Interview with Sylvie Admore

Credit: William Pike

Climbing in Antarctica involves tearing your eyes away from the incredible abundance of wildlife and sometimes that can be close to impossible.

Sylvie Admore
Officer of the Royal New Zealand Airforce

Summiting Mt Scott! The view from the peak, with huge glaciers and mountains stretching out to the horizon, was beyond compare.

One challenge I faced was…
The access to the mountain proved initially challenging to navigate due to the steep snow slope rising out of the water. We were also grateful our guides could lead us safely through the heavily crevassed terrain especially with little to no visibility.

It was surreal…
Wiping the residue of a humpback's exhalation off my camera lens. The whale spent about half an hour weaving and diving within inches of our Zodiac. I was knelt down at the bow, looking into the water when the whale surged upward from the deep and rolled its great head to the side, gazing at me curiously with one of its dark aquatic eyes before flicking a fluke and gliding away.

One thing I learned about myself is…
How much I normally have going on in my head when I’m mountaineering. I have led trips into wilderness areas and teach alpine skills courses so am used to making the final decisions. The Antarctica trip was  unusually relaxed for me as there were guides with a lot more experience than me making those calls.

I’ve been inspired to...
Reinforce my commitment to the continued conservation of Antarctica. It is definitely something to be conserved and preserved, and I feel strongly it should be protected and kept for future generations.

I expected Antarctica to be…
A cold, barren, bleak wilderness, combined with a David Attenborough type picture of amazing wildlife. To see  these two images collide as we walked through a penguin colony while looking up at a maze of crevasses, or standing on an exposed snow slope with wildlife cruising below us, was incredible.

View full photo gallery.

Sylvie standing on the summit of Mt Scott in Antarctica.


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