Review: Ash Dykes at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre

Ash Dykes walked solo across Mongolia from west to east, a distance of 1500 miles, and set a new world record.

He braved snowy mountain passes, thunderstorms and lightning strikes, sandstorms, extreme heat and dehydration. And all the while pulling his supplies on a metal cart weighing 40 kilos unpacked.

In his talk at Buxton’s Pavilion Arts Centre, Ash told how from the age 17 he learned survival skills by trekking in China, visting a jungle in Burma and cycling through Vietnam.

He prepared himself for the trip to Mongolia by trekking alone in the Alps and testing his cart in Scotland. “It’s all about the challenge,” he said.

In Mongolia, he walked until heat exhaustion forced him to stop and recuperate. He stayed withMongolian and Kazak families.“It was sometimes difficult leaving a really nice family in a small settlement or isolated yurt to face the extreme weather conditions alone all over again,” he said.

In remote areas, he risked attack by wolves and earned the nickname of ‘the lonely snow leopard’ because the wolves left him alone as they did his namesake.

It was an astounding feat of endurance, both physical and mental, told with sparkling enthusiasm and accompanied by video and still shots of his journey. He learned that to achieve the impossible you have to believe you can do it.

Next trip? Trekking the length of Madagascar.