Abels: The List of top Abelists

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.

(L to R) Geoff O’Hara (16th), Tony Woolford (4th), Paul Geeves (2nd) and Rohan Hutchinson on a beautiful evening on the Southern Ranges

Since his request, a certain faction has done some campaigning, and now the presence of such a list in his book was cancelled. 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. 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, 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.

Maureen Martin, first female completer
Phil Dawson First completer

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               Aged 50 on completion. Was once youngest completer
04 Tony Woolford       Record: First family man to complete
05 Andrew Davey
06 Malcolm Waterston Record: first person to complete all Abels and Scottish Munroes
07 John Carswell        Record: longest time to complete: 54 years.
08 Brian O’Byrne        Aged 68 on completion. 
09 Martin Doran
10 Mark Wright
11 Dale Lisson
12  Maureen Martin    Record: First woman
13 David Walker
14 Zane Robnik.          Records: Youngest completer; second fastest round of  Abels (aged 26 yrs + 2 days on completion, which took 2 years, 197 days).
15 Shelly Napier       Second female. Second fastest female to complete. (7 yrs, 5 months, 18 days).  Record:  Youngest female  completer; second youngest completer overall. Age at completion: 36 yrs.
16 Geoff O’Hara

17 Graeme Pennicott
18 Terry Brain              First Supervet. 73 yrs 10 months and 6 days old on completion.
19 David Griffiths      Record for oldest completer. Aged 76 (2021). No exact data for a record supplied.
20 Louise Fairfax      Third woman to complete. Record: First person to climb all the English Wainwrights as well as the Tasmanian Abels. 10 years to complete.
21  Stuart Bowling   Aged 50. 15 yrs to complete.
22 Lewi Taylor           Record: fastest completer. 158 days.
=23 Emma-Jane Budarick   Emma and William are the first couple to complete the Abels together, having done them all together. Bravo you two! (Done in 4.6 years). Emma 35, Will 37.
=23 William Gregory. (See above)
25 Becca Lunnon Aged 36. 11 years to complete. 5th woman.
26 John Whiteley
27 Steve Griffin
= 28 Nitya Malhotra   Second  Couple to complete all Abels togetherNitya and Alex are the first couple to take their baby to their final summit: The Needles no less.  Adi is 9 months old.  He climbed Feder in utero.
= 28 Alex Willows    (See above.)   
30  Kathy Cotton
=31 Ben Wells
=31 Tracey Orr
33 Jacqui Taylor. Record: Fastest female completer 2 yrs 3 months. Third fastest overall. Age on completion: 1 day before 42nd birthday.



Dale Lisson, 11th finisher
5 or fewer to go:

Steve Jacobs               (1)
Nick Morgan                (1)
Lee Evans   (F)             (2)    Abelling 50 years so far (2022). Aged 63 (2022)
Harris, Dave                 (2)

Mark Hallam                (3)    Aged 45 (2022)
David Tongs                 (4)

6-10 to go:

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

Female completers.
1  Maureen Martin
2  Shelly Napier          Youngest, fastest female to complete. (35)
3  Louise Fairfax
4  Emma-Jane Budarick
5  Becca Lunnon       36 on completion. 2nd youngest female to complete
6  Nitya Malhotra
7 Kathy Cotton
8 Tracey Orr
9 Jacqui Taylor

Becca Lunnon 5th female finisher.
Nitya Malhotra after climbing Federation. 6th female to complete.

Females with 75 or more Abels:
Lee Evans                (156)
Carolyn Farrar        (144)
Helen Thyne           (124)
Sally Coltheart       (118)
Jess McDonald      (115)
Suellen Jones         (107)  Aged 72 (2021).
Vonda Kerrison      (100)
Amanda Lennard  (88)
Tess Kendrick         (83)    Aged 15. Go Tess. A Junior record.
Sue McKinnon       (83)
Sally-Anne Richter  (83)
Pamela Tabor        (75)

34 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…

  7. One of the best ‘lists’ in the world on which to see your name; congratulations Louise!
    I wonder how many waterfalls are on your other ‘list’?

  8. Congratulations on making the list Louise and thank you for being generous enough to share your adventures via your blog. Tracey ?

  9. As of mid-April 2022, Tracey Orr is now at 123 Abels complete, and a little birdy told me Jess McDonald has cracked the triple figures at 100. (The Little Eldons were tough but magnificent!)

  10. Dear Louise
    I am at 132 Abels at the present so if would be lovely if you could please update your list.
    Kind regards

  11. Hi Louise,

    Malcolm Waterston has now completed all of the Munros in Scotland as well as the Abels in Tassie. I believe he is the first person to do so.

    Sal ?

  12. Hi Louise
    I have climbed 141 Abels over 43 years. I am 63 years old.
    17 Abels to go are: Sorell , Tramontane, Eldon Crag, Dome Hill, Hobhouse, West Portal, Bobs, Wylly, Victoria Cross, Clytemnestra, Chimera, Marriot, Shining Mountain, Pokana, Castle Mountain, High Dome, Nereus
    Not sure how you need me to vouch for the ones climbed? Many different parties over many years – some solo. I know Stuart Bowling who may vouch for me?
    kind regards

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