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Born and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand and now based in Lake Hawea, New Zealand, Lydia started climbing as a teenager.  She climbed Mt Aspiring at age 17 and summitted Mt Cook/Aoraki via the East Ridge and Zurbriggen Ridge shortly after her 18th birthday.  She also did the Grand Traverse that year. In 1988, at age 27, Lydia became the first woman to ascend Mt Everest without oxygen.

After years of personal climbing expeditions in New Zealand and the Himalaya, Lydia translated her skills to guiding and joined the team at Adventure Consultants. Sharing an adventure in the wilderness environment remains one of the motivators for Lydia working as a mountain guide. Her strong personal skills and breadth of experience are a real asset on any trip into the mountains.

As well as being a fully qualified IFMGA Climbing and Ski Guide she is also a qualified physiotherapist and a professional speaker.

Lydia has recently taken up skiing and ski touring, and when she can be dragged away from the mountains, has found time to write a book with Laurence Fearnley 'Going up is Easy' that was published by Penguin in 2015.


  •  First woman in the world and the only New Zealander to climb EVEREST without oxygen, 1988.
  • One of very few women to successfully guide EVEREST three times, pictured right on the summit in 2016.
  • First Ascents on mountains in Pakistan & Antarctic Peninsula.
  • More than 20 expeditions to over 6000m.
  • Climbed on personal expeditions and commercial guiding trips to high altitude in Nepal, Pakistan, India, China, Bhutan, Argentina, Peru and Tanzania.
  • Climbed 10 “Big Walls” in Yosemite Valley, California, USA (cliffs taking 7-10 days to climb), making 7 first female ascents in the early 1980s.



Everest (8850m)

  • Summits: 1988, 2008, 2013, 2016
  • Guide, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016

Vinson Massif (4892m)

  • Lead Guide, 2012

Kilimanjaro (5895m)

  • Lead Guide, 2011

Aconcagua (6962m)

  • Lead Guide


Everest (8850m)


  • Summits: 1988, 2008, 2013, 2016
  • Guide, 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016

Cho Oyu (8201m)

  • Guided and summited

Gasherbrum 2 (8035m)

  • Summited

K2 (8611m)

  • Attempted

Dhaulagiri (8167m)

  • Summited 2017


Ama Dablam (6828m)


  • Lead Guide, 2012, 2013
  • Guide 2010

Island Peak (6189m)


  • Lead Guide, 2012


Mt Khuiten, Mongolia (4374m)

  • Lead Guide, 2010

South Pole Ski the Last Degree

  • Lead Guide, 2017


Follow Lydia...

In the News...

Interview Q and A with Lydia Bradey on

NZ Story - Lydia Bradey

 Sir Edmund Hillary was first to summit Mt Everest but another New Zealander lays claim to an equally enormous feat. In 1988, Lydia Bradey was the first woman to summit Everest without oxygen...
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