Ever feel like one day you progress six miles, only to find the next day that you’ve actually drifted back seven? Well, adventurer Sir David Hempleman-Adams has done just that. At the North Pole. Skiing with a 300-pound sledge. Perspective, guys.  

Adventure isn’t a day job for our very own producer Camilla’s father. It’s a hobby that in 1998 landed him with the title of being the first person to climb the highest peaks of all 7 continents as well as reaching both Geographic and Magnetic North and South Poles. Speaking as part of WCRS’ Who Cares Wins programme, Sir David enraptured us with tales of hiking Everest with Brian Blessed, flying into France in a hot air balloon at over 70 miles per hour, and how hair gel led to his hair snapping off due to -55 degrees weather conditions in Antarctica. And yet when asked about his scariest expedition, the explorer recalled his Duke of Edinburgh Award trip to Wales at the age of 13.  

The overriding lessons that we were left with were of the power of strong resolve and of good communication. Hempleman-Adams has failed to complete several trips, owing to weather conditions and equipment malfunctions, but he has almost always completed the expedition years later with a strong team by his side. He ended with the old adage from Browning, ‘a man’s reach should exceed his grasp’. A combination of perseverance, dogged determination and learning from failure is the key to achieving success. Well, that, or a hot air balloon.