Abels: The List of top Abelists

Geoff O’Hara, Tony Woolford, Paul Geeves, Rohan Hutchinson (L to R) – all great bushmen.
In January 2015, Bill Wilkinson asked me to make a list of people who had completed, or nearly completed, the Abels. We agreed that ’20 or fewer to go’ was the male cut off point. I have decided that making it to 75 gave a good representation of the top female Abelists, so that is the female cut-off; he agreed we did not want “Abelling” to look as if it was a game only for the boys. He was going to publish the List in his book.

Since his request, a certain faction has done some campaigning, and now the presence of such a list in his book seems unlikely. I have done a lot of work on his behalf getting the list together, and encouraging people to climb, so do not want my requested homework wasted. I have found a different source of publication, whose cut-off is the end of March. Here is the List as it now stands. If any information there is incorrect, please let me know, and if anyone has made it onto the list since January 2015, please let me know so I can add them. Thanks so much to those on the List who have encouraged me in my stats keeping. Well done all on the List for knowing our beautiful mountains in such variety and for undertaking the expeditions that are required if one is to be here. You are all great bush people who deserve respect.

Carolyn Farrar, President of LWC and great bushwalker, having just conquered Tramontane

Completed all Abels, in order of completion:
01 Phil Dawson             Record: first completer
02 Paul Geeves            Second fastest to do a round of Abels: 17 yrs 10 mths.
03 Kent Lillico               Second youngest finisher (50 on completion). 
04 Tony Woolford       Record: First family man to complete
05 Andrew Davey
06 Malcolm Waterston
07 John Carswell        Record: longest time to complete: 54 years.
08 Brian O’Byrne        Aged 68 on completion. Second oldest completer
09 Martin Doran
10 Mark Wright
11 Dale Lisson
12  Maureen Martin    Records: First woman; oldest woman
13 David Walker
14 Zane Robnik.          Records: Youngest completer; fastest round of  Abels (aged 26 yrs + 2 days on completion, which took 2 years, 197 days).
15 Shelly Napier       Second female. Second fastest overall to complete. (7 yrs, 5 months, 18 days).  Fastest female completer. Youngest female completer; second youngest completer overall. Age at completion: 36 yrs.
16 Geoff O’Hara

17 Graeme Pennicott
18 Terry Brain              First Supervet. Record for oldest completer. 73 yrs 10 months and 6 days old on completion.
19 David Griffiths       Aged 76 (2021). No data for a record supplied.

Phil Dawson en route to Norman Bluff (not an Abel), near King William I (which is).
5 or fewer to go:
Stuart Bowling           (1)      Aged 50 (2021). Second youngest male on the list
Louise Fairfax (F)       (2)    Equal Third woman. Abelling since 2012

Lee Evans   (F)             (2)    Equal Third woman. Abelling 47 years so far (2020). Aged 62 (2021)
Harris, Dave                 (2)
Mark Hallam                (3)    Aged 44 (2021)
David Tongs                 (4)
Steve Jacobs               (5)

6-10 to go:
John Whitely               (9)

11-20 left:
David Young   (SV)       (11)   David is over 70 (2020)
Chris Howard                (13)
Rohan Hutchinson     (18)
Matthew Cloudsdale (18)
David Seaton                (19)
Brendon Young           (19)

Maureen Martin returning from climbing Mt Norold (not an Abel)
Maureen Martin   (158)
Shelly Napier         (158)   Youngest, fastest female to complete. (35)

Louise Fairfax        (156)
Lee Evans                (156)
Kathy Cotton         (141) 
Helen Thyne           (124)
Carolyn Farrar        (118)    Aged 41 (2021), 
Sally Coltheart       (118)
Suellen Jones         (107)  Aged 72 (2021).
Tracey Orr                (101)
Vonda Kerrison      (100)
Amanda Lennard  (88)
Tess Kendrick         (81)    Aged 15. Go Tess. A Junior record.
Pamela Tabor         (75)

Kent Lillico, second youngest completer so far on Mt Dundas with Monika Povolny, a keen bagger of peaks and Abels from the mainland.

An inspiration to us all: Suellen Jones still in action at over seventy years of age. Here she is on the Coronets having a bushbashing fest.

My dear friend, Pamela Tabor, who made it to 75 Abels before being tragically killed in a car accident. Pamela was always full of fun and ready to give anything a go. I was tempted to use a shot I have of her that has her engulfed in mist and snow, still pushing onwards with her husband (John), but this one shows her happy face, which is how I want to remember her. I’m so glad I take lots of photos, as I have many physical prompts to spark happy memories of the fun mountains we have shared, and adventurous times in snow, hurricanes, blizzards and heat.

19 Replies to “Abels: The List of top Abelists”

  1. Hi Louise,

    Just to keep the list up to date, I’m down to three (Fedders, Needles & Millers). Hoping to finish them next summer.

  2. Oh, and Mark Wright finished last summer. Had a lot of interruptions but finally knocked off the last few in Jan.

  3. Hi Louise,
    My daughter Tess Kendrick, aged 14 years has 69 Abels climbed as of August 2019.

    Hope you’re keeping well.


    1. Fantastic effort Tess Kendrik!!! 69 at only 14 is brill. Once you have eleven more, you will make “The List”, and will also set a record. Good Luck.

      Hey, btw, Tess is a great name. My Tess bags waterfalls rather than mountains, as she’s not allowed in National Parks, but she still loves the bush.

    1. It’s an honour system Adam. There are no sheep stations as prizes; the only prize is your own sense of marvel and fulfilment that you have done this thing. If you are so dishonourable as to pretend to what you don’t actually have, well, you have to live with yourself. The Tasmanian bushwalking community is small enough such that “pretenders to the throne” would soon be found out, I reckon. I have found most people to be scrupulously honest. Most of us have photos or gps routes by which we can “tell the story” of each mountain.

  4. Hi Louise,
    Just to help keep things up-to-date, Tess now on 82 Abels and Jess McDonald (from Pandani Bushwalking Club is on 83 Abels. Loving your Instagram photographs 🙂

  5. Hi Louise,
    As of March 22nd 2021, Tracey Orr is at 101 Abels (age 47, climbing since 2018).
    (I’m also at 101, though obviously in far greater company :-p)
    Cheers, Ben.

    1. Thanks so much for the update Ben, and congratulations to both. It is such a fun goal to be pursuing. I have added Tracey to the females’ list, and look forward to adding your name when you have twenty to go. Keep it up.

  6. Hi Louise
    I’m sending this on behalf of Brendan Young (age 56?) in Launceston.
    He has been walking for almost 40years, and has only 19 Ables to go.
    I’m only half way…but who knows…

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