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A young Welsh explorer who walked solo across Mongolia has been crowned National Adventurer of the Year.
24-year-old Ash Dykes spent 78 days crossing 1,500 miles of the Gobi Desert and the Mongolian Steppe last year - becoming the first person ever to walk across the Asian country alone.
Mongolia is the second-largest landlocked country on earth at 603,930 square miles and the most sparsely populated with only 3,133,318 people - averaging just 5.19 people to every one square mile.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer who was first to reach both Poles, first to cross the Antarctic and Arctic Ocean, and the first to circumnavigate the world along its polar axis, praised the the young adventurer from Colwyn Bay, saying it was "an example of great determination".
Ash dragged a 120kg home-made trailer behind him all the way from the small settlement of Olggi in the West to the town of Choybalsan in the East.
It carried the dehydrated food ration packs, 25 litre water butt and camping equipment he needed on his trek.
His longest day of walking saw him on his feet for 14 hours as he covered 55km. And he reached a peak altitude of 2,700m along the way.
The National Adventure Awards are a celebration of the very best of international adventure by people across the UK - and Ash was crowned National Adventurer of the Year after a public vote, coming out on top from 39 other competitors.
"I feel humbled to have received the most votes. I would like to say how proud I feel and I didn't expect such support from the public...I am in preparation for my next world first adventure now. It is something no one has done before and I will be revealing it very soon."
A soldier from Wales is among a group of injured servicemen and women who will take part in a 1,000-mile walk around the UK this summer.
Former Royal Welsh commander Lt Col Stewart Hill suffered a traumatic brain injury after an explosion in Afghanistan in 2009.
The trek will be in aid of the charity Walking With The Wounded and was launched by the charity's Patron Prince Harry earlier today.
David Wood's report contains flash photography:
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