Tuesday, 23 October 2007 00:00
Published in South Pole 2007-08

Phase 1 – Crossing South Georgia will air on RTE from today for the next 4 weeks. We will be shooting the South Pole documentary and are hoping that RTE will continue to support us by commissioning our next phase of fulfilling Shackleton’s dream of reaching the South Pole and Beyond.

Pat and Jonathon will be documenting the expedition in HDV film format.

Niall Foley worked on selecting equipment and supplies from heatpacks, all weather housing, camera setup and a crash course in filming techniques. www.niallfoley.ie




Thursday, 11 October 2007 00:00
Published in Past Projects


“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.




Wednesday, 08 August 2007 00:00
Published in Past Projects

It is finally on our screens, well kind of. RTE have just released their upcoming schedule of programming for Autumn/Winter. The new 4 part Beyond Endurance reality documentary leads the way for their factual programmes which should be aired in late October for 4 weeks.

Look out for RTE guide reviews and will feature on RTE previews closer the air date. Further info and video promo's are available here. http://www.rte.ie/tv/newseason/ Thanks to Steve O Reilly and Karen Rodgers from Panache television for delivering the goods after nearly 2 years of production. Well done!! I remember the day I met Steve in Dublin and we discussed the expedition with Pat and it has grown from there. Thanks especially to Pat and all the team members for having the dream and doing the dream.




Tuesday, 27 June 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
The final day

We woke to very bright weather and had breakfast on the boil, by the way it dosen't get dark fully. We inspected the snow shelter that Enda and Domhnall had stayed in. A good share had stayed out also to experience the night time vibe. As we were on group one, we were filmimg as we went through a section we had the previous day and on with our crampons. Across a fairly steep mixed snow/rocky section on to a col which led onwards and up to fantastic peak about a kilometre away. We headed up the steep part and on to the summit section were we all had another Irish joyous celebration. Myself and Steve were filming as we went and on the way back got some classic footage of the team squashing the snow shelter before heading out of the glacier and back to Oslo the following day.

We would like to take this oppurtunity to thank all involved in the Norway trip. Our friends and excellent trainers Rolf, Bjorn, Dave, Ivor, Sigur, also Katie, Donal, Geraldine and anyone else who was at helps hand.

~ Niall Foley
Monday, 26 June 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
3 day back Pack Day 2

We woke to beautiful weather again, and headed for the hills gradually gaining height, our first stop included a mexican wave as we all adjusted our layers and gear. We pushed on up the valley passing blue lakes frozen since last Autumn and found our rhytym. The team was broken up in to sub groups of 4-6 members before we left Krossbu again simulating the needs for Sth Georgia. We skirted off and up some steep ground on to a crest where we had lunch and discussed where we were the day before in the deep snow, we could see it about 4km away.

Jerry Aherne had his Harmonica and kept us in tune as an overall team.. Thanks Jerry. After crossing a 30 degree snow slope we entered a glacier again and roped up. This one leading up to a steep section and over a pass. We came over the top to a stunning panorama as we were at the top of the glacier, here we marked out a safe campsite on the ice and set up our tents. As there were a few hours left in the day, we left to tackle a few small summits surrounding the campsite which were very impressive. Thanks Eithne for putting on the boil while were away!!
Sunday, 25 June 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
3 day back Pack

After a late-ish night for some, an early start with all gear required for the 2 nights in the elements. Packing gear is an art in its self, but given practise can reward you with an evenly balanced comfortable ride when walking over long distance. After approaching the glacier on snow shoes we roped up and continued in to an abyss of dense fog. This ideal environment for training was received with a reminder that the shit can hit the fan very quickly and requires expert knowledge to survive and arrive at our next campsite. We exited the fog as we approached the Bear pass where we had a break. Down a steep section of deep snow was a challenge to most of us. With every step down about 2 feet meaning 3-4 kg of snow to lift back up!! We got down and on to more favourable ground, but it seemed the pressure had alredy hit hom e for some. The campsite near to the unoccupied Liervassbu hut was a mix of evening sun and humour as we snuggled into our -25c bags after a ...some braving to stay outside!!
Saturday, 24 June 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006

With the weather on our side we headed for a climb in preparation for our 3 day back pack. We all shuffled out with crampons, snow shoeing, axe, some layers, camera, food, water and loads of sunscreen. The landscape here in Jontunheimen is absolutely stunning, especially when you start to gain height from 1500m to 2000m. We started on foot, then on to show shoes and finally leaving our shoes for crampons to attempt a summit of our first Norwegian 2000m..Brilliant

Niall Foley

Friday, 23 June 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006

After a busy May, June hit us with a reminder, June 3rd 29 Beyond Endurance expedition team members decend on Dublin airport. Depart 06.30am Oslo.

All the team where in great form, some arriving with family members. We arrived in Oslo later that day and met with Bjorn on the bus. Driving north a few stops later, travelling through changing landscapes, we arrived in Krosbu Lodge near to Jotunheimen National Park and Glacier, our base for the next week.

The next day after a briefing, we covered snow shoes, ice axe arrest and crampons which we practised a mile away in to the snowy hills.

Niall Foley

Sunday, 07 May 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
A few ropey heads (pardon the pun), but all ready for action on Sunday morning. We started out by gearing up and heading for the Gap for a brief on crevasse rescue. After this we all headed off in convoy for Rossbeigh beach to put our learning in to action. On arrival the weather was much the same very unpredictable. Donal briefed everyone again on the crampons and the rope techniques of traveling as a group.

Off we went and walked around a bit in crampons up a few dunes. Its amazing how you end up walking like a duck. This was followed by instruction on ice axe arrest which is a technique that needs to be well practiced. After this exercise we then broke up into groups of 2s and 3s and roped together for our finale which simulated a small summit ridge, and down with each lead member simulating a fall to see how the other coped. The exercise was great and gave everyone a feel for what’s to come in Norway and Sth. Georgia. Final briefing from Donal, Katie and Pat about the importance of team work, after which we did a gear check and went back to base. Our luck goes out to Jason who had engine problems forcing him to spend another night in the Kingdom.
Saturday, 06 May 2006 00:00
Published in Beyond Endurance 2006
After all meeting up in the lodge on the Friday night, Saturday morning was buzzing with everyone preparing for 2 days of serious training on ropes and glacier techniques. Firstly Con Moriarty went through gear and in particular boots that are required for the likes of Sth. Georgia we headed off to the basement as the otherwise good bright start to the day was to get its first of many wet spells. We went over the tents again for one last time, and then on to stove and fuel safety. Following this we put on our harnesses and tried our crampons for size.

The Gap was beautiful but wet later on which proved difficult for Niall filming. We practiced tie-ing in and abseiling on cronins crag. Katie and Donal were in their element with Katie hanging upside down half way up while still giving instruction. The team had a great first day, with a short rock climb for those who were game to attempt it in the wet with big boots on, go on Liam!!

That evening we all had a lovely meal in Kates where a few drinks and lots of laughs were had.
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