Born and brought up in the Scottish Highlands, Mark Anstice developed a passion for adventure and the Earth’s wilder places at an early age and lost no time in seeking them out as soon as he had left school in 1985. Realising he was not cut out for the 9-5 existence he joined the army 3 years later and immediately began planning expeditions, squeezing them in between operational commitments in the Gulf, Central America and Bosnia.
Leaving the services in 1995 as a captain, he set about making a living from adventure – a spiritually rewarding but financially disastrous route that culminated in ‘Maverick Travel’, a company offering people extreme sports holidays. The following few years were spent abseiling from London’s taller buildings, fixing and cleaning them to pay off the resulting debts. As he says of the time, “I was good at the adventurous aspects of it but not at business side of things – I made every mistake in the book.” He had, however, still managed to undertake 12 major expeditions to deserts, mountains and jungles around the world.
Mark has made 2 films for television including ‘Crampons & Cannibals’, the award-winning film that accompanies this book, has also written numerous articles for adventure magazines, and is a motivational speaker. He is currently working in Iraq, leading a local force of 800 men defending a 200-mile pylon line against saboteurs.