Wim Stevenson


Andy Kirkpatrick: WHAT HAVE I LEARNED? A Higher Education

Andy Kirkpatrick is a man who needs little introduction.  An outdoor antihero with a penchant for the longest and coldest ascents in the world.  His motivations are famously introspective, climbing to push internal barriers instead of for glory or conquest. Kicking off on Friday 02 Feb, the 29-date speaking tour in which the man described as ‘The Ranulph Fiennes of British climbing’ by the BBC’s John Humphrys shares the lessons he has learned from forty years in the vanguard of Big Wall climbing.  Andy talks entertainingly about life, love, death,... Read More


Paloncý wins the 2018 Montane Spine Race

Pavel Paloncý has won the 2018 MONTANE Spine® Race, a record third win of Britain’s most brutal race. The Czech Republic ultra-runner arrived at the Border Hotel, Kirk Yetholm, the end point of the Pennine Way National Trail and the Spine® Race at 21:50, in an overall time of 109:50. Paloncý becomes the first person to win the race three times and the first to complete it five times (he also has two runner-up placings). “It’s a great feeling to be here… Again,” he joked as he touched the wall... Read More


VINSON VI: Departing the Ice

< Previous Page          Next Page > A Cold Descent to Base Camp After summiting Vinson on Tuesday we descended and stayed at High Camp overnight. That night was probably the coldest I had been the entire trip. Even wrapped up in my -40degC sleeping bag I was shivering nonstop. For some reason, I just couldn’t warm up. At some point during the night, frustrated at not being able to sleep, I put my expedition down parka on over top of my other clothing and slept in... Read More


Vinson V: Summit Day

< Previous Page          Next Page > Trying To Delay The Summit It’s counterintuitive when doing a speed record attempt but I’ve actually been trying to delay our summit attempt on Vinson. We could have gone yesterday and possibly even the day before but I’ve been actively trying to encourage our team to wait. Fortunately, the weather has been playing into my hands with forecasts predicting improving conditions making the decision to wait for an easier one. Why do I want to wait? Well, the moment I... Read More


Vinson IV: Side Trip to Mt Shinn

< Previous Page          Next Page > A Good Way To Spend A Rest Day Today was planned to be a rest / acclimatisation day at High Camp. Thankfully one of our guides agreed to take myself and one other guy from our group on a side trip across to Mt Shinn. The views from High Camp are spectacular but it’s not the sort of place you want to sit around and just admire the view. You either want to be moving to generate body heat, or... Read More


Vinson III: Low Camp to High Camp

< Previous Page          Next Page > Getting Higher. Getting Colder. Today we climbed from Low Camp to High Camp. The route started out once more along the Branscomb Glacier. Relatively flat easy walking for the first hour. From there we headed up a steepish ridge, approx. 40 to 45deg to a plateau at High Camp. It was pretty easy climbing with hard packed snow underfoot. There were fixed ropes in place up the ridge which we could clip in to for safety but a pretty easy... Read More


Vinson II: Base Camp to Low Camp

< Previous Page          Next Page > What Time Is It? The first thing to get use to down here in Antarctica (or maybe the second, after the cold) is the sun. At this time of year it doesn’t set, it just does circles above your head. With 24hr daylight it really doesn’t matter what time zone you work off. All time zones merge at the South Pole so you can pick anything. Although we are working off the same time zone as Chile. Saves adjusting our... Read More


Nophobia – Tom Ballard

Like many good things, my ascent of this multi-pitch drytooling testpiece came about largely by chance. I was in the ice and mixed climbing mecca that is Alberta, Canada. After climbing various classic ice lines with some visiting Americans and a really good mixed line on the iconic Stanley Headwall with local under the radar hard climber Alik Berg, I was put in touch with an Australian doctor, Simon Parsons, living in Calgary, by part-time Canmore resident and Himalayan legend Steve Swenson (who I had first met this summer in... Read More


VINSON I: Welcome to Antarctica

<Home Page          Next Page > The Flight South Last night for some reason in the hotel I barely slept. Probably a combination of still adjusting to the new time zone plus anticipation for the day ahead (and my roommate snoring). Lying in bed awake at 06:00 I decided it was pointless trying to get any more sleep so got up and went to the hotel gym. We were meant to be flying to Antarctica this morning but based on last night’s weather forecast at the pre-departure... Read More


VINSON: Antarctica Pre-Departure Briefing

Pisco Sours on Antarctic Ice This afternoon we attended Antarctic Logistics & Expedition’s (ALE) pre-departure flight briefing covering everything from boarding procedures to weather to not feeding the penguins. It was very comprehensive and topped off with light canapés and pisco sours served on antarctic ice. From Punta Arenas we’ll be taking an Iiyushin 76 to Union Glacier where we’ll transfer to a smaller Twin Otter for the flight to Vinson Base Camp. There is strict weather criteria for the Iiyushin to land on the ice runway on Union Glacier... Read More