On Monday 11th September, Repton welcomed Mr Nigel Vardy, also known as Mr Frostbite, to give a lecture to Geography Society.
Mr Vardy, a distant relation of the premiership footballer Jamie, is a mountaineer and adventurer and experienced an equally meteoric rise to fame following a near fatal expedition on Mt McKinley in 1999.
Mr Vardy and two friends were attempting to summit Mt McKinley, Alaska in temperatures as low as -60C when one of the group fell ill with hypothermia. Being unable to leave his friend, Vardy was left isolated on the mountain side whilst another went for help. Exposed on the side of the mountain Vardy was exposed to extremely hostile conditions which resulted in him losing his fingers and toes to frostbite. This story was also the subject of a discovery channel documentary and was the centre piece of the lecture.
However, the overarching theme of the lecture was that risk-taking is something that should be encouraged. Indeed, without risks then some of the most monumental feats would have not been achieved. Vardy spoke also about how there has been a paradigm shift in society and how today people are largely risk adverse. He encouraged the pupils to be ambitious and to take risks.
Of course, there was reference to the fact that risk, whilst dangerous, is something that can be mitigated against. Reptonians left the lecture theatre having had a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining lecture that contained, for good measure, the odd grim photograph of the effects of frostbite.
On behalf of the Repton Geographers, I wish to thank Mr Vardy for having spoken at the school and we wish him well for his future ventures.
Emily Hingley (U6F)