Skip Navigation Links

Shackleton Society: Mr Neil Laughton

 On Friday 6th November, the Shackleton Society was privileged to host Mr. Neil Laughton. The society was only set up this term and has already had many entertaining and inspiring speakers on subjects of Everest expeditions and polar journeys.


Mr Laughton spoke about his expeditions over the years and how he managed, with a low income to fund them when he was a student as a door-to door office furniture salesman. After a short career in the British Special Forces, Mr Laughton left to pursue is personal business interests. However, his adventurous spirit still remained intact. In 1996 he organised an expedition to climb Mt. Everest. Unfortunately, not only did he pick the wrong year to climb the mountain, he picked the very wrong day. Stuck at 26,000ft, Mr Laughton was fighting for his life in the so-called ‘death zone’, only partially aware of the events happening around him. At the end of the storm, the worst on record for over 100 years, 8 climbers had died and many more were seriously injured, suffering from altitude sickness and severe frostbite. Nevertheless, Mr Laughton persevered showing courage and strength returning two years later to summit with a young Bear Grylls.


Mr Laughton told his engaged audience about his quest to complete the Seven Summits which included a confrontation with a hostile tribe with poisoned arrows in the New Guinea jungle. He was keen to convey his message of the importance of self-belief and how we should strive, no matter the obstacle to achieve our dreams. He related this to his friend Gilo Cardozo’s dream of designing a flying car. Not only did they mange such a feat but they made an epic journey from London to Timbuktu in this Skycar, flying across the straits of Gibraltar and driving through the Atlas Mountains.


Mr Laughton finished by answering questions from the audience, giving advice about obtaining corporate sponsorship and also hinting about his next expedition which he says will be on water. The Shackleton Society would like to thank Mr. Laughton for giving such an informative and good-humoured talk.


Angus Graham-Watson (TEJN)
DATE POSTED: 06 November 2009

Go Back

Articles for: 2009, 2020

Click here to view our news archive