Friday, 18 November 2011 12:51

Beyond Endurance RTE TV series


“Explorers wanted: ordinary men and women wanted for an extraordinary adventure”. 700 intrigued Irish men and women responded to this advertisement in the press. BEYOND ENDURANCE is a four-part series that follows this group of wannabe explorers as they attempt to make it through the selection trials and go to the harsh Antarctic terrain of South Georgia in their attempt to follow in the footsteps of Sir Ernest Shackleton.

In 1916, Sir Ernest Shackleton led an expedition to Antarctica to reach the South Pole. His expedition fell foul of the treacherous conditions of the Weddell Sea and the journey turned into an epic battle for survival in one of the harshest environments in the world. 90 years on, in the anniversary year, renowned adventurer Pat Falvey plans to take a group of enthusiastic but vastly inexperienced explorers on a trip to Antarctica to follow in Shackleton’s footsteps. BEYOND ENDURANCE will provide the ultimate in reality TV as it takes a cast of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in some of the most dramatic landscapes in the world. This series will offer viewers an accessible but surprising television experience as they witness the transformation of ordinary people from couch potatoes to hardened travelers, pushing themselves to limits they never thought possible.

The commitment is a leap into the unknown. For a start, anyone wanting to take part has to hand over €15,000. They also have to take part on a number of trials which take place in Co. Kerry, and Norway. Using an observational approach, the series will see them struggle with both the elements and their own physical limitations to learn the outdoor skills necessary to survive in the Antarctic.

A number of unlikely candidates step forward. Mary Casey, a 56 year old mother of four, from the Innishowen Peninsula of Donegal. They say a women of my age should know better, I say that it’s because I’m a woman my age I know better, do it better, and relish the challenge!
Cliff Reid from Athy, Co Kildare, a student with serious fundraising needs. “I come from Shackleton’s home town, and felt we should have a representative. No one came forward so I gave up the fags and the drink, and decided to see if I could make a go of it myself…”

Retired fireman Jerry Aherne, from Cork. Sporting a handlebar moustache and a copy of ‘Unsung Hero’, the book about the life of explorer Tom Crean, he leapt at the chance to emulate his heroes. “I want to know what these men endured, and I want to find out if I am up to the physical and mental challenge. “

Expedition leader Pat Falvey started out life in the construction industry, eventually swapping his concrete mixer for a set of crampons. He has summated Everest twice and completed over 50 successful expeditions across the world. Falvey has put his house on the line to guarantee the huge costs associated with this madcap scheme. He has made commitments. A ship capable of withstanding the most inhospitable seas has been chartered and now Falvey must run a successful expedition to cover his costs. He needs to recoup over half a million Euro, or he goes bust.

The training for and expedition to South Georgia, which the series follows, is only part of the overall Beyond Endurance Expedition. Pat and the rest of the team are to complete the expedition's final objective by skiing to the South Pole and beyond. They leave Ireland on the 1st of November and will spend at least 60 days on the Ice.

This will be the ultimate reality TV show that sends people quite literally to the end of the earth…

The series was filmed in High Definition using Sony cameras by Steve O'Reilly and Niall Foley and is produced by Karen Rodgers of PANACHE TELEVISION for RTE. Four half-hour documentaries will be shown weekly on RTE 1 at 7pm, beginning on 23rd October.

You can watch the series in our gallery

In Memory Of Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae: This week we remember our good friends Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae who died on K2 2nd August 2008. From their family and friends we have lost two great lovable people. Our thoughts are with their families.

Thoughts of Ger and  Rolf

I just cant believe that three years have gone by since Ger McDonnell and Rolf Bae have passed away on K2,  has had a hugh effect on my thinking of the risks we take especially when it goes to those that we leave behind., our families in particular,  yet we as adventurers would not be who we are unless we follow our dreams and passion. I want to take this opportunity  to say thank you to all of those that we love that understands the passion that we have or had as adventures.

This week I celebrate all the good memories of working, climbing and adventuring with two of the most gentle climbers I have known.

I think about their families and how much they miss them.

I have lost 14 friends on high altitude mountains over 8000 meters, but none has effected me as much as the death of Ger and Rolf.

They are gone to a more heavenly place, they are missed and yes their memory continues on in those of us who knew them. May they R.I.P and never be forgotten.

Pat Falvey



Published in Expedition News
Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:03

RTE1 This Sporting Life 7pm Thursday 17th Feb

Pat Falvey features on RTE1 'This Sporting Life' tomorrow night at 7pm.

The second series of This Sporting Life tells the story of six of Ireland's most eminent sportsmen. It looks at their greatest achievements in sport but also chronicles the all too human stories behind some of Ireland's great sporting headlines. The six talk candidly about their successes and failures in arenas where so much is expected by their fans and the public in general. In telling their own story, each profile gets to the heart of the subject.

This years series has already featured Ken Doherty, Michael Carruth, Éamonn Coghlan, Tony Ward & Seán Boylan. Further details can be found here.

Producer Niall Mathews visited Pat at the mountain lodge in Kerry a few months back to get inside the mountain man to see what makes him tick.  He also liaised with Niall Foley for fine tuning details and coordinating Pats archive material for the production.

For those without RTE1 or abroad, the show will feature on RTE Player in a few weeks, we will post again if we spot there, for now here is the link to RTE player


Published in Awards & Appearances
Great Endeavour - Ireland's Antarctic Explorers by Michael Smith, author of An Unsung Hero - Tom Crean.  It deals with 200 years of Irish exploration to the Antarctic, starting with Bransfield and Crozier in the 19th century, onto Crean, Shackleton, Keohane, etc in the 20th and then onto the modern day travellers such as Pat Falvey, Clare O'Leary and Mike Barry. Details on the publishers website -

Michael Smith is delivering an illustrated talk on Great Endeavour at Killarney Library on Tuesday October 12 (7.15pm) and Cork Central Library on Wednesday, October 13 (7.30pm). Michael is also scheduled to give lectures for Mountaineering Ireland in Dublin and Cork on November 18 and 19 respectively, venues to be decided. For details, check with Mountaineering Ireland website,


Children's Book Festival
  • • Tuesday 5 October: Tipperary: Templemore Library 10 a.m., Thurles Library 1 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 6 October: Tipperary: Roscrea Library 10.30 a.m., Nenagh 1.30 p.m.
  • • Thursday 7 October: Waterford Library
  • • Friday 8 October: Waterford Library

Other talks:
  • • Saturday 9 October: South Pole Inn, Annascaul, Co Kerry, at 9 p.m.
  • • Monday 11 October, morning: Scoil Phadraig Naofa, Bandon, Co Cork.The teacher there, Mary Murphy, was involved in translating Tom Crean – Ice Man into Irish and is retiring (and she played Orla Fitzgerald's mother opposite Cillian Murphy in The Wind That Shakes the Barley).
  • • Monday 11 October, evening: D'Arcy's Restaurant, Kenmare, Co Kerry, at 8.00 p.m.
  • • Tuesday 12 October: Killarney Library 7.15 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 13 October: Cork City Library 7.30 p.m. Michael will also be in the library in the morning with the Children's Library, as part of the Children's Book Festival.
  • • Wednesday 10, Thursday 11 & Friday 12 November: Nenagh, Tipperary. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
  • • Tuesday 16 November: New Ross, Co Wexford. This is part of a literacy promotion project based around Tom Crean – Ice Man.
  • • Tuesday 16 November: Cloyne Literary & Historical Society, Ballymaloe House, Cork, 8.00 p.m.
  • • Wednesday 17 November: Lawlor's Hotel, Bridge Street, Dungarvan, Co Waterford, at 8.00 p.m., in association with Waterford Museum
  • • Thursday 18 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Basecamp Outdoor and Travel Store, 108 Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1
  • • Friday 19 November, in association with Mountaineering Ireland: Cork (venue to be confirmed)

Published in General
Thursday, 13 May 2010 17:17

Podcasts & Radio Interviews

Below is a selection of radio interviews and podcasts:

DownloadDate - Show - TitlePlay - press stop afterSizeLength

3.8 MB8:16 min
(Neil Delamare - John Murray show RTE)

7.2 MB15:37 min
(Radio Kerry)

42.5 MB46:22 min

23 MB50:11 min
(RTE Radio 1 History Show)

23 MB50:11 min
(Irish North Pole 2011)

5 MB15:58 min
(Irish North Pole 2011)

2.5 MB7:52 min
(Irish North Pole 2011)

5.4 MB16:58 min
(Irish North Pole Expedition)

0.9 MB2:37 min

1.7 MB5:18 min
(Irish North Pole Expedition)

1.6 MB4:38 min
(Irish North Pole Expedition)

2 MB5:54 min
(Pat Falvey Irish North Pole)

1.3 MB3:41 min
(Pat Falvey Irish North Pole)

0.5 MB1:21 min
(Pat Falvey Irish North Pole)

0.7 MB2:02 min
(RTE Radio 1)

4.4 MB9:30 min
(Teena Gates 98fm)

2.3 MB1:01 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

5 MB12:43 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

3.9 MB11:07 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

3.9 MB10:11 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

4.1 MB10:49 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

3.1 MB8:33 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

4.5 MB11:44 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

3.4 MB9:32 min
(Frank Lewis Radio Kerry)

4.6 MB11:18 min
(Teena Gates)

3 MB3:18 min
(Teena Gates)

1.9 MB2:01 min
(Teena Gates)

3.3 MB3:37 min
(Teena Gates)

1.4 MB1:32 min
(Teena Gates)

0.8 MB0:52 min
download2010-03-15_Pat discusses aborting North pole
(Neil Prendeville 96fm)

5.9 MB12:49 min
download2010-03-09_Pat discusses aborting North pole
(Gerry Ryan 2fm)

3.5 MB8:18 min
download2009-09_Quirky interview about Pats life
(Senator David Norris Newstalk)

51.6 MB45:04 min
download2007-11_SouthPole Day17 Frostbite Danger
(Neil Prendeville 96fm)

15.9 MB13:53 min
download2007-12_SouthPole Day36 Bad Conditions
(Neil Prendeville 96fm)

13.2 MB11:34 min
download2007-11_SouthPoleStart & New Book
(Neil Prendeville 96fm)

14.3 MB12:30 min

0.4 MB0:24 min

0.5 MB0:30 min

0.4 MB0:23 min

0.7 MB0:46 min

0.4 MB0:25 min

1 MB2:51 min

Published in Podcasts

A few weeks before christmas a member of the expedition team was invited to talk to the students of 'Our Lady of the Wayside' primary school in Kiltiernan in Dublin. The North Pole team were out in Canada training so Niall Foley travelled up to give a short presentation on the Antarctic and South Georgia.

With so many kids in attendence Niall decided to bring some props as follows: Down Sleeping Bag, Thermal Sleeping Mat, Rucksack, Winter Expedition Boots, Crampons, Ice Axe and Harness.

"After a lovely welcome I was thrilled to see that the school had the corridors covered in Antarctic and Ice project work, Sharon Kelly of the PALC had mentioned it was this years theme for the school, brilliant idea!"

Mrs Duckenfield would have been the driving force behind the Antarctica Project in the school.  Also, our Acting Principal is Mrs Burns (while Ms. Corcoran is on maternity leave) and the talk was given to all classes from 2nd class up to 6th class.  The Parents Associations Library Committee, in conjunction with Mrs Duckenfield decorated the School Library / Corridor and each class made something to display during Art.

All the kids entered the hall and were very excited. Niall spoke a bit on History first as a starting point, raising questions to the kids ever so often. With a slideshow behind him he then displayed some fantastic colour images of South Georgia and training for doing the crossing, not to mention the many different types of penguins and seals. The excitment rose further when Niall was speaking about Pat and the South Pole trip, he displayed some great images of Freddy T Bear pulling a sled and skiing. Once he finished up a little later Niall produced freddy out of his rucksack and there was mayhem!! The kids couldn't believe Freddy had also come to their school. A few photos later and there was a big thank you to Niall for coming along with his stories and expedition gear. Each class getting a chance to hold freddy's paw on the way out back to their classes.

Niall mentioned "It was a great day, I was a little nervous when I arrived but when I walked up the hallways to see the great project and artwork on the walls it was like I was back in the Antarctic. The kids were brilliant, and we hope they keep up their interest in the Antarctic and the Arctic especially as Freddy is heading up with the Irish North Pole team soon. Bravo to the Teachers, staff and PALC for keeping the kids minds alive with great activities like these projects, I'm sure the extra effort will go along way... Some of the kids sent me lovely letters, it was really nice to read each one and what they learned from my visit"

Published in Education News
Friday, 29 January 2010 18:06

South Georgia & Antarctica

Trip:Antarctica, Falklands & South Georgia
Route:Falklands - South Georgia - South Orkneys Antarctic Peninsula
Date:November 20th - Dec 9th, 2012
Duration:20 Days total  - 15 zodiac landings approx.
Grade:Walking/Trekking – Easy to Moderate - max. 1-3hrs per day
Price:From 9,480 euro - flights can also be arranged


Flying from Dublin to Buenos Aires (or Santiago) and then on to Ushuaia in Tierra del Fuego, we embark on our voyage across the Drake Passage to spend 19 nights/20 days sailing to the Falklands, South Georgia, South Orkneys and around the Antarctic Peninsula witnessing the dramatic scenery and the biggest variety of wildlife in Antarctica

Join us on the adventure of a lifetime to the white continent and be part of this incredible expedition. You will get the chance to do 15 landings (approx.) and also walk the last few kilometers of the famous crossing route of Shackleton & Crean.


Historic Whaling stations, Shackleton's grave, Remote scientific stations and a possible overnight on the Antarctic Peninsula itself. Teeming with wildlife, these waters are a haven for many types of Penguins, Whales, Seals, Albatross, Petrels, Terns, Skua, Sheatbills, Comorants, Shags and lots of icebergs.

Antarctica is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Its gigantic icebergs and ice shelves are found nowhere else on the globe. Its vast mountain ranges and the enormous emptiness of the polar plateau is something to be seen. Travelling there is like visiting no other country. Antarctica is the last vast wilderness on our planet. The sub-zero temperatures, winds and weather literally send shivers down the spine. It's a place of extremes - beautiful and serene, savage and violent - and its scale is almost unfathomable.

Check out our gallery for previous trips like Beyond Endurance 06 & 08

photos by Nina , Niall, Pat and the members of the Beyond Endurance Expedition.

But be warned, weather and ice - not clocks and calendars - set the schedule for a journey here. No matter what the reason for your visit, you'll be at the mercy of the continent's changing moods and weather patterns. This amazing adventure will knock the stuffing out of the costa del sol so start putting away the pennies as you will only need to do this once in a lifetime/bucket list trip.

Published in Antarctica
Friday, 06 November 2009 15:01

A year beyond Expedition to Antarctic..

'Today to the day, tommorrow to the date' (in the words of team member Eugene Furlong)- One year has passed since the Beyond Endurance 2008 team members departed from Dublin Airport to start their adventure to South Georgia, Elephant Island and the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition was led by world renowned expedition leader, Pat Falvey, in what was seen as the ultimate ‘ big adventure’ into the coldest most remote regions on earth. A year later, texts, emails and calls from those who joined the voyage confirm that it was indeed a trip of a lifetime and has left everyone with wonderful memories, pictures, stories and friendships. To look back on this expedition's logs and blogs, click here /> From all here in the Expedition Office, Happy Anniversary teams of 2008 & 2006!
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
Wednesday, 16 January 2008 11:41

Team home arrival details

Following a conversation with the team today at noon irish time from their hotel in Punta Arenas, Chile. They can confirm their arrival in to Cork Airport, Ireland at approx. 7pm Thursday the 17th.

We will officially release final details to the press tomorrow Wednesday 16th.

Pat said “We didn’t get any sleep on the flight here… Totally exhausted now after organising our gear from the plane, about to have my first proper shower in months. The rest are asleep at the moment. We are delighted to have the second leg of our journey home over, we are now confident on getting home to green Ireland on Thursday. It was weird stepping on to unfrozen ground for the first time today in nearly 80 days. Can’t wait to be home.”
Published in South Pole 2007-08
Thursday, 06 November 2008 00:00

Heading South with 60 Antarctic enthusiasts

The Beyond Endurance Voyage 2008 is set to depart Ireland tomorrow! This promises to be an exciting expedition for all involved. Pat and his team of fifteen will be crossing South Georgia in the coming weeks, world class scientists will be carrying out important research, and for the first time ever, eight Irish transitional year students will be participating in an innovative project on global warming and climate change. Follow progress live on beyond
Published in Beyond Endurance 2008
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