear doors of an IL76 bulk cargo carrier at 12,000 feet above ground. The speed of exit was 320 k.p.h. and the temperature, including wind chill, was minus 120 degrees Celsius. Approximately 12 hours was spent on the ground at between minus 25 and 45 degrees Celsius while waiting for the arrival of an MI8 helicopter from the Siberian Air Rescue Services.

Cerro Aconcagua, Argentina Mountaineering Expedition – Jan/Feb 1996

Expedition Logistics :- Rod Griffith, Peregrine Adventures, Melbourne, Australia.

Grahame climbed by the Normal Route to the summit of Mount Aconcagua – at 22,834 ft. the highest mountain in the world outside the wider Asian region. This was achieved in a season known for its high failure rate, which included an unsuccessful Australian attempt by World Expeditions. Another notable feature of this particular expedition was the involvement by Grahame’s group in the high altitude rescue of a seriously injured high profile Argentinian climber.

Mt.Cook, New Zealand Climbing Expedition – December 1996

Expedition Logistics :- Mark Whetu, Mountain Works, Queenstown, New Zealand.

Just prior to New Year 1997 Grahame was part of a small four-man team to complete an ascent by the Linda Glacier of Mount Cook. This involved a 22-hour summit day with a challenging section of ice climbing. Once again Grahame’s group was involved in a rescue exercise, this time to locate the body of a climber who fell from near the summit of Mount Tasman.

Geographic South Pole Sled Hauling Expedition – Oct 1999 to Jan 2000

Expedition Logistics :- Anne Kershaw, Adventure Network International, Beaconsfield, England.

Grahame was the only Australian in a nine man team that successfully completed a 1,150km sled-hauling journey from the coast of Antarctica to the  Geographic South Pole. They traveled, with no support vehicles and only two re-fuelling drops, from Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole in 68 days. This was the first ever guided expedition of its kind and gives Grahame the honour (as yet unsubstantiated) of being the first Australian person to expedition to both North and South Poles.

Grand Canyon, Arizona Run Down & Up – April 2003

Expedition Logistics :- Personally & spontaneously organised, with support from his wife.

Grahame “stumbled upon” the Grand Canyon while touring Arizona. Spotting a path (the Angel Trail) going down one vertical mile from the edge to the Colorado River below, he determined to run down it and back up again. Four and a half hours later he returned, having experienced temperatures ranging from 0 degrees Celsius at the top to 25 Celsius at the bottom.

Mt Fuji, Japan Run Up & Down – June 2005

Expedition Logistics :- Personally & spontaneously organised, with support from his wife.

While on a short holiday in Tokyo, Grahame visited the base of Mount Fuji and in the spur of the moment decided to run as far up the main climbing route as possible. Three hours and forty-nine minutes later he returned, having reached the summit en route.

Mount Kinabalu, Borneo Climbathon – October 2011

Expedition Logistics:- Marino Giacometti, International Skyrunning Federation, Biella, Italy.

Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia, is the highest mountain in S.E. Asia. Grahame ran up and down the mountain in the 25th anniversary of the annual Climathon race. This was to be the last time the event went all the way to the summit and back, due to the high attrition rate amongst competitors in previous editions of the Climbathon.


Grahame, 57 years old, enjoys other adventure sports including canyoning, rock climbing, abseiling, bungy jumping, triathlons, downhill skiing and hang gliding. He keeps fairly fit, having run more than 67 full-length 42km marathons (35 in under 3 hours) and nearly 150,000 kilometers since he stopped smoking 32 years ago. Not mentioned above is Grahame’s achievement in running right around the world.

Please contact him directly for details of this significant accomplishment.