Presenter, adventurer and lover of (the) buff – Ben Fogle faces Trail Magazine's probing questions...

Ben Fogle

Ben Fogle

Highest mountain climbed?
Cotopaxi in Ecuador at 5897m and Kilimanjaro in Tanzania at 5895m. I also reached 6100m on Chimborazo in Ecuador and 6200m on Ampato in Peru.

Who’s your mountaineering hero?
Sir Chris Bonington. I’ve become friends with him, and he’s the most charming man. 

Most memorable day in the outdoors?
We had a day of clear, sunny, windless weather when we were in Antarctica [during the Race to the Pole expedition with James Cracknell in 2009]. We skied in our thermals – it was awesome. 

What’s your nickname?
At school I was often called Fog-horn. I have a very, very loud voice. 

You’re in a pub. What’s on the menu?
Cottage pie. Yum. 

Who’d star in the movie of your life?
I’d like to think Brad Pitt, but it would probably be Owen Wilson. We both have large probosci [otherwise known as noses].

Weirdest place you’ve slept?
In a tree, in a cave, on a raft, in an igloo, on an ant nest: take your pick!

Worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
Surstromming [fermented herring], in Sweden and Iceland. I had to burn my gloves after I spilt some on them. 

What’s your favourite hill snack?
A good old bar of Dairy Milk. Can’t be beaten. 

Favourite piece of outdoor kit?
A Buff. Truly the greatest invention. 

Wild camp or posh hotel?
Wild camp...followed by posh hotel... followed by wild camp. Mix it up I say. 

Strangest person you’ve met on a hill?
When I got to the top of Kilimanjaro I had a long and interesting conversation with Johnny Depp. Unfortunately I subsequently realised it was a hallucination brought on by oxygen deprivation!

When were you last naked outdoors?
Last week, wild bathing in Polynesia. 

Have you ever Googled yourself?
Yes, but I can’t really recommend it. It’s a little like self-flagellation. 

A pint of tea at Pete’s Eats: how much?
A quid? [Someone needs to spend more time in Snowdonia – it’s £1.60.]

What’s your next big challenge?
Swimming the Atlantic. It’s a biggie! 

Your ultimate mountain day in three words…
Friends. Laughter. Sunshine.

This feature first appeared in Trail Magazine