wilderness LECTURES

A winter series of public lectures in Bristol the theme of which is world-wide adventure.

Our lecturers are well known explorers, mountaineers, travel writers, TV personalities, adventure sports personalities or anyone who has an epic story to tell and can enthral our audience with a rattling good yarn. The talks are invariably illustrated with slides and/or film.

Featured Speaker

(c) Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner is a professional mountaineer out of passion. She lives in Upper Austria and whenever she finds the time, she is out rock climbing, mountaineering in the Alps or on expedition. Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner trained as a nurse and after a short intermezzo as a sales representative in the outdoor industry, she took the courage and embarked on the unstable career path to become a professional mountaineer. Today, she has all 14 8,000m-peaks under her belt. By reaching the summit of the 8,611m-high K2, she became the first woman to scale all 8,000m-peaks without the use of supplemental oxygen and high altitude porters.

Please check our Whats On to see this season's line-up.


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Bonington: Mountaineer. THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT

Chris Bonington CVO, CBE, DL - 20/02/2019 19:30

This will be an evening with a difference. Sir Chris will introduce Keith Partridge's film Bonington: Mountaineer and then offer himself up to questions from the audience. The film looks retrospectively from Chris' rock climbing days in the UK through to visionary ascents on the high peaks of the Himalaya and shares the remarkable and poignant life of one of the world’s best-known mountaineers. Stories of friendship, love, risk and devastating loss run deep through this intimate journey of one man’s dream. The drive for exploration is echoed in the first British ascent of the north wall of the Eiger, new routes on Mont Blanc, the ascent
of͚ The Old Man of Hoy and then to the greater ranges where he is the first to stand on the virgin summits of Annapurna 2, Nuptse and the Central Tower of Paine, followed by landmark expedition success on the South Face of Annapurna and Everest South West face. In the film he stares toward the Old Man of Hoy, that iconic stack of Orkney sandstone, towering high above the pounding North Atlantic surf, proud yet defiant. To climb it at the age of 80 is an almost crushing prospect and a time to reflect on a lifetime of epic expeditions and first ascents on some of the world’s most challenging mountains. Rain, driven by a relentless wind, hits his face concealing tears of grief and recent events overwhelm him. He remembers being the first to set foot on the top of this pillar of rock, 50 long years ago when he had youth on his side. As both pioneer and adventurer it beckons him again. In
search of catharsis once more, he ponders if he has the strength to stand upon the Old Man just one more time...


Passion 8000 - Dream of a Lifetime. GINETTE HARRISON MEMORIAL LECTURE

Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner - 06/03/2019 19:30

Up until now, Gerlinde has always talked about her most thrilling experiences on 8,000 metre-peaks, giving us a good insight of how she climbs these high mountains. In her latest presentation, Gerlinde presents us with a different side of the tallest peaks as this time she takes us on a compelling and extraordinary journey through her 20 years of expedition life. She gives us a close account of the trials and tribulations, but also the beauties she encountered on her long way to these fascinating giants. By introducing each section with a short video clip, Gerlinde openly talks about her deepest emotions and experiences. She demonstrates what the mountains have triggered inside her during the past two centuries; and tells us how her values, such as willpower and discipline, trust and patience as well as intuition and enthusiasm, have evolved over the years. Repeatedly going back to the overwhelmingly beautiful nature of the Himalaya and Karakorum, these values have become her purpose in life and, consistently implemented, have led to her success. In this way, the mountains have become her mentors.


My Mountain Life

Simon Yates - 20/03/2019 19:30

Internationally acclaimed mountaineer, Simon is one of Britain’s most prolific and accomplished exploratory mountaineers, best known for his role in Joe Simpson’s book and the subsequent film, Touching the Void. It was an experience that could put many off the sport of mountaineering – but not Simon. Over 30 years later he is still an active exploratory climber and guide, making several expeditions to the mountains each year. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, Alaska to Central Asia there is hardly a significant range he has not visited. Come along and witness Simon’s tireless journey from that mountain in Peru to some of the remotest on the planet and share with him the drama, excitement and beauty of modern, lightweight Alpinism. Told with wit, dry humour and lavishly illustrated with images and video collected on his great climbs.