Frequent flyer: Nikki Bart

This high-achieving medico thrives in extreme conditions.

Q You've climbed Mount Everest, completed the Seven Summits and skied to the North Pole. Will you ski to the South Pole?

A I hope so. At the moment I'm researching and working at Oxford University. However, a South Pole expedition is brewing.

Q Describe your research.

A I'm working with a hypoxia group, which aims to research oxygen carriage in the body. I hope to help patients in extreme environments and critically ill patients in hospitals.

Q Have you felt stretched to breaking point in an extreme environment?

A The nature of high-altitude mountaineering and polar travel has pushed me to mental and physical limits. On Denali in Alaska, while carrying a 30-kilogram pack and dragging a sled, I experienced some frostbite in a windstorm. It certainly pushed my limits but luckily, because of good planning and equipment, rather than being at break point I was able to descend safely.

Q What is in your hand luggage?

A My laptop and some snacks.

Q Favourite carbohydrates and proteins at altitude?

A I often make my own trail mix with chocolate and nuts. It's the easiest thing to eat when it's minus 20 and you can only take a quick break.

Q You're circumnavigating Europe's Mont Blanc in July. Is that a bit of a walk in the park for you?

A I fell in love with the outdoors around the same age as the schoolchildren I will be leading [up Mont Blanc]. I see this trip as a big challenge because I hope to inspire a similar passion in members of our team.

Q You're also trekking Nepal's Annapurna region soon. Why?

A We're helping to repair a school building in a remote area.

Q The wisest travel advice you've ever received?

A Be prepared and, once you're out there, take everything as it comes. That way you can truly enjoy the journey.

Nikki Bart leads a 13-day United Youth Adventure circumnavigation of Mont Blanc in July and a 13-day Nepal trek in January next year. See