Extreme adventurer Mike O'Shea: Interview with the Red Bulletin

“Recklessness Needs Planning”

Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan
Words: Tom Guise

Mike O’Shea scaled the Himalayas at just 21, but today’s extreme tourism terrifies the adventurer more than leaping off a cliff

THE RED BULLETIN: How has adventuring changed?

MIKE O’SHEA: When we went to the Himalayas 25 years ago, it took two years to plan it. Today, it’s a couple of months. There’s an expectation to experience everything automatically, afforded by adventure companies. That’s the big change – people don’t need to learn the skills anymore.

Mike O' Shea on Twitter

My new BFF's, don't forget to go to Layahealthcare on Facebook and enter a competition to ... http://ift.tt/1ZuVevL pic.twitter.com/fHVdeIh7Tg

You’re an adventurer, but you’re also a safety consultant.

People look at the stuff I do and suppose I’m reckless, but I’m very calculated. If I’m going ice-climbing, I’ll learn with people who are really good at it. I’ve been involved in rescue for over 30 years and rarely had to save a climber who’s professional.

© Mike O’ Shea // YouTube

So you’d consider yourself sensible?

I’ve got a spontaneous streak. Paragliding one day, I landed at Connor Pass car park in Ireland. It has a 650-foot drop I’d always wanted to jump off. When we got there it was perfect, so I jumped. But I’d done that flight 50 times in my head. 

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07 2016 The Red Bulletin

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