Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes is the only man alive ever to have travelled around the Earth’s circumpolar surface (more people have been to the Moon!)

His record-breaking expeditions include travel by riverboat, hovercraft, manhaul, sledge, skidoo, Land Rover and ski.

Described by many as “the world’s greatest living explorer..."

What was the path that lead you to today?

I wanted only to do as my father had done. He was killed commanding the Royal Scots Greys in Italy in 1943. But I could not pass A Levels. So I could not get to Sandhurst. Leading expeditions was the “Second best” choice.

Who inspired you to do what you do?

My late wife Ginny, inspired me to attempt various expedition records. And she was always a key planner and member of our projects.

What have been the biggest obstacles you have encountered?

The biggest obstacles to our polar challenges was unseasonal weather and bad equipment selection.

Biggest triumphs?

Our biggest triumphs came through careful planning and excellent luck.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

To be patient and keep picking away at the end target.

What helps you get through each adventure and why?

Learning through early failures to adapt as necessary and then try again.

To enjoy the great outdoors and to observe its wonders is surely one key to happiness.

What scares you and how do you deal with fear?

Vertigo and spiders have always scared me. Spiders I eventually learned were OK. But I never cured the vertigo.

Why is getting outdoors so important in modern life?

To enjoy the great outdoors and to observe its wonders is surely one key to happiness.

Which has been your most unforgettable adventure and why?

Of our various projects, the most unforgettable has been our 26-year long (8 expeditions) search for a lost city in Arabia as it was so elusive.

Who has been an unsung hero in your life?

My father has always been my hero although he was killed 4 months before I was born.

What's next for you?

I will write a 100,000 word biography on Shackleton.

Do you have a motto you live by?

Our family motto is Forte Posce Animum (“Look for a Brave Spirit”)