Mountain madness

Mountain madness

Mad – that’s the typical adjective most people choose when I tell them about my new expedition. They will listen for a while but are primarily eager to get in a second-hand anecdote of a climber who died or a story they heard of a recent polar bear attack. Attempts to go through the detailed risk assessments and give a reality check to the horror stories are usually met by patronising smiles. You shouldn’t have asked the question, then, I think; you know expeditions are what I do.

I am not pretending to be Ranulph Fiennes, self-proclaimed ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ adventurer. But madness is relative. For this sports-hating schoolgirl who’s never touched skis before, it certainly brinks on madness to sign up to a 150-mile crossing of a polar plateau, dragging a 20kg pulk and cursing my own ambition. That was in February. Now I’m ready for the next big thing.

Madness seems to be a common thread in adventure – it will get you more funding, more exposure, more people buying yo...

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