Super7 update: Sept ’09

18th September 2009

Here’s a quick update of what has been happening with Super7 Climbing since we completed the (5th continent) South America stage of the journey – we have first ascents left to complete in Antarctica and Africa.

We had a successful series of events over the winter and paid off all of the costs of spending 11 weeks in Peru. I then decided drop running events in London and Edinburgh and to focus all fundraising efforts on Glasgow where our events enjoy a good following.

I started thinking about how I was going to raise the estimated $27k USD for an expedition to Antarctica. It is going to be the adventure of a lifetime. You charter a yacht from Ushuaia, and then, hopefully, you cross one of the worlds most hazardous oceans to get to the Antarctic peninsular (and one of the worlds great wildernesses!). Then, hopefully, you climb something!

One of the of the frustrations of Super7 is that very few people outside the climbing world really understand what we are doing. When you approach marketing managers with a project like this you get questions like: ‘How high do you climb?’ And ‘Do you free climb?’. However, this works both ways, because real climbers immedately ‘Get It’, and then they usually try to help us much as they can!

Last year we were helped in our fundraising by Simon Yates, Dave McLeod, and many others, including some very talented film makers who supplied films for the adventure film festival. I took a deep breath and asked Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott for their support and they both agreed that if I promoted their shows in Glasgow this winter, then they would donate half of the takings on the door to the Antarctica trip.

I also asked Keith Partridge (who helped to film ‘Touching the Void’), Polly Murray (first Scottish woman to climb Everest), and Kev Shields (who is currently attempting to climb E7 – and he only has one hand!). They all said‘Yes’.

We also have continuing support from our sponsors at Montane, and Big Agnes, and I’m also delighted to be able to welcome Trekking Encounters on board, who organise sustainable Eco Tourism in Nepal.

Then I had to assemble a team. I wanted someone to be at the helm of this expedition who was a master logistician, and who had been to Antarctica before. Tony Barton has agreed (tbc). He was on the successful South America stage of Super7 and he’s spent time in Antarctica with the British Antarctic Survey. He’s also worked as a mountain guide and is the veteran of 8 Andean seasons.

I’ll keep a running total on the website of how we are doing with the fundraising as soon as we start to stack paper.

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