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katie l’herpiniere (EXPLORER)

On the Podcast this week, we have Katie, an adventurer and former model. It started as a chat-up line and turned into a life-changing trek along the great wall of China. This adventure sparked her adventurous spirit and led her to another record-breaking adventure across the Patagonian Ice Cap, which proved a near-death experience. She sat down with me on the Podcast to share her journey from model to adventurer.


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Transcript of our Conversation

Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere

[00:00:00] Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the modern adventure podcast. Coming up on this episode, like a hundred K wins. It was no visibility were roped together. I, I didn’t see talker usually, unless it was a break, I would just see a rope heading into white and it was just a white box around me. I didn’t know if I was getting up down left.

Right. You felt sick all the time. No one could hear you cry, which was a bonus. Got a lot of that. But yeah, so it was really alien being in this white world when he’d fall down a crevasse. Cause he was usually in the front. I would just feel the rope, pull me to the floor and I’d just, faceplant the floor.

And then I know it’s for me to now get him out of the chorus. That was how you knew one was coming. Quite often we’d lay in a tent and hear the avalanche coming down and just look at each other and. Hope it’s not taken us out.

[00:01:00] my next guest is an adventurer, a former model. From her life-changing Trek along the great wall of China to her record-breaking adventure, across the path of Ghanian ice cap. She sat down with me on the podcast to share her journey from model to adventurer. I am delighted tinge. Jeez, Katie to the show.

Hi, thank you very much for having me. Katie great to have you on and thank you so much. I suppose your, I came across you back in 2014, and what I loved about your story was how you first got started in adventure. I suppose, for people listening, probably the best place to start is with you and about you.

Well yeah, absolutely. So my entrance into the world of adventure probably is quite different to most. It wasn’t something I kind of grew up with. It wasn’t something I even desired to do. I didn’t [00:02:00] have, you know, grand hopes growing up of seeing far from places or anything like that. I, I was outdoorsy.

I come from a horse riding background, so I was an event rider for many years of my youth. And you know, we did family walks and things like that, but definitely not. I wouldn’t call it adventurous. There’s no adventure. Yeah. A lineage in my family of any description. But then after I let you left university, I I was actually working as a model.

So again, probably as far removed from the world of adventure, as you can get, it was all over stilettos of makeup and not eating a lot. And then, and then I met a man. And he, his chat line was, did I want to walk to the North pole with him, which wasn’t one I’d heard before? So it was quite interesting.

Obviously I said, no you know, why, why now I want to walk to North pole. How on earth could I walk to the North pole? I was kind of definitely a girl of acrylic nails and things like that. But yeah, this guy [00:03:00] who was actually kind of polar Explorer, a Mountaineer kind of real, real rugged adventurer After a few days, weeks, months we got on, we became a couple and he still kept kind of going on about this North pole trick.

And eventually he, he just convinced me that that I was somehow capable. And in fact that we were all capable, that the human body is incredible. And to not. You know not play down how much it can do. And so I agreed with him that I would walk to the North pole with him under the condition that perhaps I had a go at something a little easier to kind of dip my toe in the water of this world of adventure.

That was completely new to me. And he agreed to that. And so, so yeah, so I. I th I had this bucket list, I suppose if someone said where in the workplaces in the world, did you want to travel? I had this bucket list, like many people do and. I expect the things on it were probably the same as many [00:04:00] people.

And one of them on there was to, to visit the great wall of China. I knew nothing of it other than it was some wonder of the world. And therefore it kind of just came onto this list. So completely naively stupidly off kind of off the cuff said, well, why don’t we walk the great wall of China?

That could be my, kind of have a go at this adventure world. And the moment I’d said it, he grabbed it, ran with it. And six months later, We heading off to walk the great wall of China, which I didn’t know when I suggested it, but we were going to be the first people to walk the entire length of it from the most westerly Terminus to the most easterly Terminus.

It was four and a half thousand kilometers. It was six months long. I went from plus. 35 degrees to minus 35 degrees. Yeah, it was hell of an ordeal. And I could have walked to the North pole five times and back in the direction I walked along the wall. So a bit of an error on my behalf, [00:05:00] but yeah, that, that’s how I got into adventure.

Wow. And I suppose with those sort of drastic temperatures, what what do you wear in terms of, or take with you on a sort of trip like that? So for China I, well, I had no experience whatsoever. So taco my partner, who I was doing it with had a lot of experience of mountaineering and polar trips.

So I just went with whatever he told me, but because of his kind of polar trip experience we actually wore I kind of sell a pattern smock outfit that you would wear in the Arctic. So designed for kind of temperatures of minus 40 that he actually he actually made mine. I was still very much stuck in a girly girly world and I wanted it to be pink.

And the only ones that were on the market that you could buy for PODER trips were like black or Navy blue. And. Yeah. Oh [00:06:00] God. It’s, it’s laughable and how to get around it. But yeah, I didn’t want to spend the next six months of my life in the one outfit I was going to have in, in black. So he bought all the fabrics and copied the design of the one he bought for himself and yeah, he made it in a bright future pink from head to toe.

And that that’s obviously layering underneath, had kind of Marie Reno, wool base layers and some mid layers kind of fleece mid layers, but yeah, it’s it’s a kind of fleece lined smock jacket and seller pets. And that is all I had for six months. One set of clothes for six months. Yeah.

And I suppose, I suppose, game taking six months of this ordeal as you call it how difficult was it to walk the great wall of China?

At the time for me, hellishly difficult, hellishly difficult. I cried every [00:07:00] single day of the journey. I can’t. Think back of a day where I didn’t cry at least once. But don’t get me wrong. It was still the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It changed my life completely. I, I have nothing but wonderful memories, but if I strip that back and really boil down to it, yeah, it was, it was really tough.

I was carrying 35 kilos. On my back and my pack, which for somebody who was working as a model, you know, traipsing up and down, the cut was not coming from athletic kind of athlete background. That was, that was pretty hard going on my body. I, my knees, my back, everything suffered greatly. I.

I think day six, I was in hospital. So I was doing well. It’s definitely cut out for this adventure world. Yeah, day six side. So started in the Gobi desert in kind of plus 40 degree heat. Middle of nowhere. There is basically a rock that they [00:08:00] say was once the start of the great wall of China.

But if you arrive to it, it really is just a rock, completely surrounded by flats, desert salmons. But the guy book said, so off we headed and he got a taxi out to the starting point and Most people who would go there will either be Chinese, but be they’d go in the taxi. They’d get out, they’d stand with this big block behind them.

They’d have their picture taken and they’d get back in the taxi and head home. So, you know, you couldn’t really speak any Chinese. So we’d got out the taxi and start doing our kit and the taxi mounds waiting for us to kind of get back in the taxi. We’re like, no, no, no. Go go. You leave us with we’re heading off across the, across the country and, and he wouldn’t leave us.

And then other people gathered and then no one would leave us. And that was just to be left alone, to start was a hellish deal in its own own. Right. It took hours, but eventually they kind of all got in their taxis and headed away. I’m sure they were muttering that, Oh, they’re going to die. They’re going to die.

And I’m trying fighting back the tears because. All I want to do is get [00:09:00] back in that taxi and head back with them. But I was trying to be strong. I’m like, no, I’m an adventurer here. I am at the start. I can do this. And yeah, and obviously trying to hype back the tears, but as soon as the taxis left, the tears started and I headed off into the unknown and yeah, there wasn’t really any water for much of the first month.

So when we did find water you know, we tried to filter it and things like that, but somewhere along the line in these first few days, I got. Contaminated water and got gastroenteritis incredibly badly to the point that when talker left me to go and get help, I was unconscious. And he just had to make a makeshift shelter for me and head off, back into the deserts to try and find some form of help, which came in a bus, which he kind of stood in front, off on this dirt road, which could have got around him, but he was waving his arms frantically and Yeah, he got in there again, couldn’t speak the language, try [00:10:00] to try and basically sign language to explain that they needed to drive through the desert, through the sands to find me eventually they did.

And then it was like military fashion. I am, the, everything was whipped up, put in the, put in the coach and. Off. We went to the nearest hospital where I spent three days on a drip. My mum, obviously back in England at this point is also having a nervous breakdown thinking my little girl should come home.

Yeah, that’s just the first week. So it was, it was hard. I went off and we often went maybe three days without food. Food came and went in. It was all or nothing. A lot of the food didn’t agree with me, so I was ill a lot of the time. It was all very, very spicy. And my stomach lining. Yeah, I struggled with that.

It also got very cold to kind of minus 35 for at least three or four months of the journey. So battling with the cold, you know, going into the freezer to get out the peace was my, it was my experience of cold beforehand. So that was, you know, [00:11:00] it’s a whole learning curve. I had compression of the spine, so was in hospital again with that later on in the trip.

And basically they, the doctors said that my, my journey was over, but I. We’ve come so far. I didn’t want it to be over. So we actually sent back most of our kits, so I could carry with it, walk with a much lighter pack rather than the 35 kilos. And and then just took the amazing hospitality of the Chinese people.

We relied on that from then on, because we took, we sent our tent back and everything can just step slept in people’s houses and stuff like that, that they were incredible people. So, yeah, I mean, every day, something new, new came about the wall isn’t just. On the map. So most of the time there is no wall at all.

I think I only saw a wall for maybe 20% of the journey and maybe only 1% of the journey as the wall that you’ve got in your mind, the stone structure with all the steps that’s as a tiny bit. So. Yeah. Wow. Wow. What a way to [00:12:00] start your experience with venturing. Can I wait? That’s what I should have gone with.

I mean, for the great wall of China to sort of say that that was the more relaxed version of the North pole or the more chilled out adventure to start with, you must have really felt. Yeah, I’m, I’m under no illusion that the North pole wouldn’t have necessarily been easier, but it would have been one set, one environment, one kind of set of.

Day-to-day issues to deal with is where China, every day, every corner, every term was something completely unexpected. So for me as a person, I was just having to change and adapt and overcome by the hour. Like it’s just so much to take on. That’s where I think the North pole would have been much more, a suffer Fest, head down, suffer Fest deal with the cold look after yourself, you know, frostbite, that kind of thing.

But for shorter period of time that’s where China was. [00:13:00] Yeah, it was quite full on, but now don’t get me wrong. Like now, if I was to do it again, I probably wouldn’t feel it to be quite so hard because I’m a lot more experienced. I think it was just a hell of a first step, but it wasn’t doable. It was doable, quite, quite a drastic step from walking down the catwalks, just suddenly walking along the great wall of China.

Exactly. Exactly. And so in terms of, I mean, especially after the first week, when you had sort of gone into hospital, what sort of motivated you to sort of keep going? Because I w I would have said a lot of people after a week of sort of jumping into this would have said, right. Undone that’s, that’s nothing for me.

I’ve tried a failed. That’s the end of it. I hated it. Yeah. Well, that’s quite interesting. Cause my, I definitely think my motivations of what keeps me moving forward in difficult trips has drastically changed over the years. So what motivated me then in [00:14:00] China is very different to now, but in China it was.

Rightly or wrongly. It was very much to prove people wrong. So I my wonderful friends and family back home, like kind of pretty much have a sweepstake on me. And this was for days, this wasn’t for weeks, you know? No one believed for a minute. I could do this. I’m I’m not gonna lie. I was pretty, I’ve been very lucky.

Fortunate growing up a bit of a daddy’s girl, you know, I don’t know. I hadn’t really been put through the ringer, so I don’t think anyone expected much of me, but I made sure that that fueled me basically. Once I’d said I was going to do this and I could see on everyone’s faces, they were like, she hasn’t got a hope in hell.

That was my motivation. And then on top of that, I also was raising money for the Make-A-Wish foundation which is Wonderful. Children’s charity. And so whenever you were feeling really low, which was most of the [00:15:00] time, but whenever I could get to a computer and check the blog and things like that, and you were, it was before kind of social media.

So we just had an old fashioned blog and, you know, we post Navy wants. Every three weeks or month and then get some comments. And those comments were just filled with just incredible encouragement from the families of the Make-A-Wish foundation and things like that. And I’m like, Oh crikey, what am I problems there?

Nothing. And it just put everything back into perspective. You know, I chose to be here. It was my idea. And so, you know, I had to remind myself that of a lot. So they would definitely, I would say I was, it was very. The motivation came very externally for that first trip. And I don’t think it matters.

What does drive you? There is no right or wrong. Just know what those reasons are and use them to your advantage, find out what they are. You know, some people are intrinsically motivated, they will get up rain or shine without anyone in the world, knowing what they’re doing and they’ll go out there and train, you know?

I’m not that person. And I know, I know that. So I have to use other things to keep [00:16:00] me moving forward. Yeah. So after sort of completing it and gain. How do you think that expedition sort of changed you?

You can’t say it without sounding completely corny, but unequivocally 100% changed my life, that, that journey. And therefore for me, it will probably always be the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve done amazing adventures since and seen amazing places, but China will always be special because it definitely changed my life and it, it opened Pandora’s box.

Into this world of adventure and even on the plane ride home Taka and I were planning the next adventure and it has never stopped. And it, it is now my life. Like I can’t. There isn’t, I don’t sit at home and kind of do normal life and work and wait for the next adventure. Adventure is his entire life.

So whether I’m on an adventure, but I’m planning an adventure, whether I’m project managing and doing the district for someone [00:17:00] else’s adventure with our leading people, public speaking. Blogging. It doesn’t matter every day. It is part of my world and on the odd day where it isn’t part of my world, I feel very lost.

So as much as it wasn’t the notch, it wasn’t perhaps where I naturally envisaged my life to be. Now I’m in it. I definitely can’t imagine. I don’t know where I’d be or what I do. So it is me. Yeah. So you were planning your next adventure. Was that the Patagonia ice cap? No, that wasn’t that, wasn’t what I was planning.

I kind of remember, I think you’re planning to go to the North pole. I think that was always the plan. It never happened. Ironically had still not actually started at the North pole. No, it wasn’t Patagonia, but PA I, I think between them, I did various trips in the architect quite a bit in the Arctic.

But Patagonia was definitely the next. [00:18:00] Monumental kind of, again, life-changing in a different way trip it’s you wouldn’t, you couldn’t pay me enough money to go back. It was, China was incredible and taught me so much. Patagonia taught me so much. And it also taught me when I went to say no, not every adventurous for me.

And I learned that on that trip. So what happened. Yeah. Okay. So So the journey was to be the first people in the world to do a full traverse of the Southern Patagonia ice cap. So it’s on the border of Chile and Argentina and it’s, you’ve got Antarctica Greenland, and then the Southern Patagonia ice cup is the next, next biggest ice cap.

It’s not been mapped. It’s one of the few places in the world where we actually got satellite imaging from NASA to help us plan our route. You know, you can’t just go and go and order some maps and you also can’t get rescued. You can get rescued from the South [00:19:00] pole. You can get rested from the North pole.

You can get rescued from the middle of the ocean, but no one’s coming to get you on the Southern Patagonia ice cap. If you go on, you have to get yourself off. So it was. Another massive step up in the adventure world for me. So the plan was to ski across it Borga Oursland and a teammates had done a previous traverse of it, but they’d use kites to when we were on the flatter sections, they’d use the wind power to, to move them along.

And the plan was to do it without kites. So yeah, so it was predominantly skiing, pulling a small sled but to get onto the ice cap, we got lots of big gaseous to get on and glasses to get off. And so Carried a backpack with a kid’s little sled. It’s a little plastic sled for 10 pounds attached to the backpack.

And then once I was off on the top, I put my backpack in the sled. So before we’d even left, I mean like proper polar explorers we’re looking at are like Palm thinking, what are they doing? This, this doesn’t look right. [00:20:00] So, but it meant that going up on the glasses when you’re crossing a lot of crevasses, normally if you’ve got a big polar sledge, that’s like 120 kilos.

It takes a lot of effort and setting up police and stuff to get it across and things. Otherwise it will just fall down the crevasses, whereas with the backpack, although it was 50 kilos, which was as much as my body could. Absolutely. I mean, my knees are shaking with every step with 50 kilos, but it was going down by the day because most of it was food and fuel.

But with the backpack you could kind of weave your way trying to avoid falling down too many crevasses. So, yeah, so that was kind of the, the plan of the trip. It was also on skis and I wasn’t a skier, so that was also another, another thing to get my head around. And it was going well. I think about halfway into the trip, I got carbon monoxide poisoning.

From cooking in the tent and I mean, I’ve cooked intense. I know, I know technically you’re not supposed to go contents, [00:21:00] but when you’re in storms and you’re in really cold places, it’s what we do. You, you do it in the porch area. You keep doors a little bit open and, and it’s part and parcel of, of adventure life, I suppose.

But on this instance with a raging storm and a hundred kilometer winds there obviously had the door down too much and I didn’t before I knew it, I had a full seizure. Complete duration dilation of the eyes, blood coming out, my nose nears and was kind of a Ghana. And so Taka threw me out into the storm and resuscitated me.

And thankfully I just came back to him screaming, my name. So that was good. He gave me 12 hours off to rest and recoup before we’re off again. So that was the first kind of little incident. And then from there on it just became. Hourly incidents. The falling down crevasses became two or three times a day.

In [00:22:00] the 35 days I was on the ice. I saw the sky three times. So we were actually doing this expedition in winter. Bulgur did it in summer, but in summer you don’t get as much snow. So you don’t get the snow bridges, cross covering a lot of the craft classes. So you have to go round them all. Whereas in the winter, most of the time there’s enough snow that it’ll have a snow bridge and on your skis, you can cross without falling in.

But the flip side of that is winter is horrific weather and I mean, horrific weather, it was always. Always like a hundred K wins. It was. No visibility were raked together. I, I didn’t see talk usually, unless it was a break, I would just see a rope heading into white and it was just the white box around me.

I didn’t know if I was going up down left. Right. You felt sick all the time. No one could hear you cry, which was a bonus. Got a lot of that. But yeah, so it was really alien being in this white room weld when he’d fall down a crevasse. Cause he was usually in the [00:23:00] front. I would just feel the rope, pull me to the floor.

And I’d just, faceplant the floor. And then I know it’s for me to now get him out of the chorus. That was how you knew one was coming. Quite often we’d lay in a tent and hear the avalanche coming down and just look at each other and. Hope it’s not taken us out. So that was quite stressful. But then the main crux of the trip came 30 days into the yeah, 30 days into the trip.

We knew it was always going to be the hardest bit of the trip. There was a 400 meter, vertical ice wall. We had to repel down with our kids and for that, we needed to good weather. We needed to be able to see, see, see the wall. And so we were in a massive storm at the top of it. We waited five days in this storm on half rations.

Cause to keep the pack, even as light as 50 kilos, we had to be really, really stringent with how much food we took and how much fuel we took. So taking up extra days in the, in the. 10 [00:24:00] pounds as it were meant we were in half rations. So we would just have one bag of food between us and we’d take one spoonful at a time.

And despite being with, you know, the one you love, you analyze the size of the spoonful to make sure they’re not having any more than you sharing. Doesn’t seem to go so well when you’re that hungry. And yeah, so we’re in this tent for five days waiting for the weather to get better and it just got worse and worse and worse.

And. Eventually the snow was just literally just burying the tents. After like five or six hours would get out of the tent, raped together. Cause they’re still crevasses everywhere. You dig out the tent, move it on top of the snow, get back in and, you know, boil yourself with games and the 10 ice by whatever on your half rations and just keep this process.

And then on one of the times when out, and just under days of weight from all the snow within an instant, the, when moved the tent, the. [00:25:00] The poles snapped and sharp edges, 140 kilometer winds just shredded the tent in, in, in seconds. And so yeah, just into survival mode then, and they’re making some form of.

Shelter with the scraps of tent that we had left the bits of Polsky poles and everything else got inside, got the cooker on starting all the food we had. Cause this was like basically you need to eat to think straight. So first thing you do in a crisis, if you can, is eat and then you’ll think better.

So that’s what we did. And yeah, basically had a really difficult chat. Didn’t believe we’d see the night through had the discussion of whether you should we phone our parents and take a bike, or whether it’s better, they never hear us say goodbye. We decided not to call them. We thought it was better that way.

And yeah, kind of just sat, waiting, [00:26:00] waiting to be no more. It was just the most horrific experience of my life. But the next day came, he was still there. Marvelous. So yeah, we then. Kind of try to make a plan. Obviously we’re still in a, still in a storm. There’s no way we can go on there’s nowhere we can go back.

So we could go off the sides of the glass here. The ice pack is very long and thin, so our quickest way to rescue is off the sides. We haven’t really studied those. So we didn’t know much about it. And as I said, my map is just a satellite map. So it was going to be very much working out as we went and we chose to head towards Argentina.

We were actually in Chile, but Argentina looked best bet and it took us five more days to get actually off the ice cap and kind of to relative safety, which without a tent was, you know, interesting. I got snow blindness talk. I had frostbite, you know, Good old adventure stories. And then we eventually got to kind of [00:27:00] what looked like normal world would come down this glass.

Yeah. First people who’d ever been on this glass here. It was, it was incredible. If not terrifying, and eventually we were hoping a boat would come and collect us from the side of the, from the. Side of the ice, but it was just, I don’t know, you’ve probably seen pictures of in Patagonia where the ice is always falling into the water and there was no way they were kind of get boats to us.

So in the end the military came and got us with a helicopter. But they wouldn’t have gone and collected us from higher up. We had to be on, on a kind of sea level for them to do that. And that was sadly the end of our trip. Sadly, yeah, I mean,

Yeah, I struggled. I struggled with the failure of it. There’s no getting around that. I still struggle with failure. I’m getting better. I’ve done it a lot smaller now. But I Def that was the first time that I really hadn’t achieved what I’d set out to achieve. And it was hard to take, but I mean, gosh, [00:28:00] nowhere in the world.

We thought either, either of us thought we would be alive. So that that’s, that’s good. Thumbs up for that one. Yeah. And now, you know, retrospectively for talk of, you know, as soon as we’d kind of got to safety and, and we’re fattening back up and things like that, he was already thinking, how could we have done this differently?

Was it just an unfortunate instinct? Could we have, could you take two tents from blah, blah? And I’m already thinking. Nah, I’m never coming back that pick a new team mate. So that one for me, I don’t feel any desire to go and finish what I started. There’s not even an ounce of me. I’m I’m good with I did.

I did all, all I could do there. And it wasn’t to be coming away with my life will, will be my success story. In that one, you said that you. When the storm came, you ate all the food or as much as the theaters, just, just like as much food before my stomach was like, okay, we’ve eaten. Thank goodness for that.

Because [00:29:00] for five days I’d eat eaten, you know, a few spoonfuls of food each day. So. To try and make decisions on that. Yeah. I mean, do you want to say one ma many decisions to make cream one? We didn’t have a lot of options, but you just need to be thinking as clearly, clearly as you can. So I think we had kind of two or three freeze dried meals each in a row, which, you know, you wouldn’t do if the trip was going on.

But we knew there was no going on. So God, what a story. It’s unbelievable. You couldn’t, you couldn’t pay me enough money to do it again. No one’s done tried to since it’s there, it’s there to be done. And it’s definitely our method was working. I feel confident we had the right kit. We had the right strategy you know, luck of the draw where the weather window light, like mountaineering, really, you need a good weather window to summit and, and we didn’t have that.

And it all went horribly wrong, but I don’t feel we were Under-prepared or [00:30:00] inexperienced. It was just, it’s just, we were, we were thrown what Patagonia, I think would throw at anyone. I read a little before we went and you’re trying to get sponsors and you, you know, w when I plan an expedition, I plan it is if someone else is doing it, I never put myself there.

Otherwise I probably wouldn’t want it to go. So I do it kind of naivety as blessed as my method. So I was planning it and, you know, you’re creating exciting sponsorship proposals to try and get people interested in the trip. And I use this kind of. Quote that somebody who had done a trip over there had used.

And that was probably not remember it now, but I think it’s the wind impact in Patagonia, the wind knocks you to the knee, to your knees and the snow berries you alive. And I used to everywhere thinking, Oh, that sounds great. That sounds really dramatic. I’m like, Nope. That is exactly what it did. It completely threw us on these and buried us alive.

So I wasn’t lying, but I hadn’t taken it literally. And so after these [00:31:00] two expeditions, you were still hooked, you were still ready to face more. Yeah. Yeah. I can’t even remember the order of things. Oh gosh. Actually. Yeah. Well, I plan next was even worse, but thankfully, thankfully it never never happens.

Yeah. So off the back of that trip, I think the next big trip was to do a circumnavigation of the globe from the North pole down to the South pole using only human powered. The two kind of bits I wasn’t looking forward to was ocean rowing. Drake’s passage from the tip of South America and start to go.

I’m not good with water. That one, wasn’t thinking my boat and wintering, we had a packed a winter on the Antarctic peninsula to then be there at the right time to have made it from the coast on that side. So that was a big project. It was [00:32:00] actually to 3 million pounds sponsorship project. It was got, got right down to the Signing of the deal day when all the banks crashed and yeah, we were being sponsored by a big bank.

So that, that kind of was a lot of time and effort, sweat and tears into putting something together that just fell away in a day. And that kind of changed my outlook again. Into adventure up until then it was kind of quite sponsorship, press media led not led, but it just happened that way. I think because Tara had done trips that were kind of polar or mountaineering, and that was the norm.

That was the way it was. And so our trips became that and I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m not saying it’s something I’m, I’m definitely not into, but I. I after that kind of heartache of losing that sponsorship deal after all the money and time, we definitely took a bit of a turning and just were [00:33:00] like, do you know what?

We’ll just raise the amount of pennies we can raise and we’ll just go on an adventure. It doesn’t happen to be big. And, and yeah, life-threatening, it doesn’t have to be for the media. It doesn’t have to be for sponsors. It’s just go and, and enjoy adventuring. And that. Has by and large been more the route I’ve stuck down.

So after that kind of big trip fell through, I think we just got on yeah, I think we got on a plane. Yeah, that was that trip. We went to Africa, we went to North Africa to Djibouti on the edge of the Sahara desert and we bought a couple of. Very, very rusty old bikes. They must’ve been 40 or 50 years old, no gears, no brakes, just whatever.

I hadn’t thought through the fact that they weren’t going to be many bikes and as hard as it, but there really aren’t many bikes and as hard as it, but some locals found us some yeah, really, really rubbish old bikes, but and yeah, headed down towards South Africa and just taking it all in as we went lot.

Lot of [00:34:00] walking. Cause the bikes were pretty rubbish. Went through some trainers because that’s how we stopped because we had no breaks. We just put our feet on the ground. But yeah, so complete polar opposite to what we’d been doing, but just went purely for adventure. Yeah. And how did they sort of that compare when you have that sort of freedom to pursue an adventure of your own accord?

They both have their place. And I love both, and there are certain trips where I’ve had a wonderful time and I okay. But it’s almost been too enjoyable. I’ve seen wonderful things. I’ve experienced wonderful things, but I’ve become slightly addicted to a bit of suffering along the way. So. I think when you’ve got a big trip and people are watching and there’s definitely like finite goals involved, whether it’s a timeframe or distance you have to [00:35:00] get, it gives you, it provides motivation to push through the hard times.

Whereas when you just go heading out on an adventure and have no. Desire or need to do a certain distance each day. It can become very easy to stop and enjoy the town. And, Oh, we’ll have another day here, which is fantastic and still a wonderful experience. But for me personally, I like to be a little bit, have a little bit more.

Be a bit more driven. So I try and set goals a little bit beyond what I think I can do. Whereas Africa was, we just went for a cycle. Oh, it was quite a long way, but it was still there. You know, it didn’t matter how long it took us. So yeah, there’s a place for both, but I definitely tend to go to the. I think, I think sufferings.

Good. I think it’s good for you actually, you learn a lot when you’re suffering, when you’re pushing beyond your kind of comfort zone. Yeah. Katie, there’s five questions, which we ask the guests each week with the first one [00:36:00] being on your trips, what’s the one item or gadget that you always take.

It’s not very exciting, but I love my Nalgene bottle. That, yeah, it doesn’t matter whether I’m ski, touring, cycling, hiking, running, whatever. And now Dean for me is like, The best 10 pounds you can buy. Not only is it, you know, a great sturdy water bottle, but the reason why I love it is it is my hot water bottle.

And I feel the cold. I know it sounds like I go to lots of cold places, but I’m a real worst when it comes to the cold and I definitely can’t sleep if I’m cold. And on these trips, you know, sleep is so, so important that yeah, I fill up my when I’m doing my cooking, I bawl and actually to have water.

Put it in an algae, get it and sleeping bag. And yeah, I don’t know where I’d be without it. So simple one, but again. Okay. What’s your [00:37:00] favorite adventure or travel book? It’s a bit embarrassing, but I’m not really much of a reader. I know that sounds awful. Yeah, I don’t read many books. I love maps and I love atlases.

And when I open a page to me, there’s adventures everywhere. So that’s kind of adventurous reading. But no, I, I, I’m more of a, I listen to a lot of podcasts. I like to multitasking. I can listen to other people’s adventures and stories through a podcast while I’m training or even on an adventure myself.

So yeah, so. I, I, I spent hours doing that, but finding the time to actually sit down and get lost in a book, it just doesn’t happen in my life. I’m afraid. Why are adventures important to you? Well, I, I think I mentioned, probably answered this one earlier in the fact that. They all my life, I [00:38:00] can’t really separate an adventure life and a normal life adventure.

It is my life. And without it, I have absolutely no idea who I’d be, what I’d be, where I’d be. I just can’t. I can’t picture it. That’s all. Yeah. Do you have a favorite quote or motivational quote?

I love later quotes expect, you’ve heard, say a million times, but I don’t have one. I don’t have a quote as such, but what I do do is I write little like little words of mottoes. So like if I’m on a bike race, so I do a lot of ultra ultra distance bike racing. So it might be like two weeks on the bike.

I will print them out and I will. Tape them to my actual bite cannibals. So when you’re like suffering and you’re looking down there, just little words to kind of give you a boost. And I never really simple. But they work for me just simple as things like everything [00:39:00] passes. So if I know I’m suffering and you know, it’s just enough to read that and know it will go away or to, I, I write things like don’ts.

Don’t waste energy on things you can’t change. That’s usually at the weather when you know the swearing at it. So don’t rise to it. You can’t change it, go with it. ATF, you just, you know, all sorts of just little, little snippets that there are only a couple of words. But having them somewhere where I just looked down and glance, that really, really works for me.

And that’s something I do rather than have a specific quote for such. I think my sisters, which is on the sort of very similar lines is don’t wait for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain. Yes. So basically I’ve taken really good quotes like that and just turn them into like three words to remind me.

Cause I’ll never be able to remember the quake. Yeah, exactly. People listening, always keen to travel and go on these grand adventures. What’s the one thing you would recommend them to get started? Okay

[00:40:00] to get started. I know it sounds ridiculous, but so many people will go, Oh my God, I love what you do. Your life looks great. What I’d love to do that. I’m like, okay, go for it then. I think, I think the hardest. Thing for people is to physically start. And I think that’s because it’s really easy to not feel ready, whether that’s to not feel like you’ve trained enough, not feel like you got enough money, not feel like it’s the right time, but those things I’ve never, ever been ready for any trip I’ve done.

And if I waited to be ready, I still have, would have not have left the house. So I think. The simplicity of just starting is absolutely my best advice to anybody. And and just to remember that an adventure. I think of it as it’s an adventurous personal development. So I don’t know what you’re learning, but you’ll learn a hell of a lot along the way.

So you’re not supposed to know it all before you start and therefore get stopped. [00:41:00] Learn as you go train as you go. Yeah. Stop making excuses. Yeah, I think that’s probably my sort of for people starting and the best thing is just go for it and you’ll you’ll make mistakes, but you always learn from that.

And you’ll do it better next time. Absolutely. Absolutely. What are you doing now and how can people follow your adventures in the future? So right now, like many people, not a lot thankfully at the moment, very touch word. We’re not in locked down here in the front shops where I am. Although it is looming.

So on a day-to-day basis, I am fortunate that I can go outside and do a lot of ski touring and snowshoeing and things like that. So I’m actually training for my next set of qualifications. My IML guiding qualification. So that’s keeping me occupied. But with regards to kind of adventures and expeditions.

Oh, [00:42:00] Who knows. I’ve got two races in the diary. I’m supposed to be doing the tour divide, bike, race, mountain bike, race in, which is from Canada to Mexico four and a half thousand kilometer race supposed to be in June. I reckon I’d get there. They’re here. So maybe next year and I’m also supposed to be doing the Atlas mountain race and Morocco, but again, that’s moved from February to.

October. So, yeah, there’s not a lot. I’ve got a lot of adventurous plans, but who knows, which one’s coming first. So I just keep planning because I enjoy the planning stages, but and a blog. So Katie Jane endurance.com is where I. Do you mind? Geeky thing. I love kit lists. I love weighing kit and working out the lightest possible, you know Pat quakes for things.

So yeah, I write all about that on my website. And other than that on my Instagram, which is also cater to insurance. Amazing. Well, Katie, thank you so much for coming on the show today and you know, telling your stories. I have to say this incredible [00:43:00] to listen. Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

Well, that is it for today. Thank you so much for watching and I hope you got something out of it. Hit that like button, if you did, and subscribe, if you haven’t already, and I will see you in the next video.

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