Thursday, 4 March 2010

Local hero, Alex Harris

During my decade and a bit in adventure racing I have met many incredible people - adventure sport certainly attracts interesting personalities that have competence, natural talent and very specific drive in common. Adventurer and mountaineer Alex Harris is one of these.

Alex did as stint as an adventure racer some years back, in between his expeditions to the World's highest mountains - en route to bagging the Seven Summits. As I recall he used to race with Kirsty Searle (nee Burrows), possibly first in the Adventure Dynamix team, which became - for the most part - Team 180 Adventures. I also have a fuzzy recollection of stories of Alex cycling to Harrismith to climb, and then cycling back to Joburg - just for fun. This was years ago so I may not have the story straight...

Alex has also visited Adventure Racing Club many times, always delighted to share his adventures and experiences. We last had Alex at AR Club after his successful self-sufficient, unassisted man-haul to the South Pole with Sibusiso Vilane end-2008.

Alex is a local hero and, for me, he has always stood out as a level-headed, calm, thorough and confident expedition leader. He has gained so much experience over the past 20 years in planning and organising expeditions. Alex is also approachable, friendly and always willing to share his hard-earned knowledge.

This evening Alex showed the programme that was produced for SABC (screened late last year) on his South Pole exedition. It made for superb viewing. An interesting and informative Q&A session followed.

In addition to a copy of Alex's book (see below), I also bagged this photo with Alex, an adventurer I greatly admire.

Rocks and Hard Places, 2nd edition
In 2004 I attended the launch for Alex's book, 'Rocks and Hard Places: A South African's journey to the highest mountain on every continent'. I proudly walked away with an autographed copy. A few years ago my book walked and I have no idea who I lent it to. Although I bought the new second edition tonight, which has an additional chapter, I would stll like my hard cover first edition back. So if you have a copy of the book, hidden away on your bookshelf, that reads "Dear Lisa..." on the front page, it's mine.

This lovely second edition (soft cover, full colour, lots of photos, 260 pages) is available directly from Alex and you can contact him at It is R250.00.

No comments: