When our ambassador – explorer and environmentalist Tim Jarvis – is not journeying to the South Pole, he has his sights set on expeditions to warmer climates. We catch up with him about the 25zero project — a documentary series that follows Tim and his crew as they climb 25 mountains with glaciers, across six countries to highlight the effects of climate change.
Tell us more about the 25zero project…
‘Seeing is believing’ is an important thing to convey when talking about climate change. 25zero is a project that sees myself and filmmakers Miles Rowland and Romain Levrault climb 25 mountains with glaciers in 6 countries around the world – Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Ecuador and Colombia. It uses dramatic images and footage of melting equatorial glaciers to show the issues at hand, and to help educate people and inspire change through more government funded projects.
What inspired you to be a part of the project?
Using melting glaciers to show climate change was inspired by the dramatic retreat of the Konig Glacier on South Georgia, Antarctica. I noticed the change while retracing the journey of Sir Ernest in 2013 – he had to cross three glaciers on his original journey, but I only had to cross two, as the Konig is now just a lake… Over the past 20 years, my journeys to the polar regions have really focused my mind on how fragile these regions are. Not only do I feel compelled to act, but to share what I’m seeing through my expeditions — it would be an unforgivable, wasted opportunity not to use my work, and the media opportunities it has afforded me, to communicate these big, important issues to people across the globe.
What was your most recent climb?
Myself and 25zero’s filmmakers Miles Rowland and Romain Levrault climbed Mount Speke in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda – the famed ‘Mountains of the Moon’. The Rwenzori are a hidden gem and home to Africa’s largest ice cap but it is disappearing fast due to climate change. From there we went to Kilimanjaro, and climbed it together with a group of social media influencers whose goal was to experience Kilimanjaro and see it’s melting ice for themselves. The reach of the people that joined us on this climb was in the millions — it is such an important part of getting the message out to as many people as we can.
What does it feel like when you reach the top?
There are always mixed feelings when you reach the summit of one of the 25zero mountains. On the one hand, it is always an incredible feeling – especially the challenging ones – and the views in these remote regions are always spectacular. Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s most prominent mountains, to the extent that it juts out above the surrounding landscape. It literally does ‘Rise like Olympus above the Serengeti…’. On the other hand, in the case of 25zero summits, they provide a window into the extent to which the glaciers have melted, which is sad, and sometimes pretty confronting, especially as we know man has played a role in this.
What do adventurers do in their down time?
We do have downtime! I do plenty of travelling, trekking, scuba diving and wine tasting, and am an avid reader. I’ve got two young sons who I spend as much time with as I can. They are always up to something, and have recently started saying they’re interested in going on an expedition with me, so watch this space…
To find out more about Tim's 25zero project, visit www.25zero.com