2 November 2017
Jesse Brampton was brought up on a sheep farm south east of Perth. In April 1987 he decided to walk the Appalachian Trail in the USA, which stretches 3434 km from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. Jesse walked its full length between May 1987 and September 1988. A year later, after his return to Australia, Jesse walked the Bibbulmun Track and was shocked by the comparison. The Bibbulmun Track at that time followed mostly gravel roads rather than paths through the bush, there was inadequate signage, no shelters along the way, few toilet facilities and no guaranteed supply of water—little to attract the inexperienced or family hiker. The Appalachian Trail by comparison had wooden shelters along its full length, adequate water supplies and volunteers maintaining the trail—and it offered walkers deep immersion in beautiful natural landscapes along most of its length.
Jesse added his powerful dissenting voice to those of others who had experienced the inadequacies of the old Bibbulmun Track and prepared a detailed proposal for the upgrading and extension of the Track, based on the Appalachian Trail. In October 1993 CALM accepted this proposal and set out to undertake a major overhaul of the Track, extend it to Albany and to turn it into one of the world’s great long distance trails. For this purpose, the Building a Better Bibbulmun Track Project was set up and a steering committee, headed by Jim Sharp of CALM, was appointed to oversee the management and general direction of the project. Jesse Brampton was appointed to the position of Project Contractor, and was given the daunting task of leading the design and construction of the new Track.
Following Jesse’s advice, the model chosen for the new Track was the Appalachian Trail and close connections were made at the Appalachian Trail Conference. The first requirement of the planning stage was to determine the physical alignment of the new Track. The goals that the team set themselves were to minimise conflicts of interest, to maximise the quality of the walkers’ experiences on the Track, and to offer a safe experience to as broad a range of people as possible.
To celebrate the Foundation's 20th Birthday we have been given the last 100 books from the last print run of Promises to Keep. The Foundation will receive 30% from every book sold. Thank you Jesse for your wonderful contribution to the Foundation.
The perfect Christmas gift for any hiker!