Pete is a committed outdoor enthusiast with a long career rock climbing, mountaineering and exploring the colder regions of the planet. Like most of us Pete’s career had humble beginnings, starting with army cadets and the Duke of Edinburgh’s award scheme. It was during this time that he found himself drawn into a life of adventure.

After leaving school Pete joined the Gloucestershire Regiment, learning outdoor survival the hard way. Pete specialised in communications while serving on operational tours in Northern Ireland as the Commanding Officer’s radio operator. After leaving the army Pete became a manufacturing engineer leading projects in a fast moving high tech industry. During this period he started alpine climbing and soon progressed onto expeditions in the greater ranges, always on the look out for the next challenge.

A passion for mountaineering and outdoor survival resulted in six expeditions to the high mountains of Alaska. These included Mt McKinley the highest point on the North American continent.

[ McKinley has a summit elevation of 20,320 feet (6,194 m) above sea level, making it the highest peak in North America. Measured from base to peak, it is also the world's tallest mountain on land. McKinley sits atop a sloping plain with elevations from 300 meters (1,000 ft.) to 900 meters (3,000 ft.), for a base-to-peak height of 5,300 to 5,900 meters (17,000 to 19,000 ft.). (Mount Everest, on the other hand, sits atop the Tibetan Plateau at a much higher base elevation. Base elevations for Everest range from 4,200 m (13,800 ft.) on the south side to 5,200 m (17,100 ft.) on the Tibetan Plateau, for a base-to-peak height in the range of 3,650 to 4,650 meters (12,000 to 15,300 ft.) ]

Pete is most proud of his ascent of Mt Logan.

[ Mount Logan is the highest mountain in Canada and the second-highest peak in North America, after Mount McKinley (Denali). The mountain was named after Sir William Edmond Logan, a Canadian geologist and founder of the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC). Mount Logan is located within Kluane National Park and Reserve in South-western Yukon and is the source of the Hubbard and Logan Glaciers. Logan is believed to have the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on Earth, with the massif containing eleven peaks over 5,000 meters (16,400 ft.). Temperatures are extremely cold on and near Mount Logan. On the 5,000 m high plateau, air temperature hovers around −45 °C (−49 °F) in the winter and the median temperature for the year around −27 °C (−17 °F). Minimal snow melt leads to a significant ice cap, reaching almost 300 m (984 ft.) in certain spots. ]

A ski mountaineering expedition to East Greenland during the winter season rounded off a spectacular apprenticeship in cold weather mountaineering.

Recruited by the British Antarctic Survey to lead their scientific expeditions, Pete headed south for a two and a half year hard-hitting expedition between 1999 and 2002. After teaching polar survival to hundreds of BAS staff, plus leading four science expeditions and numerous winter sledging trips, Pete was promoted to Deputy Base Commander for the winter season.

[ Antarctica, at 14.0 million km2 (5.4 million miles2), is the fifth-largest continent.
For comparison, Antarctica is nearly –
Twice the size of Australia
One and a Half Times the size of the USA
58 times bigger than the UK.

About 98% of Antarctica is covered by ice that averages at least 1 mile (1.6 km) in thickness.

Antarctica, on average, is:-

The coldest continent:- The temperature in Antarctica has reached −89 °C (−129 °F).

The windiest continent: - Maximum recorded gust: 248.4 kmh /154 mph}

The driest continent and is considered a desert, with annual precipitation of only 200 mm (8 inches) along the coast and far less inland.

The highest average elevation of all the continents.
There are no permanent human residents, but anywhere from 1,000 to 5,000 people reside throughout the year at the research stations scattered across the continent. ]

Returning to a strange and changed world with a fierce love of the Polar Regions proved an interesting experience. Polar fever had set in and Pete soon returned south to lead a project to restore Britain’s first science station. This project was often visited by cruise ships adding to the surreal nature of life in the freezer. A further season as aircraft radio operator gave Pete extensive Antarctic operational experience. But the biggest challenge was still waiting.

Promoted again to Winter Base Commander Pete led his team through the cold and dark of an Antarctic Winter at Britain’s most remote ice station. Speaking about Halley Station, a BAS medical officer was quoted as saying “It would be easier to get a man back from space than to evacuate someone from Halley Station in winter.”

Pete is still mountaineering and now shares his passion for the most amazing places in the world by presenting illustrated lectures and amusing after dinner speeches. With a natural gift for story telling and bolstered with his own unique professional photography, it makes for a thrilling and motivating experience.

Offering an Insight into Life at The Edge of The World, proving that life behind the science can be truly surreal.

To find out more about the British Antarctic Survey and for more insight into life at the edge of the world click the link below to view diaries written by Pete and his team during their adventures in 2000,2001 and 2007.

 

ROTHERA DIARIES

BIOGRAPHY