Tales to be told of Spectre spanking

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If climbing Mt Spectre sounds like the beginning of a Victorian horror story, then knowing it is in the Gothic Ranges of the Transantarctic Mountains does nothing to ease your mind.
For mountain guide and explorer Mark Sedon, of Wanaka, a trip to the Antarctic was not a horror, but there certainly was horrible weather, he said.
Mr Sedon, Leo Houlding, and Jean Burgun,spent 60 days in the Antarctic, travelling 1700km to climb Mt Spectre.
‘‘It was an incredibly hard trip. We got dropped 200km from the South Pole, at 3000m in height, in the middle of November,’’ Mr Sedon said.
They began the trip at temperatures of minus 35degC but then a storm hit and the team were battling 74kmh (40 knot) winds and the temperature was heading for minus 60degC.
‘‘It’s hard to describe that cold. One way I describe it is when you take your goggles off, you can feel the liquid in your eyes freezing between blinks.’’
‘‘Your nostrils feel like they are freezing inside them, and you can only bare your skin for 30 seconds to a minute before having bad problems.’’
It was a very difficult journey to Mt Spectre.
‘‘We call it the Spectre spanking; we got our arses spanked, pretty much,’’ Mr Sedon said.
The original plan was to get to Mt Spectre in eight days, but it took 18 days, he said.
‘‘It was everything you could do to stay alive and keep moving forward.’’

Alpine adventures . . . Explorer Mark Sedon, of Wanaka, during his trip in the Gothic Ranges of the Antarctic. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Mr Sedon will speak about his journey in the Antarctic during the New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival.
The festival opens on June 29 and runs until July 8, with events in Queenstown, Wanaka and Cromwell.
Mr Sedon founded the festival in 2002 and is the festival director.
The programme had grown each year, with guest speakers, films and book events part of the programme.
‘‘It is a massive programme. I guess the best way is to have a look and pick one thing to see, and that might inspire you to see something else,’’ Mr Sedon said.
‘‘Because we are a charity, we are not profit driven, so our goal is to inspire people to do adventures.’’
For information, visit www.mountainfilm.nz