About Stephen Venables

portrait004Stephen Venables, mountaineer, writer, broadcaster and public  speaker, was the first Briton to climb Everest without  supplementary oxygen. He reached the summit alone, after climbing with a small American-Canadian team, by a new route up  the gigantic Kangshung Face.

Everest was a thrilling highlight in a career which has taken Stephen right through the Himalaya, from Afghanistan to Tibet,  making first ascents of many previously unknown mountains. His  adventures have also taken him to the Rockies, the Andes, the Antarctic island South Georgia, East Africa, South Africa and of  course the European Alps, where he has climbed and skied for over forty years.

The stories of these travels have enthralled Stephen’s  lecture audiences in theatres, schools and university clubs and  at corporate conferences all over the world. He has also
appeared in television documentaries for BBC, ITV and National Geographic, presented for Radio 4 and appeared in the IMAX movie Shackleton’s  Antarctic Adventure.

“We had a thoroughly enjoyable evening with Stephen at Rheged. Our audience was captivated by Stephen’s experiences on Everest told during the course of his flawless presentation. We would love to work with Stephen again in the future and look forward to keeping up to date on his expeditions.

Helen Campion – Director, Rheged Centre

For a flavour of these stories see video above or go to In conversation with Stephen Venables from MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT on Vimeo.

He has written for all the London broadsheet newspapers, covering exploration and adventure, as well as more diverse subjects such as transport, gardening, music and sculpture. Painted Mountains, Stephen’s first book, won the 1986 Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature. Subsequent books have won the Grand Prize at the Banff International Mountain Festival and the King Albert Award. His ninth book, published in 2006, is the Sunday Times bestseller Ollie – the touching story of his elder son who had autism and who died from a brain tumour.

Two further books were published in 2007, which also saw the release of the IMAX movie The Alps, for which Stephen wrote the screenplay. He was also busy that year as President of the Alpine Club, celebrating its 150th anniversary. In 2008 he returned again to South Georgia, guiding a party on the Shackleton Traverse and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.

In 2011 he led the crux section of World Expeditions’ Great Himalayan Trail. Since then he has led two expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula and three to South Georgia, the most recent, in 2016, making first ascents of some very pointy peaks which he had been eyeing up for 27 years.  He plans to return to South Georgia in September 2018. Meanwhile his January 2018 Antarctic Peninsula expedition aboard Pelagic Australis is fully booked.  http://www.pelagic.co.uk/pdfs/2018_AntarcticaProspectus.pdf

Everest – Summit of Achievement Reprinted

everestsumoach_medTo mark the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest, the ultimate Everest coffee table book, produced from the  archives of the Royal Geographical Society, has been reissued. Lavishly illustrated with many previously unpublished  photos including the first ever taken of Everest. Authors include Ed Douglas, John Keay and Tashi Tenzing, with  Stephen Venables as general editor. To order see books page.

Recent Profiles

Stephen’s new book, First Ascent, featured recently in this  Climber magazine feature by Ed Douglas. Click to download pdf of article .

Stephen’s motivational speaking career was also the subject of this feature in the business magazine E&T.  Click to download pdf of article .

Stephen’s Speaking Show Reel