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I’m Nigel Vardy aka Mr Frostbite, I am a passionate Mountaineer, Adventurer and Motivational Speaker.

In 1999, I lost my nose, fingers and toes in temperatures of -60°C on Mt. McKinley in Alaska, aged just 30 years old and my life changed forever.

I’ve climbed mountains in many of the world’s great ranges, raced across glaciers, lived in tropical jungles, boiled, frozen, fallen, sunk and even been reported missing.

“I’m sure something is following me”

As well as a career as an engineer for over 35 years, I speak to businesses and schools about what they can learn from my experiences. Feedback regularly includes words such as “enthralled”, “captivated” and “gripped”. But audiences get more from me than a motivational story. They also get unforgettable messages about decision-making, problem-solving and resilience under pressure – all so important in today’s world of constant change.

I am also passionate about writing and have published two books about my adventures: Once Bitten and Seven Peaks, Seven Islands.

I’m regularly invited to contribute to the media including: BBC TV and radio, The Discovery Channel, and many magazines, websites and podcasts that cover mountaineering and outdoor pursuits.

“Nigel is engaging and humorous, readily adapting his style to his audience”

Steve Turner, Chief Executive Officer, Mount Cook Adventure Centre


I still travel, ski and climb in my native Derbyshire and around the world. Why? Because the outdoors shows the best of what we are, what we can learn and what we can achieve.

As such, I support organisations including:


Drinks whisky. Owns VW camper. Loves pies.

“Nigel was utterly enthralling and had our students (and staff) captivated throughout his talk. Well-paced and pitched to around 400 students of differing ages and abilities, they could all connect with Nigel and were inspired by his story”

Rachael Medley, Norton College


19 thoughts on “About me”

  1. Where do we begin?! Nigel, you are quite simply an inspiration to all. In the visits across the Trust, you had every adult and child hooked from the moment they entered the hall. All were kept engaged due to your use of humour, child-friendly description of your expedition in Alaska and friendly personality. The children have described the visit as ‘one of the best days ever!’ Thank you for being so flexible and understanding with our timetable and we honestly cannot wait for your return in the very near future!
    Love from all of the adults and children at Abbey Academies Trust!

    1. Thank you Helen..! I had a wonderful time sharing stories and experiences with everyone. I’m off to Alaska again soon, and will have more stories to share. Hope to see you all again…

  2. Hi Nigel, Thank you for visiting us at Lydgate Junior School. We are currently writing biographies about you :) and we wondered about your family life? Any information would be appreciated. Thanks. J. Watkinson

  3. Hi Nigel! I was in a meeting with you yesterday.

    It was a pleasure to learn a little more about your story of overcoming obstacles and the pursuit of dreams, even with so many unforeseen circumstances, has always persisted. Thank you for showing me that there are countless reasons to live and enjoy the best that life has to give us every day. Life is really rare and we are just passing through. Congratulations for telling your story with so much passion and motivating us to chase all our unlikely dreams. I will never forget your lecture!

    1. Hi Isabelle,

      Thank you for your kind words. No matter what we go through, life is for living and experiencing. There will be good and bad times, but if we live with open eyes and take in everything, we can learn and share so much. Wishing you a wonderful Christmas..!

  4. I couldn’t manage to reply from my last email ,but it sounds like if I want to go to the desert then I’ll need to research the desert animals(scorpions) and the things I’d probably need to eat if I run out of food sources but also how I’d need to get there or what to pack for the journey, even research the climate all in my free time,. But it will all be worth it.
    Thanks for coming to my school today,

      1. Hi nigel. Today is Wednesday 23rd of June 2021 and today was the day that you came to Roe Farm Primary School in Derby and I really enjoyed the experience and I will always remember it. Thank you so much for coming. Im in Mr Davenports class aswell. You have Inspired me to do many things in the future. So thank you very much.

  5. To Mr Frostbite,
    You’re coming to my school on the 16th. But because I want to be an explorer when I’m older I thought I’d get some advice from you first.

    From Lara

        1. Hi Lara,

          The first thing to understand is the place you wish to explore. Will it be mountain, desert, jungle..? Then you can learn the skills for those climates and understand the people that you may encounter…

          1. My first ideal place would probably be the desert. I’ll want to know most creatures that could injure me in case of the ways I could be harmed but I’m not sure that everything I want to find information for will be in a good place to find it.


            1. HI Laras,

              There are scorpions and snakes in the desert, but the biggest issues are the daytime sun and nighttime cold. You’ll be surprised how cold it can get out there..!

            2. hi i am grace i feel so sorry what you went throo that .I think all of your
              pichirs are beafole have you ever climd k2

              1. I havent Grace. My injuries wouldn’t stand it now, but Im happy climbing where I can…

      1. Hi Nigel, I just stumbled again into your web page. Good to see you are still carrying on and are climbing and adventuring !
        After our little Greenland outing ( I wouldn’t mind to go back there, was really great) I continued with expeditions to Denali, I tried Cho Oyu (and stopped at 7500) then 2 times Antarctica (Mt Winson quite cold and sailing and skiing around the Peninsula, really good and not cold at all). I just came back from Peru, where we climbed Alpamayo, great climb but unfortunately the clouds came, so very cold in the wall and no view from the top, a bit silly, some of my friends say…..

        ok greetings from Strasbourg, maybe we cross each other somewhere in the Alps, thats were I am most.

        ciao Ulrich

        1. Hi Ully,

          Lovely to hear from you. It sounds like you have been very busy..! I’m looking to return to Greenland next year and have a couple of Himalayan projects on the go too.

          I ski in Austria if you’re ever around..?



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