Mr Frostbite. He’ll take your breath away

My name is Nigel Vardy and I’ve been writing about adventure and mountaineering for almost 20 years.  I think we all need to spend more time doing things we enjoy, going to places that inspire us, laughing at ourselves, learning about the world around us and getting cold, tired, and scared every once in a while. I’ve climbed mountains in many of the worlds great ranges, raced across glaciers, lived in tropical jungles, carried out international relief work, boiled, frozen, fallen, sunk and been reported missing.  If there’s an epic to be found, I’ll probably find it…

In May 1999 I almost froze to death in a severe storm, high on the slopes of Mt. McKinley in Alaska.  I was lucky to escape.  Temperatures of -60°C turned my fingers, toes and nose black with severe frostbite, and all were lost to surgery.  What remained would have to serve me in the best way that they could, for the rest of my life.

I learned to walk without toes, work with battered hands and come to terms with my facial scarring.  Physically, that was hard enough, but the mental scars were much deeper cut, and I knew of only one way to heal them.  I had to climb again…

There were no books to help me, no health professionals and no experts.  I relied on my close friends, who dragged me up my first rock face sixteen months after my accident.  My wounds stung and bled, but there was no way that I was going to stop.  My heart and soul were on fire and I could do nothing, but keep climbing.  I moved back onto ice a few months later and have never looked back.

I began speaking about my experiences to businesses and schools across the UK and Europe.  I have written two books about my adventures, worked with media organisations across the world and am a regular contributor to both TV and radio.

I also bring over 30 years experience in engineering, professional training and educating to the stage.  I put as much planning and expertise into my speaking as I do when I’m organising an expedition across the world.  There are no second places in this game, no excuses and no what ifs’…

To some people, standing before an audience is the scariest thing they can imagine.  Their knees knock, their heart races out of control and adrenaline pumps through their veins like a steam train.  All this before they have even opened their mouths.

If you think that’s bad, consider facing some of the worlds highest and most remote mountains, still suffering from a childhood fear of heights…

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