Having trekked 4300km along the Great Wall of China, completed the EverestMAX expedition and crossed the third largest ice cap unsupported, you may think that Tarka L'Herpiniere of Primal Journey has done enough, but no! Alongside his adventuring companion, Katie-Jane Cooper, the pair are about to embark on what has been described as "the expedition of the century" (by non other than Sir Ranulp Fiennes).
With an overriding ambition to challenge and expand the achievement and understanding of humanity and of our planet, Tarka and Katie-Jane's expeditions involve scientific research as well as pushing the boundaries of the human body. Having plying their hands to filming, presenting and just about every aspect of outdoor exploration the pair have truly made, and continue to make, their mark on the adventure world. The YAC wishes them all the best with planning for the latest trip and with going on to achieve something truly pioneering. We urge you to read more about the grand journey and about the pair themselves at the website www.primaljourney.com
We asked Tarka some questions and are hugely grateful for his responses. Hopefully his sense for adventure will inspire you into going for a journey of your own...why not make it an epic?!
Growing up in the French Alps must have really urged the outdoors into your blood. Do you think you would be challenging yourself with different expeditions if the mountains hadn't been there from an early age? The truthful answer is ‘I don’t know’. I don’t necessarily think that your environment dictates whether or not you are an adventurous person. I do however believe that the environment in which you grow up or live in allows your various adventurous sides to develop. Inevitably you utilize what is most readily available and had I grown up by the sea I would probably have been more into sailing than mountains. As it happens I grew up with the mountains and the snow so they will always have a special draw for me. What has been the biggest problem you have had to overcome whilst on a expedition? And how did you do it? The biggest ‘problem’ I have ever come up against was loosing my tent in Patagonia last year. After trying to fix it during the storm and realising that we couldn’t, we had to make the decision to cut the tent fabric even more into a shape that we could use to make a pyramid shelter. All very frightening during such a bad storm.
You are stuck in the Arctic in your tent with a blizzard outside, which one luxury would you most like to have with you? I love my sleep! The problem in very cold climates is that you never really get any proper sleep. After a few days your sleeping bag ices up and becomes an icy cocoon. So probably my biggest luxury would have to be a new fresh sleeping bag!
Please feel free to leave you thoughts in response, or any suggested questions for future adventurers on the forum!