I'll never forget the day I was sitting in the airport lounge in Atlanta in 2008, on my way to Russia to climb the highest mountain in Europe, when I looked up at the monitor and read the headline "War erupts between Russia and Georgia". My flight was set to depart to Russia in less than 45 minutes.
Bouvetoya is only 774 metres high, but it is not well mapped, so one of the challenges is the element of the unknown. It's hard to conserve your energy when you don't know what's ahead. It was a seven kilometre walk up a steady hill, and we weren't halfway there that my legs started giving in under the weight of my pack.