Lydia Bradey

High Altitude Climber and Motivational Speaker

Lydia Bradey became the first woman in the world to climb Mt Everest without supplementary oxygen in 1988. To date she remains the only New Zealander to have climbed Everest without oxygen. In 2008 Lydia successfully guided Everest, reaching the summit for the second time, on 24 May, at 5am. She is one of just three women to have guided Everest, and the only New Zealand woman to have climbed it twice.

In 1987 Lydia became the first Australasian woman to climb one of the world’s fourteen 8000m mountains, and has been on a total of eleven Himalayan expeditions. Lydia spent time during 1981-1982 in Yosemite Valley, Ca, USA, achieving 10 Big Walls (cliffs taking up to 9 days to climb)and seven first female ascents. Her partner, Dean Staples, has guided Mt Everest five times, and worked as a Heli-ski guide in NZ, Canada and the Indian Himalaya.

In 1994 Lydia completed a BHSc(Physiotherapy), in 1998 a certificate of Acupuncture, and in 2000 her Climbing Guides 1, part of the international UIAGM/IFMGA qualification.

Lydia Bradey divides her work between mountain guiding around the world, corporate motivation and community-based physiotherapy. She enjoys imparting the ideas and philosophies she has gained through her broad range of experiences in life, especially wisdom learned through unusual events.

Lydia has been delivering motivational presentations to corporate audiences since 1991. In addition, she has significant experience with television and documentary film. Lydia can talk happily to a room of 1000 or 20 people, for 15 minutes to an hour and a half; they can be suit-clad executives or eight year old children.

Lydia’s style is humorous and somewhat self-deprecating, enthusiastic, often moving, and ultimately motivating. She draws parallels between life in the extremes of the mountains and at home with clarity, and perception.

Lydia Bradey talks about:

Adventure and Challenges – Topics may include her climbing and adventure history, epics and the relationship between a life of ‘consequence’ in dangerous surroundings and life in a more normal setting. Lydia likes to debunk the belief that all high athletic achievers were good at sport at school, and talks about overcoming self-doubts and fear.

Philosophy – It is important to Lydia that life is experienced with joy. She discusses this, seeking to balance the dark times and frightening experiences with positive, constructive experiences and, importantly, laughter and joy.

Health – Lydia delivers presentations as a mountaineer and health professional. She can explain physiology at a layperson’s level, and describe how what we do relates to how well we are – whether operating as an extreme athlete or in an office environment.

Asked why she climbs mountains; Lydia describes her love of nature, the simplicity and meaningfulness of life in the outdoors and the sharing of these experiences with other people that attract her to the mountains.

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