Adventures in extreme places


Sir Ranulph Fiennes, often said to be the greatest explorer on the planet, is coming to Scotland to tell his story. We asked him some questions in advance.

Ask someone to name a living explorer, and there’s a fair chance they’ll say Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

His renown has spread well beyond outdoors enthusiasts, thanks to exploits such as his 52,000-mile circumnavigation of the globe via both poles.

And he’s about to go on tour with a talk entitled Living Dangerously – a title more than justified by his adventures, some of which have been wince-inducing (we’re thinking here of when he sawed off the frostbitten tips of the fingers on his left hand, for instance).

He reached the summit of Everest aged 64, having overcome his fear of heights to climb the North Face of the Eiger and, with Mike Stroud, became the first to walk across Antarctica. He ran seven marathons in seven continents on seven days and led hovercraft expeditions up the White Nile.

The 70-year-old former SAS soldier – full name Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes – kicks off his UK tour in Dundee, with a date in Stirling the following night and a third in Aberdeen several weeks later – see below.

HEADSHOT-250 We thought we’d whet your appetite for Sir Ranulph’s appearances by asking him some questions.

Here they are, with his no-nonsense, military-style replies.

You have achieved many firsts. Which are you most proud of?
“Locating the lost city of Ubar in the Empty Quarter [in Oman] after a 26-year on-off search.”

Have you ever thought: I will be lucky to get out of this alive?
“I fell into a crevasse in 1992, un-roped, and was very lucky indeed to escape alive.”

Which explorers do you most admire?
“Captain Scott and Wilfred Thesiger.”

What satisfaction do you get out of speaking to an audience?
“I enjoy speaking to conferences large and small. It is the way expedition leaders make a living.”

Your expeditions have all been on this planet ¬– would you have liked to try space travel?
“I would not want to travel in space. You need to understand physics!”

What’s the hardest question anyone has asked you?
“If I’d like to swim the Channel (I decided not for a long while yet).”


Sir Ranulph appears at the:

His tour is sponsored by Montane.

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