Explorer “Pata” chats about 1st ever Antarctica Climbing

Patrick “Pata” Degerman 

Finnish explorer Pata Degerman told his story at the Outdoor Show about launching a mountain-climbing expedition to Antarctica –where numerous peaks have never been climbed, there are no accurate maps—at least not from conventional sources– and the areas called “death zones” are full of crevasses where no planes can land. Such expeditions are extremely expensive-—it took him 4 years and unending persistence to raise the money.  One would think that the hard part of an expedition is the expedition itself but the logistics and expense are almost as demanding as the expedition itself.

Pata emphasised,” “no” doesn’t mean “no” all the time—keep on trying, different angles, different persons—if you never ask anyone anything, you will never get anything. If you never tell anything, no one will ever tell you anything in return. If you never do anything, nothing will ever happen…If you can combine your thing with their thing….you might have something there.”

Antarctica is the coldest, driest and windiest place in the world—taking photos your eyes freeze shut once you take off the three layers of facemasks, teamwork is essential in the most extreme environment in the world, and everything you bring in, must be taken out again (Finnish Accord on Antarctic exploration)—which is how he and his excursion partner ended up carrying out more weight going out, than coming in….! Antarctica is a great place to lose weight as you need about 4 times as many calories as under normal circumstances—butter soup with cheese and olive oil and a little bit of pasta was a staple. When asked about his favourite food in Antarctica, he answered “Seafood”—what? Actually “See food!” any food! Including from a cache of supplies of peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies left over from a previous expedition—from 1966!

by Laurence Fox Hopper

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