Lydia Bradey

Lydia Bradey

IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

AC Guide Lydia Bradey fostered an early passion for mountaineering and before her 19th birthday had already summited New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook. In 1988 Lydia became the first woman in the world to climb Everest without oxygen and has since continued to climb and explore on numerous international expeditions.

  • Bio

    Lydia BradeyBorn 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.

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  • Notable Achievements

    • First woman in the world and the only New Zealander to climb Everest without oxygen (1988)
    • Made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Mountaineering (2019)
    • One of very few women to successfully guide Everest six times
    • First Ascents on mountains in Pakistan & Antarctic Peninsula
    • More than 20 expeditions to over 6,000m
    • 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
  • International Expeditions

    Seven Summits

    • Everest (8,850m/29,035ft) - Guide 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, Summit 1998, 2008, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019
    • Mount Vinson (4,892m/16,050ft) - Lead Guide 2012
    • Kilimanjaro (5,895m/19,340ft) - Lead Guide 2011
    • Aconcagua (6,962m/22,841ft- Lead Guide

    8,000m Peaks

    • Cho Oyu (8,188m/26,863ft) - Guide and summit
    • Gasherbrum 2 (8,035m/26,361ft) - Summit
    • K2 (8,611m/28,251ft) - Attempt
    • Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft) - Summit 2017

    Himalayan Climbs

    • Ama Dablam (6,828m/22,401ft) - Lead Guide 2012 & 2013, Guide 2010
    • Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) - Lead Guide 2012


    • Mt Khuiten, Mongolia (4,375m/14,353ft) - Lead Guide 2010
    • South Pole Ski the Last Degree - Lead Guide 2017
    • Ojos del Salado - Lead Guide 2018
    • Alpamayo
    • Aoraki Mount Cook
  • More on Lydia

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    In the News...

    QA with Lydia 2015Q&A with Lydia Bradey - First woman to climb Everest without oxygen
    10 August 2015 - We had the privilege to sit down with Lydia Bradey recently, as she took a breath between her work as a physio, mountain guiding, and the publication of her memoir Going Up is Easy.



  • Lydia's Testimonials

    "Lydia is fantastic! Such a wealth of knowledge and general experience which translated across all aspects of the trip."
    Annie Paras, Aspiring, 2018