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Adventurer to share tales from K2 and North Pole

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British adventurer Adrian Hayes during his most gruelling challenge — trekking to the North Pole.

Whether it’s climbing the world’s toughest mountain, traversing the Arabian Desert or trekking to both poles, British adventurer Adrian Hayes has completed some of the most gruelling challenges on the planet.

The record-breaking adventurer and former SAS soldier will be sharing some of those experiences and the life lessons he has learnt along the way at a presentation at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute next week.

His talk, To the Ends of the Earth, will also introduce his book, K2 the Tragedy and the Triumph, which documents his summit to the “mountaineers’ mountain” K2. Also known as Mount Godwin-Austen or Chhogori, it is the second-highest mountain to Everest yet is considered to be the most difficult to summit.

“K2 — it gets a lot of bad press,” Mr Hayes said. “The risk is extremely high. K2 has always been the mountaineers’ mountain — it is way more difficult than Everest — it is further north, it involves technical rock climbing and the chances of getting to the summit are very low and the chances of dying are very high.

“High risk, high reward is one thing, but high risk and low reward is an all together different thing.

“The chance of getting rewards are low on K2 but the risks are still very high. The book is the story of my two attempts and my three years on K2. I delve into the mentality of it — it is a very deep journey.

“We all have our own mountains within all of us and it is a metaphor for that.”

Mr Hayes will also talk about what he describes as “the hardest challenge on the planet”, trekking to the North Pole.

“I will speak on the polar world as well. The difference between mountains and the polar world is that when you are climbing it is absolutely the most physical exertion, it is brutal, but you do get rest periods on mountains — you get down to base camp and can relax for weeks waiting for good weather.

“The polar world is day in and day out for two months.

“The North Pole is the hardest challenge on the planet — that is going from the coast of Canada or Russian to the North Pole — I have never done anything so brutal.

“There are some tools I use to mitigate risk. You have to be absolutely clear why you are doing it, working out the difference between measured risk and reckless risk and listening to your gut instinct.”

Mr Hayes said that there would be something for everyone in his presentation.

“It is not just a macho-ego driven thing, it goes much deeper than that. I will talk about what you learn about yourself, your capabilities and real team work.

“If you get team work wrong in a corporate sphere you might lose some sales and some profits but you get that wrong in an expedition like that, and people lose their lives.”

What is left for a man who has tackled some of the most physically challenging expeditions possible? He is also a coach, campaigner and author and intends to continue to inspire those around them to achieve the most out of life.

As for his next adventure, he would only go as far to say “that will be a good question for next week at the presentation”.

But he did reveal: “I’d like to do a round-the-world sailing journey one day but I think I will do that when I am old.”

The presentation is at the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute on Monday, June 12 at 7.30pm

British adventurer Adrian Hayes during the summit of K2.
British adventurer Adrian Hayes at the summit of K2.