Andy started climbing in his teens on the gritstone outcrops of Yorkshire, but a trip to Chamonix in 2001 opened the door to a whole new world of adventures in the mountains. A talented and experienced alpinist who draws inspiration from the feats of great British climbers such as Alex MacIntyre, Peter Boardman, Joe Tasker, Andy Cave and Mick Fowler, he enjoys making fast and light ascents of the classic north faces, including the Matterhorn, Eiger and Grandes Jorasses, but he also relishes high-altitude expeditions to the Greater Ranges.
Birthdate: 21st July 1981
Homebase: Yorkshire / Chamonix
Favourite Book: The Poet - Michael Connelly
Favourite Film: The Bourne trilogy
Favourite Food: A Sunday roast
Favourite Song: Foo Fighters – ‘Hey, Johnny Park!’
Biggest Dream: To stand on a summit with good friends.
Best advice: Work hard, play hard; and follow your dreams, not what others expect of you.
What inspires you? People who work or train hard to achieve their goals against all the odds. And the odd mountain or two…
Favourite other fitness exercise: I do a lot of road cycling and running.
I don’t leave home without my…. The North Face Thermoball Jacket
It is the mental and physical challenges of alpinism that keep him coming back for more. He enjoys the sense of achievement and adventure that comes from making rapid ascents in technically difficult environments without back-up camps and fixed lines, but also the freedom of not being weighed down by kit. His passion for the Greater Ranges stems from a deep desire to explore the unknown and to embrace new challenges: the more technical complications and the more physical demands, the more intense the climbing experience.
Andy’s ascent of the unclimbed north face of Chang Himal, Nepal, with his climbing partner Nick Bullock earned a nomination for the prestigious Piolet d’Or 2010. But his most memorable ascent was a repeat of the Slovak Direct on the nearly 3000m south face of Denali. Again climbing with Nick, four days of amazing climbing and harsh Alaskan weather lead to a truly unique and memorable mountain experience.
In recent years he has ventured back to Alaska and Nepal and in 2015 he completed a first ascent of the west summit of Link Sar (6938m) in Pakistan along with Jon Griffith. A keen outdoor athlete, he also enjoys trail running and completed the 100Km Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc CCC (Courmayeur Champex Chamonix) in 2014.
Andy currently divides his time between Yorkshire and Chamonix. His focus for the years ahead is to plot one major expedition a year in locations such as Pakistan and Nepal, as well as to enjoy technically challenging rock climbing challenges in the Alps. What matters most to him, however, is enjoying the time he spends in the mountains, soaking up the spectacular terrain and savouring the feeling of pitching himself against the mountain in the company of good friends.