Tarka L'Herpiniere

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Tarka L'Herpiniere
Born (1981-09-19)19 September 1981
Yeovil, Devon, United Kingdom
Nationality United Kingdom
Occupation explorer, motivational speaker, filmmaker
Known for Ultra Endurance World First Expeditions
Website primaljourney.com

Tarka Michel Bernard L'Herpiniere, born 19 September 1981, is a British explorer, ultra endurance athlete, motivational speaker and filmmaker who holds several endurance records.

L'Herpiniere spent his early years climbing, skiing, skydiving, paragliding and BASE jumping before turning his hand to large-scale expeditions. Initially these were mountaineering expeditions to include Mt Blanc, Aconcagua and Cho Oyu before developing an interest in the polar regions.

After several successful small scale expeditions to the Arctic, in 2004 he attempted to become the youngest person ever to reach the North and South Poles, unaided and in succession but due to sponsorship withdrawal the project could not be completed.

In 2006 L'Herpiniere attempted to summit Mt Everest without oxygen. At the North Col (7,020 m) L'Herpiniere developed HACE and had to be evacuated. In 2007 he became the first person to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China.

In 2008 l'Herpiniere cycled over 8,000 km through Africa on a 30-year-old bicycle with no brakes or gears to promote the charity Re-Cycle. In 2009 he completed the longest crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap by a British team and is currently preparing for his next expedition to the ice cap in August 2010 to attempt the longest-ever unsupported crossing.

Background and history[edit]

L'Herpiniere was born in Yeovil, England shortly before moving to Tignes in the French Alps. He is the eldest of three siblings and returned to England to be educated at Cheltenham College after obtaining a sport scholarship. In 1996 he was awarded a scholarship to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst before attending Brunel University and the University of Bath.

He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a mentor of the British Schools Exploring Society and has used his expeditions to support a number of charities including: Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cancer Research, Practical Action, Merlin, and Re-Cycle.

After completing his 4500km walk in 2007 the length of the Great Wall of China, he married Katie-Jane Cooper, his companion on that trek.


Year Expedition
1995 His first summit of Mt. Blanc.[1]
1997 Aged 16, cycled 1000 miles from Cheltenham (England) to Nice (France).[2][3]
1999 Ran 8 marathons in 8 consecutive days down the west coast of France carrying all his equipment.[2][3]
4-man team to summit Mt. Blanc.[3]
2001 35-day expedition to the North / East coast of Svalbard.[4]
Winter mountaineering expedition to the Andes.[2]
2002 Expedition Leader of a 23-day expedition to Cornwallis Island.[1]
2003 Solo expedition to Devon Island.[4]
Solo Svalbard expedition.[1]
2004 Solo 27-day expedition to Russia.[1]
2005 Unsuccessful Bi-Polar expedition.[2][3]
Unsupported crossing of the Alps from France to Switzerland.[1]
Climbing expedition up Mt. Blanc in training for Mt. Everest.[3]
2006 Climbing member of EverestMax; The longest climb on earth. From the shores of the Dead Sea in Jordan (−400m) to the summit of Mt. Everest (8848m).[2][3]
2007 4500 km trek through the Taklimakan Desert and over the Qiling Mountain range to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China.[2][5]
2008 2-man expedition off the North / East coast of Spitsbergen.[4]
8000 km cycle expedition from Djibouti to South Africa.[3]
2009 Polar research and support station as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey.[6]
Completed longest British crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice cap during the Rivers of Ice Expedition.[7]

Expedition filmmaker[edit]

Year Film Release Ref
2008 The Great Walk of China[8] February 2009 release
2009 The African Way[9] February 2010 release
2010 Rivers of Ice November 2010 release

Future plans[edit]

Announced in June 2013,[10] Tarka and Ben Saunders attempt to complete in October 2013 the Terra Nova Expedition also known as the Scott Expedition[11] first taken by Robert Falcon Scott in January 1912. At 1,800 miles (2,900 km) and nearly four months, it will be the longest unsupported (i.e. human-powered, with no air-drops, vehicles or kites) polar expedition in history.

They successfully completed the expedition on 15 February 2014 and returned to England.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e http://www.aboutus.org/PrimalJourney.com
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  4. ^ a b c "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  5. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/6666643.stm
  6. ^ http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/profile.aspx?profileName=tarka
  7. ^ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/active/6325215/Patagonian-Andes-Triumph-over-adversity.html
  8. ^ http://www.vimeo.com/6048066
  9. ^ http://www.vimeo.com/6066859
  10. ^ "Ben Saunder's Bid To Complete Captain Scott's Antarctic Expedition". 5 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Scott Expedition".

External links[edit]