Tonight Simon went to hear a talk by mountaineer, skier and adventurer Nick Parks at the Berghaus store in Covent Garden. This was a narrated slideshow describing a trip that Parks made during the southern spring – i.e. November – in 2012. Nick traveled to the southern most tip of South America, setting sail from Ushuaia, Argentina, on a 60 foot yacht on a two week trip to the bottom of the world.
Parks, although not an experienced seaman, said that he loved the sailing, despite his initial fears of the oceans that meet at the Drake Passage where the boat would be sailing. It was easy to see, however, that for an active and boisterous man such as Nick, being cooped up in a 20m boat with 11 other people and tonnes of gear was going to be challenging enough without horrific seas to contend with. Luckily they seemed to have a very calm crossing.
Once on Antarctica, the aim was to spend as much time ski-touring and mountain climbing as possible and Parks explained how the area that they visited was perfect for that – it looked as though they could sleep on the boat and then come ashore and ski/climb straight up a mountain from the edge of the water.
Parks was careful to make sure that his kit supplier, Berghaus, was featured in quite a few photographs and he talked about some of the kit he took with him, especially the hydro-down jacket that he said he lived in, both on the sea voyage and whilst climbing and skiing.
All in all it was a really pleasant way to spend an hour and a half. The turn-out was not great, but Parks didn’t seem to mind and it was a great chance to ogle some of Berghaus’ latest offerings. Thanks go to Mountain Tracks, Park’s business, for organising the event.