wilderness LECTURES

A winter series of public lectures in Bristol the theme of which is world-wide adventure.

Our lecturers are well known explorers, mountaineers, travel writers, TV personalities, adventure sports personalities or anyone who has an epic story to tell and can enthral our audience with a rattling good yarn. The talks are invariably illustrated with slides and/or film.

Featured Speaker

Steve Berry

Steve Berry is well known to our audience as one of the founders of Wilderness Lectures. Born in Shillong, India, just south of the Bhutanese border, Steve has returned to the Himalaya many times as leader of remote treks and expeditions. These include the first British ascent of Nun, 7,135m/23,410ft., in Kashmir and attempts on the sixth highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu, 8,201m/29,906ft., in Nepal, and also Gangkar Punsum in Bhutan, 7,550m/24,770ft. He is the owner of Mountain Kingdoms Ltd (formerly Himalayan Kingdoms), a company offering walking holidays worldwide.

Steve has climbed, trekked and explored all over the world but his passion is the Himalaya. He has completed 60 or 70 treks in Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Pakistan and various parts of the Indian Himayala. He is also the first British person to complete the highly auspicious Inner kora of the holiest mountain in Asia, Mount Kailash in Tibet. He also made the first official ascent of the highest mountain in Outer Mongolia, and has twice trekked up the frozen Zanskar river in Ladakh in mid winter.

Please check our Whats On to see this season's line-up.


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Coming Up Next...

The Yeti and the highest unclimbed mountain in the World

Steve Berry - 24/01/2018 19:30

Steve has something of an obsession with Bhutan's highest mountain, Gangkar Punsum 7,550m/14,770ft. In 1986 he took a mainly Bristol based expedition to attempt the first ascent. The expedition failed when an early winter jet-stream basically blew the expedition off the mountain. There were all kinds of adventures, and it was undoubtedly a turning point in his life. It resulted in Steve setting up an adventure travel company which is still his passion 30 years on. In that intervening time he has taken six more groups to visit the highest unclimbed peak in the world, and to explore both the western and eastern sides of the peak.

In 2014 he was trying to find a route from east to west and standing on a col at 5,426m/17,800ft his trusty Bhutanese Guide, Karma Tenzing, spotted a strange set of tracks high on the adjoining mountainside. In 2015 he returned to the same spot and a mile or so down the valley found more unexplainable tracks. Steve's talk is about these findings and he will relate a little of what has happened since. The mountain remains unclimbed and in fact the Bhutanese authorities have now closed their kingdom to all mountaineering expeditions. Steve will also describe Bhutanese beliefs in relation to the Yeti, and the creature's place in their rich folklore.


Sailing around the North Pole

Sir David Hempleman-Adams - 07/02/2018 19:30

In summer 2016 The Polar Ocean Challenge team, led by Sir David, a veteran polar region adventurer, successfully circumnavigated the North Pole in a small aluminium sailing boat. Departing from Bristol, via Murmansk and back via Greenland and an Atlantic crossing, they endured freezing conditions, met with more than one hurricane, avoided collisions with icebergs, got stuck in the ice on more than one occasion, and encountered various wildlife including a polar bear.

The purpose of the trip was to cast a spotlight on Arctic climate change. A double transit of both the North East and North West Passages in one season was only possible due to the extreme melting of what historically has been a frozen sea; last year being the lowest recorded ice extent in history. Sir David’s expedition reached 100 million people worldwide with its message to attempt to preserve the Arctic’s natural environment


Choose Your Own Adventure

Paula McGuire - 21/02/2018 19:30

Adventure: it’s not a word we use too loosely. It’s one we use not quite loosely enough.

When you struggle to leave your house, and the telephone ringing is enough to top out your heart rate, you don’t have to go far for an adrenaline rush. Fear is everywhere – but so is the potential for adventure.

Battling her way out of debilitating social anxiety, Paula learned to embrace terror as she rejoined the world at high speed, and proved that adventure is everywhere, everyday and for everyone.

Climb far away mountains, if you fancy. Trek the world, if that’s your thing. But if you believe that adventure is only out there, beyond your horizons, this lecture will undoubtedly convince you otherwise.