'Climbing in Antarctica'
Wednesday, 25 October 2006
The Jardine Penthouse, 48/F Jardine House, One Connaught Place
Complimentary Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm
(please note that additional seating has now been provided at this venue) We are delighted to welcome to Hong Kong Guy Cotter to talk on 'Climbing in Antarctica', an insight into expeditions to Vinson Massif, the highest peak on the continent, and ascents on the Antarctic Peninsula accessed by sailing vessel across the world's most notorious stretch of water, the Drake Passage. The talk showcases two of his many expeditions, these being focused on Antarctica which covers the ascent of Vinson Massif and journeys to climb virgin peaks and ski unskied slopes. The Vinson Massif is accessed by aircraft from South America which lands on an ice runway in the interior of the frozen continent followed by a short flight in a ski equipped aircraft to the base of the mountain. This cold and high mountain is part of a rocky mountain chain called the Ellsworth mountains, an aggressively uplifted rocky spine situated high above the surrounding ice sheets. The expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula is a complete contrast being yacht based and accessed only after crossing the notorious Drake Passage famous for its turbulent seas and toll on maritime vessels over the last 200 years. On arrival at the peninsula there are numerous peaks to climb and glaciers he has explored. Guy ran the first expedition of this kind to the region in 2005 that claimed first ascents of several peaks whilst the yacht provided a basecamp the climbers would return to each night. Each morning required the group to approach land using inflatable zodiacs and to unload skis and climbing equipment under the watchful gaze of curious penguins, seals and other Antarctic animals that are so much a part of this landscape. On occasion, the group would be skiing towards the ocean from a recently ascended peak and at the same time watch Hump back whales cavorting through the channels below. Guy's lecture is supported by fabulous slides and video and provides an entertaining insight to the underside of the world and the life of a high altitude mountaineer and guide. Guy made his first ascent of Mt Cook at age 17 and has made numerous ascents since then. In 1981 he made a solo ascent of Mt Hicks via the extreme buttress and subsequently scaled El Capitan in the USA and many other rock routes. He then became an alpine and ski guide in New Zealand and in 1989 made an expedition to Uli Biaho Spire in the Trango Towers Group in Pakistan summitting the South Pillar, only the third ascent of the mountain. In 199192 he was Chief Mountaineering Instructor for New Zealand Army, Waiouru, NZ. He then summitted Mt Everest in both 1992 and 1993. He then started work as a fulltime guide, including the Vinson Massif in Antarctica, on Everest and numerous other mountains, often taking filming remarkable footage in digital of the routes. In 1997 he became the first westerner to guide and climb three 8000 metre peaks in one year and was awarded New Zealand Mountaineer of the Year. In 1998 he led a successful Vinson Massif Expedition to Antarctica and summitted on Mt Slaughter 3600m, a first ascent and in 2001, Mt Makalu, 8463m. In 2004 and 2005 Guy climbed the 7 Summits whilst filming British woman Annabelle Bond climbing as part of her 7 Summits in the one year programme which he filmed in its entirety. This year has scaled more mountains, including Mt Everest, his 3rd summit. This lecture is being held in the fine surroundings of the Jardine Penthouse. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend at HK$100 for Members, HK$150 for Members' guests and others. This includes a complimentary drinks reception prior to the lecture.