Last week, professional adventurer and mountaineer Jon Muir was interviewed at the first ever virtual Shackleton Society. He spoke about some of his adventurers and provided insightful advice for those thinking of planning a trip.

Mr Muir has climbed Everest, Mont Blanc and other classic climbs; however, he told us that eventually the novelty of these climbs wears off. This desire for new and challenging adventures led to him making a solo trip across the Australian continent, keen to do something he had never done before. He was self-sufficient and made no contact with the outside world, describing it as one of his favourite trips which allowed him to revel in peace and solitude.

Mr Muir highlighted the importance of a good sense of humour and a sense of perspective when embarking on an adventure, explaining that it stops you wanting to give up. His solo traverse of the Australian continent was 128 days long and he neither met nor spoke to anyone during that period. Without a sense of humour, he admitted, he wouldn’t have finished.

The virtual audience were intrigued to hear about Mr Muir’s views on the natural world, which he considers central to his understanding of himself, rather than the ‘artificial’ world which has been shaped by human desires and consumerism.

Raising Money for SafeLives

During lockdown the Shackleton Society has been raising money for the charity SafeLives, inspired by the adventures of Ernest Shackleton.

Secretary Rohan Rastogi writes;

In 1916 Ernest Shackleton and his crew rowed 1,330 km in 16 days from Antarctica to the South Georgia Islands in a desperate but incredible feat of survival. Eight members of the Shackleton Society are attempting to recreate this adventure in lockdown, by cumulatively running a total of 1,330 km in 16 days in the ‘Shackleton Challenge’. We are raising money for SafeLives, which is dedicated to providing support for victims of domestic violence during the ongoing lockdown. The ability of SafeLives to raise awareness and funds has been significantly hampered by the outbreak of COVID-19, and the rates of domestic violence have only increased since lockdown began.

To record our progress, we have all signed up to the running app Strava, and have connected this to our JustGiving page.