The Life Antarctic with Ran Fiennes

Ranulph Fiennes with snowRanulph Fiennes book cover

One of the great joys of facial hair is observing snow sticking to it, thus proving the beard’s insulating powers.  Best of all is when giant carbuncles of ice form, as on Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the British globetrotter thought by many to be the world’s greatest living explorer.  Whether or not that is hyperbole, he certainly competes with Ewan Mcgregor for world’s greatest hair, adventurer category.  (While there appears to have been some photoshoppery involved in the bookcover photo (his jacket appears to have been taken from the photo on the left), Izzy includes it since it show Fiennes’ weather-beaten mane at its most spectacular.)

Even when relaxing in the comfort of his home study, as seen below, the adventurer maintains his devil-may-care approach, with ancient (torn?) desert boots and khakis with frayed hems.  Alas, his plentiful testosterone has exposed his scalp to the elements.

Ranulph Fiennes at home

In the interview accompanying the photo, Fiennes explains:

Everything in my wardrobe is old. I haven’t bought a suit in 10 years, that’s for sure. My dinner jacket must be at least 20 years old. My shoes, which I had in the Army, must be over 30 years old. I don’t like buying clothing.

Asked about his grooming routine, he continues:

For 25 years I have worn Clarins day and night creams. When I was in Antarctica I got seborrhoeic dermatitis, which affected the areas between my eyebrows and next to my nose. I ran out of cortisone cream and discovered that Clarins day and night creams for women do the same job without the side-effects. I’ve continued to use them ever since.

When a man has circumnavigated the earth from pole to pole via land, he may casually admit to wearing women’s cosmetics.

Perhaps Fiennes should have started moisturizing at a younger age.  He was once considered to play the part of James Bond in the movies (Roger Moore was selected instead), but the producer rejected him for having “hands too big and a face like a farmer.”  This, presumably, was before Fiennes cut off the tips of his frostbitten fingers with a Black & Decker power tool.

2 Responses to “The Life Antarctic with Ran Fiennes”

  1. Robert_H December 28, 2009 at 2:24 am #

    I don’t think there was any PS’ing done on those first two images. It looks like his sunglasses were held on with a strap and when he pulled them off his head, it gave him that “Wolverine style-job. The color levels were probably tweaked but I don’t think anyone cut-&-pasted his head onto the bookcover. All the rest of the ice matches between the photos except what was attached to his nose protector.

    And I’ve now spent WAY to much time on this – goodnight.

  2. Jake January 18, 2010 at 11:39 am #

    He’s an interesting man, is Ranulph. A famous (and possibly true) legend from his time at Eton is that he disrupted the traditional Procession of Boats (when the school rowers parade in old-fashioned wooden boats, in which they then stand up http://bit.ly/5O2J8j) by donning scuba gear and swimming under the boats where he could rock them, and tip the rowers into the water.

    As a former Eton rower myself, I’ve never found this quite as funny as everyone else seems to, but I suppose you have to admire his commitment to causing havoc! If the legend is to be believed, he was then expelled from Eton and told never to return. Something the school has quietly gone back on in more recent years, when having him come and talk in assemblies seemed like a nice idea…