Mr Frostbite. He’ll take your breath away

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I’m Mr Frostbite. Let me take you on an incredible journey.

I love mountaineering, adventure and travel.  To feel warm sunlight on your face and breathe cold, fresh mountain air is what keeps me alive, but it has almost cost me my life…

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I Turn Trial into Triumph…

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I’m a record-breaking Frostbitten Mountaineer, Author, Business and Educational Speaker, but what can I do for you..?  I can inspire audiences, help them understand changing times and how to deal with them.

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Forcing Your Hand…

Frostbitten Hands

The phrase ‘The day we stop learning is the day we die’, may be old, but it’s true. I thought after 17 years I had learned all there was to know about my frostbite injuries, but I was wrong. Though the amputations were very visible, regular treatment kept my skin grafts in good condition, and all was well with the world. The last few months however, have taught me a hard lesson in reality.

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A Time of Drought…

Coniston Old Man

After all the long running rains of spring, we here in Britain have finally seen blazing sun.  We’ve enjoyed temperatures hotter than the Mediterranean and as usual, many forget to cream so suffer sunburned skin (we never learn..!)  It’s the time to lounge or barbeque, expose our white skin and enjoy a drink – well for some anyway.  Advertising is strewn with images of people relaxing by pools, drinking beer, wines and spirits galore, but for me, for now, the strongest thing I’ll be on is a cup of tea…

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Adventuring Alone…

6-Beyond-Baffin

It might surprise you that a mountaineer such as my self may write about Mental Health Awareness Week.  People make assumptions in this world, and I’m afraid to say that many of them are wrong.  “You must be rich”, “You can’t have a job”, You’re never at home”, “You just travel the world as you please”.  If only they knew…

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Travelling Friends and the Otter Trail…

Me-in-the-Kruger-NP

Years ago I said that I would only ever visit a place once, unless it impressed the hell out of me.  Well, I’ve grown to love South Africa, and moreover I have a wonderful friend there – Sibusiso Vilane.  I spoke about friendship in my last blog and how the mountains have a way of bonding people together, and so it was that Sibusiso and I met back in 2006… Continue reading

Mountains of Friendship – The Seventh Frostbite Report…

Ian-&-I

I first started winter mountaineering when a group of work friends invited me to join them in Glencoe. That was over 20 years ago.  I was young, had dark brown hair, fingers and toes. Much has changed since those heady days, but my love of the hills has never been daunted. If anything its got worse… Continue reading

Trying to Tip Toe in Torridon – The Sixth Frostbite Report…

A-Chioch-Ridge

The end of 2015 brought miserable weather to much of the UK.  A time of supposed frosts, snow and ice had produced nothing but rain, and I was concerned about conditions on the mountains of the NW Highlands.  As it turned out, they were as challenging as ever…

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Speaking from Sea Level…

Cunard-Crevasse

“You’re doing what..? Speaking on a cruise ship..? Why..?” These were only some of the barrage of questions I fielded when I announced that I was going to speak on the Cunard Liner Queen Victoria. “You’re a Mountaineer and boats are at sea level..!” I certainly hope they are as I’ve never seen a liner fly, but let’s get past the obvious shock. Besides being a mountaineer, I’m also a speaker.

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2015 – A Year for Europe…

Lyngen-2015

The finale of 2014 was, for me a difficult  time.  I was exhausted, both physically and mentally to a level where I felt truly lost.  I had recently been reported missing in the avalanches of Annapurna, but as with  most major disasters, I coped well enough.  It was the pace of my day-to-day life which had ground me down.  2015 had to be better… Continue reading

#Kendal15

KMF2015

The warm and wet autumn brought the risk of severe flooding in Kendal. Not good for the festival I thought, although it would bring the adventurous aspect of the weekend close to home..!

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From Campsites to Cruise Ships – Know Your Audience…

Ice-Axes

Mountaineering and Speaking come together in many different ways.  Usually we climb mountains, have adventures, then go and speak about them.  We write books, sign photos and give media interviews, but the strangest combinations can exist…

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A Gritstone Day Out…

Gritstone-Day-Out

I’ve always been interested in history, Whether it be the Romans, ancient Greece or early polar exploration, I do love researching the acts of our predecessors.  My international travels have allowed me to see ancient sites across the world, but there is much history in the UK, and a great deal in climbing, mountaineering and adventure…

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Leo Houlding, Mountain Heritage and Facial Hair…

MHT-Crowd

The first time I heard Leo Houlding speak was on a dark, rainy night at the Buxton Opera House.  He had quite literary just returned from free climbing The Prophet in Yosemite and the excitement showed.  He danced on the stage like a marionette, (reminding me of my childhood TV favourite Thunderbirds) which made for a strangely unnerving evening.  Though we should bring emotion into our speaking, there is a time, a place and then a need for some control. Continue reading

Alison Hargreaves, Education and Regulation…

Alison-Hargreaves

20 years ago today, mountaineering lost one of its greats.  Alison Hargreaves had summited Mt. Everest unaided and without oxygen, and was hoping to repeat this huge achievement on both K2 and Kanchenjunga.  During the evening of 13th August 1995, a violent storm hit the summit of K2, killing Hargreaves and five others.  Though never formally identified, she lies there to this day, buried under snow and ice.  A few items of equipment were found, but nothing more.  It is a tragic story, which has caused controversy to this day.  That, however is for someone else to discuss…

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Camping Wild on the Cumbria Way…

Cumbria-Way

After a week of scorching July sunshine, I hoped for something a little cooler to wild camp the Cumbria Way.  Working with facial skin grafts in the blazing sun is always a challenge…

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Lost in Translation..?

You may think that English is the common language of the British Isles, but many people speak dialects which contain words that confuse and confound.  Just ask yourself what you call a cob..?  Whilst you are scratching your head, let me translate.  In Derbyshire we eat cobs, but they are also known as rolls, bread cakes, baps, bread buns, barmcakes and even a softy.  You might question what point I’m trying to make here..?  When you’re speaking with an audience, never assume they understand what you’re talking about.

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Midnight Sun & Mountaineering in the Lyngen Alps…

Summit-of-Brevasstindane

The last time I had visited Tromso was over 20 years ago. I was young, had thick brown hair, all my digits and in my infancy of international mountaineering and adventure. How times have changed. Since then I’ve become middle-aged, turned grey, and bits have dropped off. I’ve travelled over a quarter of a million expedition miles and seen more than I can hope to explain. Landing in Norway I noticed one thing there hadn’t changed however – the weather. It was pouring down..! Thankfully it cleared later on and the clouds were high, with beams of sun dappling the snowy white mountains. I met up with guide John Lyall and fellow climber Richard Hampshire, before driving on the bumpy roads and crossing the short ferry to the beautiful village of Svenby. Here we would base ourselves for the next few days…

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Volunteering

Heage-Windmill

Giving some of your time for free is a wonderfully rewarding experience. The world doesn’t have to be all money driven, and I regularly find that people are more committed to a cause when they work for the love of it. Many charities run on volunteers because of their dedication and generosity. If only all things in life could be worked purely for passion… Continue reading