On The Couch with Sorrel Wilby

Sorrel Wilby - World Expeditions trekking guide
Sorrel Wilby - World Expeditions trekking guide

Sorrel Wilby is an award-winning adventurer, becoming the first person ever, with hubby Chris, to traverse the Himalaya (6500km) on foot in 1991. This November she will be leading an adventurous trek through the high passes of Everest! This month we sat down with her as she reveals all on her most exciting adventures, highlights and advice for other adventurous travellers!

 

    In 1985 you travelled 3000km across Tibet, a trip which saw you win an Award of Excellence from Australian Geographic as well as formed the basis from your bestselling book “Tibet, a Woman’s Lone Trek Across a Mysterious Land”. What did you discover about yourself during that journey, and do you have any advice for travellers looking to embark on their own big adventure?

I guess discovered myself - not merely “something about myself”. I had to dig deep on a number of occasions and in so doing, realised what I was capable of. I was vulnerable and alone and the kindness of strangers had a massive impact on my opinion of humanity at large. I try and see the good in everyone.

Advice for other travellers seeking their own adventure? Don’t over-think things… and at the risk of sounding like I’m marketing footwear - JUST DO IT!

You and your husband Christ Ciantar were the first people in the world to traverse the Himalayas, the world’s roughest and highest mountain range. What compelled you to embark on this 6500km journey, and did you have any favourite moments or memories on your adventure?

My passion for the Himalaya has never waned… I really can’t get enough of that part of the world. The mountains; the people; the culture - everything about that region is sublime. So why not walk the whole lot of it? I have many fond memories of that expedition; magnificent sunrises, extraordinary rituals, exotic smells and sounds that swirl in my mind like little beads of coloured glass in a kaleidoscope. But my most enduring memory is just how satisfying the whole experience was, sharing it with my husband Chris.

image007You’ve also spent a fair bit of time climbing Africa’s highest summits – what is it about exploring the mountains of a country you like so much?

Mountains are more often than not, beyond the reach of the road. They are wild places and incredibly beautiful. And the people you meet among them are more often than not, living in a more honest way; closer to their traditional - often tribal - truths…

Their way of life is sustainable, their belief systems are unshakable and the pleasure they draw from the “simple” things in life is quite profound. We have a lot to learn from them, indeed.

You used to be a television presenter for Getaway, who have you met along your travels that has impacted you the most?

OK… that’s hard. I struggled to keep the ‘list’ down to 100, when I undertook sketching 100 portraits of 100 people I’d met on the road less travelled…  next question!

image005In November 2016 you’re leading a 20 day trip across the high passes of Everest! How do you prepare for such an expedition – mentally and physically?

Well a good 4 months before hand, I start walking a lot… build up my general fitness. It’s hard to train for altitude when you live a few hundred metres above sea level! But trekking is more a matter of attitude anyway… and on that, I’m rock-solid. No training required. Like I said, I don’t overthink the risks/hardships/etc. I get over there to the Himalaya, and I feel like I’ve come home.

What are the highlights on the Summits of Everest expedition to last and what do you think will be some of the biggest challenges of this journey?

Winter poses special challenges in the Himalaya, but it’s anyones guess what that will be like this season, in lieu of climate change. It is nigh on impossible to predict! I’m hoping for blue skies and clear vistas and that some of the waterfalls at higher altitude will be frozen! And I hope that we get at least one day where we trek through fresh snow… ahhhhh I can feel those gentle crystals falling on my face already!

image004As we’ve touched on, you have an amazing expedition resume that has seen you traverse the Himalaya, cross Tibet and take on some of the Africa’s greatest mountains. Is there still an adventure on your bucket list that you are dreaming about?

Hmmmmmm… I am still a really bad skier, so before I die I would like to master that, for sure. I’m not particular about where I’d like to acquire that skill-set, but New Zealand is nice and close to home…

 You’re an exceptional public speaker and touch on topics such as adventure, making your dreams come true, and challenging yourself. What is it about inspiring others that you enjoy?

I do love inspiring people to travel… it is so incredibly rewarding. It puts all manner of things in perspective - including all the stuff we in the west take for granted.

ag1039316resized enhancedSorrelWhat is your advice to travellers looking at trekking in the Himalaya?

JUST DO IT! LOL

 

Join adventurer, author, television personality and artist Sorrel Wilby on a once-in-a-lifetime trek through the high passes of Everest in November 2016!

The exciting "Experience Everest High Passes with Sorrel Wilby" trek will take you across the Renjo La with views of Tibet, as well as across the Cho La to Everest Base Camp. Climb Kala Pattar for exceptional views of Everest before making your way back down the mountain. Find out more!

 
Sorrel Wilby

Comments (2)

Stuart McKee

Hello,

My name is Stuart McKee and I am currently dreaming of starting my first (technically second, but this one's more dramatic) solo expedition across the Himalayas in one years' time. I've fallen in love with Sorrel's book 'Tibet, a Woman's Lone Trek Across a Mysterious Land' (which I'm reading for a third time) and I would to get in contact with what I can assume is an honest, kind, courageous person. I'm not sure if it is possible, but how could I go about getting in touch with her?

Thank you so much,

Stuart

3 years ago
we-admin

Hi Stuart,
Thanks for getting in touch and great to hear that you love Sorrel's book. We have forwarded this message to Sorrel to reply directly.
Cheers
Sarah @ World Expeditions, Sydney office

2 years ago
Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.







b i u quote


Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Sherpa Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.