18–19 March 2023 173 days to go! Tickets

Nigel Vardy

In 1994 I traveled to Chile in South America to take part in an Operation Raleigh expedition. I had no idea how much that trip was to shape my life. I began to look not only outwards into the world, but also inwards, questioning myself, my life and my decisions. Reflection is a vitally important part of our lives, particularly in the modern world of digital media. We run more than walk, communicate more, but speak less, and demand instant recognition for our actions.
We all need to spend more time doing things we enjoy, going to places that inspire us, laughing at ourselves, learning about the world around us and getting cold, tired, and scared every once in a while.
In 1999 I suffered severe frostbite whilst climbing on Mt. McKinley in Alaska. Here was another defining time in my life. All my fingers and toes had to be amputated, and I suffered major facial scarring. At 30 I felt lost, but drew on my previous experiences to not only survive, but to thrive.
I returned to climbing within two years and returned to altitude in 2002 on Island Peak in Nepal.
I then undertook a British first – to climb the highest peaks on the worlds seven largest islands. I completed this quest by climbing –
Penny Ice Cap (Baffin Island) – 2003
Gunnbjørns Fjeld (Greenland) – 2004
Kinabalu (Borneo) – 2005
Gunung Kerinci (Sumatra) – 2006
Carstensz Pyramid (Iran Jaya) in 2006
Maromokotro (Madagascar) – 2007
I regularly travel, ski and climb across the world as well as in my native Derbyshire. The outdoors to me is everything we need. It shows the best of what we are, what we can learn and what we can achieve. I am also proud to be a #getoutside Champion for OS.