Friday, 24 February 2012 15:51
Published in Awards & Appearances

Listen to interviews: Pat Falvey with Jonathan McCrea & Clare McKenna Spin Fm.

Also listen to interview: Aidan Dooley on the RTE John Murray Show

Story by Lizzy Davies, Sunday 19 February 2012 18.23 GMT

A Swedish man who spent two months snowed inside his car as temperatures outside dropped to -30C is "awake and able to communicate", according to the hospital treating him, where stunned doctors believe he was kept alive by the "igloo effect" of his vehicle.

1: Pat Falvey, Talks to Spin Fm on how a person would survive.

2: Listen to Aidan Dooley Actor Tom Crean Show on the John Murray Show RTE


Dr Ulf Segerberg, the chief medical officer at Noorland's University Hospital, said he had never seen a case like it. The man had probably been kept alive, he said, by the natural warming properties of his snowed-in car which would have acted as "the equivalent of an igloo".

"This man obviously had good clothes; he had a sleeping bag and he's been in a car that's been snowed over," said Segerberg. "Igloos usually have a temperature of a couple of degrees below 0C and if you have good clothes you would survive in those temperatures and be able to preserve your body temperature. Obviously he has managed to preserve his body temperature or he wouldn't have made it because us humans can't really stand being cooled down like reptiles, for instance, which can change the body temperature."

Two months was at the "upper limit" of what a person would be able to survive without food, added Segerberg.

Skyllberg was found emaciated and very weak by a pair of snowmobilers who thought they had found a crashed car. They dug down through about a metre of snow to see its driver lying on the back seat in his sleeping bag, according to Ebbe Nyberg, a local police officer.

"They were amazed at what they found: a man in his mid-40s huddled inside in a sleeping bag, starving and barely able to move or speak," Nyberg, working in Vaesterbotten county, was quoted as saying.

A rescuer told the local newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren: "It's just incredible that he's alive considering that he had no food, but also since it's been really cold for some time after Christmas."

Police said temperatures around Umeå had fallen to -30C. One doctor, Stefan Branth, said Skyllberg may have survived by going into hibernation mode. "A bit like a bear that hibernates. Humans can do that. He probably had a body temperature of around 31C which the body adjusted to. Due to the low temperature, not much energy was used up."

But Segerberg said he was "sceptical" of this suggestion. "We can't lower body temperature very much. A little bit we can, but if we lower body temperatures more than just a little bit, we lose consciousness and go into a coma," he said, cautioning that it was not his area of expertise.

Skyllberg is being treated in an ordinary ward in the University Hospital, where Segerberg said he was "feeling well". It was unclear how he had come to be stranded in the deserted lane.

Segerberg said that, even in a part of the world where sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow are the norm, this case was unusual. "There have been cases of people caught out in the mountains, and if they can dig themselves down in the snow they are able to survive and be found. But there must be something special in this case."

Thursday, 24 November 2011 18:36


RTE 1 Radio: Presenter Diarmaid Ferriter and guests Adventurer Pat Falvey, aurthor Michael Smith, composer Rachel Holstead and historian Rorke Bryan.

In the aftermath of Amundsen and Scotts success in reaching the Pole in 1911 controversy arose about the ill fated expedition of Falcon Scott and the success of Roald Amundsen. 100 years later discussions still flare emotions about these amazing adventurers that traveled into these unknown and unchartered places.

Come with our panel as they discuss the the time, the excitement and the publicity around the expedition. The challenge. Why the South Pole? How many people/dogs/sleighs involved? What supplies they brought?

Hear about some of the well known characters involved in the expeditions. Their background. The psychology of how Scott chose his team. Scott's style of leadership. How they all got or not along together. We take a look at the unsug hero Tom Crean.

We read from Scott's diary and discuss the logistics of food and shelter. Arriving at the South Pole. The journey back - and what happened to the explorers.

Join us as we look back into the history of the first successful adventures in to South Pole.


Monday, 01 August 2011 12:29
Published in Current Projects


Irish adventure based film makers, Image Now Films (Dublin) and Pat Falvey Productions (Kerry) achieved a new world record of filming from a helicopter on K2 the second Highest mountain in the World to almost 8,000 meters which is known to climbers as The Death Zone.

'The Summit' film crew reach a new altitude record for aerial filming in a helicopter. Flying to an altitude of 23,500 feet (7,162m) on K2, Nick Ryan operated the Cineflex camera system mounted to the Pakistani Army Ecuriel helicopter, filming aerial footage of the shoulder above Camp 4 and the Serac.  Stephen O'Reilly in the backup helicopter reached an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620m) from where he photographed the mountain.

The Summit: A film about the deadliest day on the worlds most dangerous mountain. The story of the death of 11 climbers on the ill-fated 2008 expedition to the summit of K2.

An epic journey, starting in Islamabad, the crew which consisted of Nick Ryan (director/producer), Stephen O'Reilly (Production manager/Camera), Mike Wright (Camera/Aviation engineer) and Nisar Malik (Pakistan co-ordinator), drove up the Karakorum Highway with 400kg of equipment to Skardu.

With the co-operation of the Pakistan Army Aviation Wing (5th Squadron), they flight tested the Cineflex equipment on Friday 22nd July and carefully observed the notorious weather patterns around K2. Monday the 25th was selected as a flight date, and the crew left the base at Skardu at 7.00am on the 50 minute flight to Paiju and then on to K2 where the mountain was completely clear, enabling the filming of some incredible aerial footage on the Cineflex Hi-Definition system (used extensively in the BBC series Planet Earth).

On behalf of all our production team we want to congratulate Nick and all on the ground in Pakistan for their amazing commitment and dedication of creating the final sequence of shots for our new film "The Summit".

This week we commemorate Ger and Rolf's passing three years ago. May they R.I.P. Their friendship and love are still with us, all of us that had the privilege of being part of their amazing lives.  Nick, was very emotional when speaking to him over the weekend as he gave account of this amazing feat. 

"We were incredibly lucky to get the weather to see the mountain, as mostly you will see either the top or the bottom of it, but not both. The light was fantastic, and winds low enough for safe flight and allow us to reach such great altitudes. The pilots are amongst the very best in the world and their knowledge of the region enabled this incredible journey. Their assistance and collaboration on the planning of the mission was fantastic. After three years of studying K2 in photos and video, to actually cast your eyes on the mountain was quite a moment. The shear scale of the mountain is breath-taking. To look down on the slopes of the south-east face and realise the climbers who never made it back are still resting there, was an emotional experience for me."

"We are all delighted and are looking forward to seeing some spectacular footage from K2. Nick goes into the final stages of putting all the content together over the coming months and from what I have seen so far, the film is going to be gripping.  It tells an amazing story."

"The Summit" is a story of the struggle of man against the mountain. The cost of living in the god foresaken place known to climbers as the "Death Zone" the heroic events of a day that cost the lives of 11 climbers that struggled in the thin air of the world's secpnd highest mountain, K2.

For the first time ever the events are reconstructed by the unsung heroes of mountaineering history  - the talented Sherpas, told through interviews by those on the mountain on that ill fated day.

It will tell of Ger McDonnell a young and talented Irish climber who was the first Irish man to summit K2, the worlds most treacherous mountain on the 1st/2nd of August, 2008. He was killed on the descent whilst attempting to rescue two Koreans and Sherpa Jumik.

Pat Falvey

Executive Producer

Image Now Fims (Dublin) and Pat Falvey Productions (Kerry) due for film release towards the end of 2011/early 2012.

TV Release 2013

DVD Release Late 2013.

This film is done in association with The Irish Film Board, RTE and The BBC.


For more information, contact us here at



Friday, 10 June 2011 14:24
Published in TV & Video News
The Secret of the Stone. (film/tv) documentary

Patrick Morell international film maker, French director living in the US for the last 35 years and his assistant Archie Linval, were over with me this week doing a film piece on the Reeks and looking for the Secret of the Stone. I thought this was a crazy notion and yet I was interested in the project. There were times I felt that we were looking for some lost treasure or power like in the film Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Patrick of course being Indiana Jones.

With camera in hand we investigated some ancient pre-historic sites around Ireland's highest mountains "the Reeks" for a preparation of a treatment for a four part series on ancient Ireland. We recruited one of my best friends, Con Moriarty who has an incredible knowledge of these sites around Kerry as well as a incredible passion for Irish history and culture and folklore. 


Before moving onto the second half of the week's filming which was based at the Kildreelig Artist Village, an old stone village dating back to the 6th or 7th century, situated near Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland. At Kildreelig a number of houses have been rebuilt and refurbished and are used by well known artists as artist retreats throughout the year.

Among the local attractions filmed by Patrick with local historian and archaeologist Dan O Meara, were the McCarthy Castle & Abbey (built on the Isthmus to defend the place from pirates), Kilrellig (early Christian monastic settlement ruins located beside the road to Bolus Head), the Kildreelig Alignment (an alignment of four standing stones which is the reputed burial place of the Milesian leader Erannan), Wedge Grave (situated at Coom, Ballinskelligs) and the Irish Romanesque structure Killemlagh Church, built on the site of Saint Finan's original settlement. The majority of the ruins are inside a stout circular rampart which has all the massive appearance of the local circular stone forts. South of this church is the "Pagan's Grave", an enclosure of standing stones.

Before filming on one of the world's most famous monastic sites on the windswept Skellig Rock.


In search of the Secret of the Stone, nuts I thought but what a fascinating week it was, learning about our Irish past.

Patrick Morell has done cultural documentaries in Nepal, Tibet, Russia, Alaska and many more interesting places around the world. I'm really looking forward to the preparation of his vision on our Irish past and we are looking forward to the edit of his filming and his interpretation of our Irish landscape, history and culture. I'm looking forward to working further with Patrick in the future through our TV and Film Production Division.

Special thanks to Noelle Campbell-Sharp for her encouragement towards the project, to Kildreelig Artist Retreat Centre, to Con Moriarty local historian on the Reeks and Dan O Meara archaeologist on the Iveragh peninsula.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011 21:03
Published in Awards & Appearances

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 Pat's archive material for the production.

For those without RTE1 or abroad, the show will feature on RTE Player in a few weeks.


Thursday, 03 February 2011 11:02
Published in Awards & Appearances

Pat Falvey spoke with the today with Pat Kenny show on RTE Radio 1 last Friday the 28th. He also featured on 98fms news spot with Teena gates. Below is the podcasts of both.

RÓISÍN INGLE visited the the Expedition Office recently to interview Pat for a piece in the Irish Times Saturday Travel Interview on the 29th January. Check it out on the times website here. You will find a PDF copy of the article on the download attachment link at bottom on this page also.


More podcasts? visit our podcast section!


Saturday, 01 January 2011 15:16

Image Gallery

On return, Martin sent in some great shots of the boys and himself on Mount Kilimanjaro

This evening they will return to Moshi for their last overnight before leaving for the airport in the morning.. All reports are of a 'healthy & happy' group and we, no doubt not a fraction as much as mom, Joan, await their safe return and further reports of their adventures in Tanzania.

6th January 2011 - Lake Manyara National Park
After a eventful New Year on Kilimanjaro, Martin, James, Alexander & Marcus are enjoying an overnight at Serena Luxury Lodge taking in 2 days Safari in the spectacular Lake Manyara National Park within the Great Rift Valley with its infamous tree climbing lion!

The National Park offers an amazing experience - At the Southern end of the park are hot Sulphur Springs known as Majimoto. Further along the forest the area opens up into woodlands, grassland, swamps and beyond, the soda lake itself. Nestling at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, the park is recognized for its incredible beauty. Wildlife at Lake Manyara is not restricted to birdlife only. Many game animals such as buffalo, elephants, giraffes, impala ,hippos and a great variety of smaller animals also inhabit the park.

Lake Manyara is renown for its tree-climbing lions which spend most of the day spread out along the branches of acacia trees six to seven metres above the ground. The park contains the most pachyderms per km sq. in Tanzania. As you enter the gate, you pass into the lush forest, home to troops of baboons and blue monkeys. Buffalo and hippo lurch in the adjacent Hippo Pool. The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees - a habit prevalent to Manyara lions.

Along with these amazing tree-climbing lions there are the usual browsers and grazers as well as the curios-looking banded mongoose. Two thirds of the park is dominated by the slightly alkaline lake which is home to a huge variety of waterbirds.

4th January 2011 - 13.00hrs Irish time
Family climb Kilimanjaro

Just got a call from Martin, "We all got into the final campsite on accent yesterday at 4pm. With excitement and everything about the summit push last evening, the lads only got a 2-3 hrs sleep before leaving at 11pm for the long summit push. James was sick a few times but had no other AMS symptoms. We got toGillman's Point (5681m) at 7am this morning with all ok apart from Alexander having zero juice left in the tank. The guides helped in the decision for Alexander, who knew he couldn't go any further as he had not enough energy to get him to the summit and back toGillman's Point."

"With a guide holding with Alexander at gilmans, James, Marcus, myself and the remaining guides headed for the summit. After an hour and a half or so we could see the summit sign in the distance, which encouraged us. We got to Uhuru summit (5,895m) at 9.15am, James and Marcus were very excited and got the photos etc. done before heading back down. The guides were brilliant and when we got back here to gilmans, Alexander was asleep which was good he must have been knackered earlier this morning. I sent James and Marcus down ahead and I will wait for Alexander for a while longer before we also head down. Amazing feeling to get there with my sons, they all did extremely well"

Well done lads and hope you all enjoy the fun on the way down. Best of luck on the rest of the trip from all at the expedition office down in Kerry.

If climbing Kilimanjaro is a dream or challenge of yours please view our Africa travel section or contact us for advice on our 2011 and 2012 treks.

Latest Report - 2nd January 2011

The Haydens and their guides acclimatised to 4300m today and are now back to 3720m for the night. Martin reports that the boys are doing well, apart from some adjustments to the food etc., Martin said: "James has some music with him, Marcus is reading and Alexander is getting plenty of stories from dad, they are all sleeping well and eating ok considering, the weather is absolutely amazing providing stunning scenery views, hopefully it will last for the next couple of days"

We expect a push for the summit on the 5th or 6th january, lets see how they get on today, Stay tuned.

Trek Start Report - 31st December 2010
While we celebrate New years here in Ireland, Martin Hayden and his threetrustysons James, Marcus & Alexander are now on Mt. Kilimanjaro,located in Tanzania,and have started their trek. They flew out on the 29th of December to fulfill an ambition to climb the highest mountain in Africa. The climb will take them through five different ecological zones as they ascend toward the5,895m summit over the next eight days. Happy New Year lads - Over the next few days we will endeavour to report as much as possible. They are just finishing day one and these are photos of the start.



Training Begins
Training began back in November when we put them through their paces on Purple mountain beside the Gap of Dunloe in Kerry. The cold weather had just started 2 days before the lads came down, roads were bad in Meath where the lads are from and tentatively made the journey to the montain lodge in Kerry. On arrival we met Con Moriarty, who advised them on the gear they had and also the gear needed for their training and climb in december. Temperatures were low on the evening of the 27th with severe cold conditions forecast as low as -10C. Later in the evening wewere joined by camerman Mark Watson who was down to get a feel for mountain filming, he will be editing footage under our direction for the haydens on their return.Following a quick briefing on the plans for the dark start early in the amby guide Tony Nation, we all headed to bed for some rest.

Night climb of Purple Mountain - 28th Nov 2010
We got a little breakfast into us and headed off at 4am. The drive up the gap was surreal and slippy with icy conditions. We adjusted our gear and headed off into the night, which was brigthened at times by the moon. As we got our pace and temperatures regulated we were approaching the glas lake, which was very surreal in total darkness and head torches. We had a break and some banter with lads who were doing just fine. after the gully from the lake we started onto the steep scree section which was tough work as the wind was a lot stronger. Martin got James, Marcus and Alexander to stay close in a line as conditions were now more severe.

At 7.30am we reached the shoulder and made our final push across the summit section to the main cairn in near total whiteout. We had already decided to spend only 3 minutes there as there was no visibility for sunrise although we could see that light was approaching. On our decent toward the central peak heading toward tomies temperatures were very low and wind was strong, with frost forming on our eyebrows, hair and clothing. I would say it was minus 15C windchill approx. At our next stop our water was now slushy and hard to drink, bring out the hot drink Tony!! The lads were elated at this stage and we found some snow to bum slid followd by some great icicles!!


On decent we headed into the Gap behind the cottages, once we decended below the cloud we got our first glimpses of scenery toward the sea over snow peppered stricin mountain. We stopped to admire the views and our final stop before the road. The boys were holding strong and dad Martin coaxed the final leg down. When we got to the road it was time to do much needed filming as the visibility was good now for the first time all morning.

We got back to the lodge after 10.00am for a fuller than Irish breakfast with no leftovers.The lads had a great time apart from being wrecked tired and after speaking to Martin a couple of days later theyhad a great time in Kerry and hadn't stopped talking about it. We wish them the best of luck!!

Martin and his boys were featured on RTE's Colm Hayes show on the 23 December, below you will find a link to download the attached podcast.

Report by Niall Foley

Travel Coordinator & Camerman


Tuesday, 05 October 2010 13:08

Here is a link for anyone who didn't see last night's Ger McDonnell Nationwide Special. Recommended viewing with a great insight to Gerard's life and how he left a mark on everyone he met.


For more in formation on this or any of Pat's projects - please contact us here at


Thursday, 13 May 2010 17:17
Published in Podcasts

Below is a selection of radio interviews and podcasts:



Thursday, 11 March 2010 11:19
Published in North Pole 2010

Here is the Gerry ryan show original link for those unable to see the last download link on facebook

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