On May 3rd, sixteen VI Form students attended a lecture at The Lights Theatre, Andover, to hear the inspirational speaker Simon Yates, a trip organised by the School’s Tom Avery Society. Yates is possibly best-known for being one of the two climbers who embarked on a mountaineering expedition attempting to climb the Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes, which ended in his infamous decision to ‘cut the rope’ tying him to his climbing partner, Joe Simpson. This episode has received a world-wide audience through Yates’ book, and subsequent documentary film adaptation, ‘Touching the Void’.

The talk demonstrated to us the dedication and love he has for his chosen occupation – exploratory mountaineering. It is not something he feels he has to do, but more something he wishes to do. He expressed his love for such expeditions and explained the challenges he has faced over the last thirty years. It is something he has shared with his friends and family and even went to extreme measures by Yates taking his two young children with him in baskets. It was an inspirational talk and motivated all the ‘DofE-ers’ in particular, and we are sure it is something we will not forget.

Kitty Cahill and Millie Street (LVI, South)