In 2003, well known journalist and broadcaster Patricia Glyn, spent 59
days and nights with the Discovery Expedition at Base Camp. As can be
expected it was quite an experience, and Patricia recently released her
Peak, giving readers an insight into this challenging adventure.
Patricia was kind enough to take a few moments to answer a questions about
herself, her work, the expedition, and her plans for the future.
EB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself,
where you were born and how you came to be where you are?
PG: I was born and raised in Zambia. I went to school both in
Zambia and in Zimbabwe, and came to South Africa to attend University. I
read English and Drama with Music on the side. My first job was in editing
for Anglo American.
EB: Was there something specific that propelled
you into pursuing journalism as a career?
PG: Actually, I didn't pursue journalism as a career, it just
fell into my lap when a friend suggested that I audition for SAfm in Cape
Town. Since then, I've broadened out into TV, writing, voice work and
media training. You've got to have many strings in this business,
otherwise you'll starve!
EB: Last year you accompanied the Discovery
Everest 2003 Expedition team on their journey. How did you get to be the
"Chosen One" for such a challenging task?
PG: In December 2002, I climbed Aconcagua (the highest peak in
the southern hemisphere, situated in Argentina) with two of the climbers
who were to do Everest. When we returned, they got news that the
expedition journalist couldn't make it, and so they asked me to go along.
It didn't take me long to say yes!
EB: What is your ultimate best, and your
ultimate worst memory of the time you spent on Everest?
PG: My best memory of Everest is getting to know the gentle,
Buddhist sherpas who make these expeditions possible. They're awesome
climbers, gracious people, and they still don't get enough credit for what
they do. My worst memory is the cold. The unrelenting, savage,
grind-you-down cold. We averaged minus 13 at the beginning of the trip,
and minus 5 at the end of it. To work in those temperatures proved to be
EB: Difficult and challenging circumstances tend
to bring out a totally different side in people. While on this expedition,
was there something you learned about human nature that you didn't
necessarily know before?
PG: I was fascinated to watch the (interminable) male bonding,
boys talk and competitiveness that goes into building a team. Everest
brings out the best and the worst in people, and I saw it all. No doubt my
fellow climbers felt they'd seen both sides of me too!
EB: If asked, will you take on Everest again in
PG: I wouldn't jump at the chance of being that cold for that
long again, but I don't mind discomfort per se. I am searching for another
expedition to cover.
EB: What is the thing you like least about your
job as a well known and successful journalist?
PG: I think of myself as a broadcaster more than a journalist. I
don't particularly like being the object of other peoples'
expectations/gripes/fantasies/hates. I'd love the job without being the
celebrity (albeit celebrity on a very small scale).
EB: What inspires you?
PG: I have a very low threshold of boredom, so I take things on
because I want to experience new things, not necessarily because they
EB: Do you like to read, and if so what?
PG: The programme I did for SAfm for many years, "Patricia's
People", involved me in talking to explorers, inventors, scientists, and
other extraordinary folk, and through it I came to love biography and
history in particular, with more than a passing interest in science in
EB: How do you like to spend your time when
you're not working?
PG: Bushing and dogging!
EB: What do you have planned for the future? Any
more daring and challenging adventures?
PG: I'm looking for another chance to challenge myself in the
great outdoors. At this stage I'm pretty much open to any offers.
Interview conducted via