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.

Tickets are available from Stanfords' Bristol shop and their online store. Click our ticket office link

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Featured Speaker

Andy Cave

Andy Cave (c) Andy Cave

Andy Cave started out as a Yorkshire coalminer but is now one of the UK's most outstanding mountaineers with a PhD and two award winning books to his name. He grew up in Royston, a small coal-mining village in South Yorkshire. On leaving school he followed family tradition and began work down the pit, but during the 198485 miners' strike he discovered climbing on his local Peak District crags. Finding he had a natural talent, Andy progressed through hard trad E7s, sport routes and hard Scottish winter climbing before venturing further afield into the Alps, blitzing the classic routes. Taking the alpine climbing ethic into the Himalayas, Andy made ascents including Gasherbrum IV, the Ogre, Trango Tower and Shishapangma before a fateful ascent of Changabang saw his partner Brendan Murphy swept to his death on the descent. Andy also discovered a talent for writing with his first book, Learning to Breathe, winning the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature in 2005. His second book, Thin White Line, received many accolades including the 2011 Leggimontagna Prize, Italy. Andy has also made numerous radio and TV appearances on BBC and ITV.


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coming up next

'Miner to Mountaineer: travels in the Himalayas and beyond'.

Andy Cave - 04/02/2015 19:30

Andy will take the audience on a journey from working 3000 feet underground as coal miner to pioneering first ascent on mountains around the world: Himalayas, Alaska & Patagonia. Listen to the tales of The people, the places, the epics - accompanied by stunning images and video.

Dive Mysteries

Monty Halls - 18/02/2015 19:30

In 2013, explorer Monty Halls led a series of four international expeditions. Working With a team consisting of some of the most respected and experienced divers in the world, Monty set out to answer some of the great riddles that remain unanswered in underwater exploration. He describes the mission as "...simple, we wanted to solve some of the great enigmas of diving, mysteries lying on the ocean floor that have always baffled explorers and scientists. Their investigations took them to Egypt, to Japan, to the Great Lakes, and to Namibia. Monty described the experience as "an extraordinary undertaking, and an experience that none of us shall ever forget. Come and hear all about it!

Into The Pupu

Martyn Farr - 04/03/2015 19:30

The marble mountains at the northern tip of New Zealand's South Island present magnificent opportunities for all outdoor activists and especially challenging sites for original exploration. They are riddled with long and deep cave systems and the explorations undertaken here in recent years rate among the most audacious in the world. For many years the emphasis has been upon pushing ever deeper into the cave systems on places like Mount Arthur with the creation of some of the longest and technically difficult caves in the world.

In 2011 a new and excitingly different exploratory project appeared in the Takaka Valley, south of Golden Bay. Several short caves were discovered at the Spittal Springs homestead and all ended at sumps. The hydrology of the valley is complex but everything ultimately reappears at the hugely impressive Pupu Springs, over 12 km from the Spittal homestead. Pupu is wholly inaccessible at the present time but as one of the largest springs in the world the extent of the postulated system here is vast.

Supported by friends in November and December 2012 Martyn Farr undertook a series of solo cave diving operations in three of the Spittal caves and discovered just over a mile of new cave. He returned the following year and passed three upstream sumps in Old Cottage Cave, extending the limit of exploration to one mile from the entrance. In Totara Cave another solo dive resulted in the discovery of Avalon, one of the most spectacularly decorated chambers in the world. Despite being on his own, Martin achieved a good photographic record of the system and a lot more cave is assured.