Thirty years ago Stephen Venables made history with a new route up Mt Everest, being the first to summit via the gigantic Kangshung Face. And, remarkably, he did it all without supplementary oxygen.
But anxious not to rest on his laurels, Stephen has since turned his attention to the bottom of the world and the icy mountains of the Antarctic Circle, where he has climbed peaks that are just as testing as the loftiest on Earth.
Now he’s sharing these icy exploits at a Royal Scottish Geographical Society (RSGS) Inspiring People talk in Perth.
During the talk, Stephen will recount his marvellous career to date – the highs of climbing Everest, and his new focus on the summits of the south: sailing, skiing, and making first ascents on the remote mountains of Tierra del Fuego, the Antarctic Peninsula and South Georgia.
And his stories will be right up to date as he has just returned to Scotland after a large-scale expedition to South Georgia:
“It’s a magical island in the vastness of the Southern Ocean. And we approached it by sea as a stunning Pelagic Australis raged overhead.”
But, having recently made home in the Scottish capital, Stephen is becoming increasingly unsure whether such long-range trips are really that necessary:
“Now that I live in Edinburgh and have all the glory of the Highlands right on my own doorstep, I must confess to niggling doubts about the value of these big trips”
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the RSGS commented:
“The RSGS has played host to many of the great mountaineers of the past 100 years – Eric Shipton, Edmund Hillary and George Mallory to modern-day greats such as Chris Bonington and Leo Holding. It’s a great privilege, therefore, to be once again hosting Stephen in our talks programme and continuing this enviable tradition.
“I hope Stephen’s talk inspires those in attendance to get outside and conquer their own unclimbed summits, however big or small.”
Stephen added: “I always enjoy my speaking tours with the RSGS and will enjoy this one even more, now that it is so close to home”.
For tickets call Horsecross box office 01738 621031
For more information see the RSGS website (www.rsgs.org), RSGS social media, or contact the RSGS Communications Officer using the details supplied below.
Multimillion selling recording artist Barbara
Dickson with her accomplished band returns
to Perth Concert Hall. Barbara will perform a
wonderful range of material drawing on her folk
roots as well as performing globally known hits
such as The Caravan Song, Another Suitcase in
Another Hall plus lots more. An evening packed
with songs from one of the finest voices you
will ever hear.
Enter the wonderful world of the Highland Estate with two fascinating writers. Mary Miers will introduce some of the most dramatic and little-known houses in the romantic north of Scotland, with some specially commissioned images, many from the world famous Country Life picture archive. Christina Noble will focus on one estate – Ardkinglas, a 45,000-acre estate at the head of Loch Fyne – now famous for its Oyster Bar. She’ll tell the story of the estate, based on personal memories, letters and household diaries – from her great-grandfather buying the estate in 1905, to the community Ardkinglas has become today, looking at a Highland estate in the modern world and asking what is it for?
10.00am – 11.00am | £8.50
In 1918, more than 200 men perished when His Majesty’s Admiralty Yacht, Iolaire sank, just outside Stornoway Harbour. It was one of the worst shipping disasters in British history. The 100th anniversary of the Iolaire disaster is a time to remember, and we’re doing just that in this event. Donald S. Murray will discuss his fictional account of the tragedy, As The Women Lay Dreaming, while John MacLeod brings us a factual story from the day that so many Scottish hearts were broken. Join us for what will surely be a moving and fascinating discussion.
4.30pm – 5.30pm | £8.50
Polly Pullar is a writer, photographer and field naturalist. She has a particular passion for wildlife, the countryside and in particular remote areas of the Highlands and Islands.
Join Polly for a fascinating insight into the story of the Humphreys family and their pine martens, a much misunderstood animal, and a passionate portrait of one of Scotland’s richest habitats – the oakwoods of Scotland’s Atlantic seaboard. Polly’s previous Winter Words appearances have been festival highlights – knowledgeable and packed with energy!
12.45pm – 2.15pm | £24.50 includes a two course lunch and coffee or tea.
Professor Sue Black is known the world over for her work as a forensic anthropologist and anatomist. From uncovering war crimes in Kosovo to identifying bodies in the Indian Ocean tsunami, she’s returned bodies to their loved ones, often years after they disappeared.
Dr Shepherd takes nothing for granted in the pursuit of truth. Each post-mortem is a detective story in its own right – and Shepherd has performed over 23,000 of them and involved in some of the most high-profile cases of recent times.
How do these extraordinary people manage to separate work and the rest of their life – and what happens when those lines blur? Sue and Richard will discuss this and some of the extraordinary cases they’ve covered in their long careers. Q&A session and book-signing.
7.30pm – 9.00pm | £14.50
Relive the sublime harmonies and iconic guitar solos of
huge hits like Lyin’ Eyes, Hotel California, Desperado and
Take It Easy. Ultimate Eagles are definitive devotees to the
music of The Eagles, performing songs from every album
and every era, delivering more than forty years of brilliance
with both accuracy and reverence. The band comprises
seasoned international professionals who have spent time
performing alongside Queen, Roger Daltrey, Lulu, Van
Morrison and John Legend.
The Queen has had corgis by her side ever since she was seven years old and persuaded her father to buy one for the family. The dogs are the Queen’s constant companions and Jenny’s book reveals the scraps and scrapes in which the dogs have been involved.
Daughter of Sir John Junor and school-mate of Princess Anne, journalist, TV presenter and popular writer, Penny Junor is possibly best known for her royal biographies, originating with Diana: Princess of Wales, earning her the label of ‘royal expert’. This is a fascinating and affectionate look at the Queen and her most faithful companions on what really makes our much-loved and longest reigning monarch truly light up.
3.00pm – 4.00pm | £8.50
Accompanying the BBC documentary series, writer and broadcaster James Crawford’s talk will be based on his lavishly illustrated book which draws on the vast collection of aerial photography held in the Historic Environment Scotland archives. Opening an extraordinary window into our past this is the remarkable story of a nation from above, showing how our great cities have dramatically altered with the ebb and flow of history, while whole communities have vanished in the name of progress. James reveals how aerial imagery can unearth treasures from the ancient past, and secrets buried right beneath our feet. Come along to get a glorious bird’s-eye view of this story of Scotland, from the sky!
11.30am – 12.30pm | £8.50
Mike + The Mechanics are Genesis founding member Mike
Rutherford; Andrew Roachford, whose solo hits include
Cuddly Toy and Family Man and Tim Howar who formed
and toured with his band Vantramp, and with the likes of
Rod Stewart and Paolo Nutini. This tour will include tracks
from their highly acclaimed latest album Let Me Fly
alongside their massive 80’s single The Living Years
and other classic hits.
Menopause Festival returns to Perth Theatre, bigger and better with presentations, marketplace stalls, creative workshops, film, panel discussions and stand-up comedy.
Come along, have fun, make friends and help start conversations about menopause and the third stage of life. All ages and genders welcome.