As an extreme adventurer, former Royal Marine Commando and now a specialist in providing safety and guidance in extreme environments for a selection of the largest film and television productions in the world; Aldo Kane has plenty of captivating stories to share. He will be joining us at the inaugural WEMski mini-conference in the Italian Alps, discussing his own real-life experiences of extreme and psychological challenges and how those stressful situations impacted his life.
Aldo’s love of the great outdoors first came from his involvement in the Scout movement, where at a young age alongside his twin brother, they would go off on adventures around their stomping ground Arran, Loch Lomond and Glencoe and spend much of their time abseiling and camping their way across the Scottish countryside. It was this love for adventure that led him to join the Royal Marines after leaving school at the age of 16. The pinnacle of his military career was to become a sniper for the Royal Marines, a much sought-after post that he served in for more than a decade and one that would take him on exploits around the world.
During his military career, Aldo also became a medic, mountain leader, climbing instructor, and diver, and it was these skills that he used when he left the Royal Marines as a grounding to form his company ‘Vertical Planet, which is now one of the world’s leading providers of safety, security, medical and risk management services to the film and TV industry. Aldo and his team have provided climbing support at El Capitan in America, ventured into active volcanoes with Richard Hammond, diving supervision in Madagascar, helped Steve Backshall through Venezuelan mountains and offered caving support in Slovakia.
As well as travelling the world, Aldo is also part of ‘Team Essence’, a team of adventurers that take on extreme challenges in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments. His first challenge was as part of a successful five-strong world-record breaking team, including fellow WEMski speaker Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox that rowed from continent to continent (Portugal to Venezuela) across the Atlantic Ocean, in a time of 50 days, 10 hours and 36 min, raising a massive £120,000 for the NSPCC.
From death-defying military conflicts to working on the set of Hollywood blockbuster ‘The Avengers’ and advising actors Henry Cavill, Tom Hardy and Adrien Brody, we can’t wait to hear Aldo share his unique experiences with the delegates at WEMski.
We are thrilled to welcome Aldo to our WEMski faculty and to give you a little taste of what Aldo will be talking about at WEMski, we asked him these three questions…
Q. What skills would you say are vital in an extreme and challenging environment?
A. I believe the best skills for extreme environments are the practical life-saving skills that are specific to each environment. However, I do believe that ‘soft skills’ are much more important in an extreme expedition scenario. Skills such as the ability to work in a team, emotional quotient (EQ), a good attitude, courage, determination and above all cheerfulness in adversity are vital.
Q. What first interested you in practising extreme medicine / taking on extreme physical and psychological challenges?
A. I joined the Royal Marines at the age of 16 and became a sniper at the age of 18. I have spent my entire career in some of the world’s most extreme and physical environments, and have had to learn a few basic medical skills to allow me to operate both on my own and as part of a small team. It’s always a good idea to have rudimentary medical knowledge and skills when out in the field.
Q. What has been your scariest ‘extreme’ challenge/situation and why?
A. I am lucky or unlucky (depending on how you look at it) enough to have experienced several extreme challenges to date, both through work and others as part of a challenge to test myself. One of my scariest challenges includes rowing across the Atlantic Ocean from Mainland to Mainland as part of a crew that rowed the longest route in the fastest time – despite capsizing 3 times! I’ve also carried out a full descent of the Balium river in West Papua New Guinea and worked with Narcos in South America.
To find out more information on WEMski or to book your place on what we promise will be an incredibly fun, diverse and inspiring week, please click here.