The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel -

From Page 1 un­der in­creas­ing threat with the most cru­cial chal­lenge com­ing from global warm­ing. It is es­ti­mated that by 2020 there will be no glaciers left on Mt Kil­i­man­jaro. Some­thing that has come to sym­bol­ise Africa’s beauty could soon be a thing of the past.’’

The com­pe­ti­tion — en­try fee was $10 — was just one of A & K’s Cli­mate Change Chal­lenge money-rais­ing ini­tia­tives in Aus­tralia this year: in July, mid­dle-dis­tance run­ner Craig Mot­tram led an A & K walk-a-thon. Ra­man says the $US1 mil­lion global tar­get has been met, with all the com­pany’s of­fices across the world run­ning money-rais­ing projects.

Howarth’s prize in­cludes ac­commo- da­tion and trans­fers in Buenos Aires, char­ter flights to and from Ushuaia, Ar­gentina, and a 10-night cruise to Antarc­tica on MV Min­erva.

The win­ner says what she saw in the frozen con­ti­nent ear­lier this year ter­ri­fied her. The idea that I came back with was that the col­lapse of the Antarc­tic ice shell is go­ing to be the cat­a­strophic event of my life­time. I came back a gree­nie, more than I ever was when I went. What we’re do­ing in dam­age (to the planet) is there to see in Antarc­tica.’’ The win­ning shot was one of four pho­to­graphs she sub­mit­ted. So was it the best? Ab­so­lutely, the judges got it right.’’

Howarth has also vis­ited the Arc­tic but says the Antarc­tic is far more im­pres­sive. We’re so Europe fo­cused, we don’t re­alise what we’ve got so close to us. It’s so spec­tac­u­lar and we’re do­ing so much dam­age to it.’’

She took thou­sands of pic­tures in the Antarc­tic — I travel to take pho­to­graphs’’ — but says none of them com­pared with her French Alps com­pe­ti­tion win­ner.

You look at th­ese spec­tac­u­lar ice­bergs but there’s noth­ing to give you that per­spec­tive you get with the moun­taineers. When you’ve got a pen­guin sit­ting in front of an ice­berg you re­ally don’t get the scale with­out be­ing there and see­ing it with your own eyes.’’

The prize is for two but Howarth isn’t say­ing who she’s tak­ing. I think I’ll hold au­di­tions,’’ she says, laugh­ing.


Moun­tain ex­cite­ment: Award win­ner Chris Howarth, third from right, dur­ing a trip to Tan­za­nia’s Mt Kil­i­man­jaro

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