Interview with William Pike

Credit: Bruce Paterson

Camping out overnight fully dressed in harness and sleeping bag with icebergs cracking around us and floating by was unexpected.

William Pike
Director - William Pike Challenge Award

William Pike is a sought-after inspirational speaker who lost his leg during the 2007 Mt Ruapehu eruption. He is now the director of the William Pike Challenge Award, a youth development programme
for years 7-9 students.

Highlights
Summiting Mt Scott was a definite highlight. The view was like flying across the Pacific Ocean, looking down and seeing nothing but cloud. We came down the slope in twilight and I’d never seen anything like it with the mountains lit up in gorgeous pink light.

Standing on top of Mt Scott I…
Reflected back to 10 years ago when I was lying on a hospital bed with my leg freshly amputated below the knee, and would never have imagined I could make it to the top of a mountain in Antarctica. I’m really proud of myself for what I’ve achieved over the last 10 years, and grateful to the people around me who have helped me get to where I am.

I found it challenging…
Climbing as an amputee as it is not comfortable or easy. I had to constantly think about every step and how my (prosthetic) ankle was going to react, as it doesn’t accommodate undulations in the ground as my natural ankle would. The silicone liner in the socket where my stump sits prevented blisters and rubbing but doesn’t breathe, so sweating was another major concern. I had to stop and start several times during the climb to take my leg off.

I didn’t expect to…
Be able to walk on my leg for 18 hours as the longest trip I had ever done was 10 hours. Achieving this has now opened up a world of possibilities for me. Camping out overnight fully dressed in harness and sleeping bag with icebergs cracking around us and floating by was unexpected. It was the perfect end to the perfect adventure and eating a bag of chips in the sleeping bag topped it off.

View full photo gallery.

The Inspiring Explorers' team - William, Sylvie, Simon, Isobel and Trust Executive Director and team leader Nigel Watson.

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