grew up in Te Wai Ponamu, the South Island of New Zealand, and lives further
south, in Lake Hawea.
Lydia became the first woman in the world to climb Mt Everest without
supplementary oxygen. 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 joins the
ranks of the very few women (only 3) ever to have guided Everest, and becomes
the only New Zealand woman to have climbed it twice.
Everest May 2008, for the second time.
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. Her
partner, Dean Staples, has also guided Mt Everest five times, in 2006 becoming
the first New Zealander to climb Everest from both the north in China, and the
1981-1982 Lydia spent nine months of her life in Yosemite Valley, Ca, USA, a
world Mecca for ‘Aid’ climbing. She climbed 10 Big Walls (cliffs taking up to
9 days to climb), making 7 first female ascents of these amazing walls.
Lydia completed a BHSc(Physiotherapy), in 1998 a certificate of Acupuncture,
and in 2000 her Climbing Guides 1, part of the International Mountain & Ski
Guide (IFMGA) qualification. She currently divides her work between mountain
guiding around the world, corporate motivation-oriented presentations and at
times, community-based physiotherapy.
continues to have adventures in the mountains with friends. She recently went
to Pakistan with another woman climber, tried a very hard unclimbed 7000m peak
and made a first ascent of another unclimbed mountain, 5800m.
recreational interests include design and architecture, exploring remote
places, rock climbing, skiing, mountaineering and mountain guiding. Her love
enjoys imparting the ideas and philosophies developed through a wide range of
experiences and wisdom gained through unusual events; and she is able to do
this through giving presentations, and mountain guiding.
Often 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.
High Altitude Climbing Experience
British Expedition attempted first ascent of South Face Cho-Oyu from Nepal,
and attempt first female ascent. Expedition reached 8000m, Lydia 24,500ft
approx. turning back because of partner’s suspected HACE, at same time
expedition retreated. BBC made a documentary of the climb.
Small trip to Himachal Pradesh, to trekking peaks, highest summit reached
British expedition to attempt the first ascent of the highest mountain in
Bhutan, Ghankar Punsum, 7555m. Reached over 7200m and did some excellent
climbing. A documentary was made of the climb and featured in the Banff
Mountain Film Festival.
Uttar Pradesh. Small expedition with Jon Muir (Australia) to attempt first
traverse of Kedarnath Dome, Kedarnath Peak and another third un-named
mountain. Storms and avalanches curtailed ascent of the latter two mountains,
only Kedarnath Dome summit reached, approximately 7500m. Kedarnath Peak was
descended in a storm, biggest epic of my life.
Gasherbrum II 8035m, alpine style, three and a half days up in deep snow.
Initially attempted Gasherbrum I,
8048m but extreme avalanche conditions forced most of expedition to retreat.
G II was climbed at end of trip in three days, giving a total of 55 days above
Base Camp. I became the first Australasian woman to climb one of the world’s
fourteen 8000m mountains.
K2 8611m attempted. High point of 7300m reached within ten days of arrival, a
further five trips to 6800m and 7300m to attempt summit were thwarted by short
weather windows. Three days off in Kathmandu between K2 and Everest.
Everest summit reached without O2 via South Col route, post monsoon at the end
of expedition. I am the first woman in the world to climb Everest without
oxygen, and to date, the only New Zealander to do so.
2004 & 2006 Tibet:
Guided on Cho-Oyu 8201m for Himlayan Exeperience, expedition had 100% success.
Made a personal trip to Cholatse 6440m in the Khumbu. Short four day climbing
window, bad weather and fatigue prevented us from summitting this stunning
mountain. Cholatse presented beautiful classic mountaineering.
2006 Argentina & Peru:
Guided Aconcagua 6959m, Alpamayo and Huascaran for
Guided Lobuche East in the Khumbu in May.
attempted the first ascent of an unclimbed peak Beka Brakkai Chhok 6940m, in
the Karakorum, reaching 5900m. After BBC with two
Italians they made the first ascent of another unclimbed peak, 5800m, they
called Wahine Shar. The trip gained sponsorship from the NZ govt. SPARC, the
MEF, the Shipton/Tilman (Gore) grant, and the NZAC.
Successfully guided Everest via the SE ridge/ South Col route for Adventure
Consultants, reaching the summit May 24, at 5am. I joined the few women who
have reached the summit of Everest twice or more.
To achieve the summit of your next
business conference, club meeting, training seminar or social function,
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