Lydia Bradey

Lydia Bradey

IFMGA Mountain & Ski Guide

AC Guide Lydia Bradey fostered an early passion for mountaineering and before her 19th birthday had already summited New Zealand’s Mount Aspiring and Mount Cook. In 1988 Lydia became the first woman in the world to climb Everest without oxygen and has since continued to climb and explore on numerous international expeditions.

  • Bio

    Lydia BradeyBorn and raised in Christchurch, New Zealand and now based in Lake Hawea, New Zealand, Lydia started climbing as a teenager. She climbed Mt Aspiring at age 17 and summitted Mt Cook/Aoraki via the East Ridge and Zurbriggen Ridge shortly after her 18th birthday. She also did the Grand Traverse that year. In 1988, at age 27, Lydia became the first woman to ascend Mt Everest without oxygen. 

    After years of personal climbing expeditions in New Zealand and the Himalaya, Lydia translated her skills to guiding and joined the team at Adventure Consultants. Sharing an adventure in the wilderness environment remains one of the motivators for Lydia working as a mountain guide. Her strong personal skills and breadth of experience are a real asset on any trip into the mountains. 

    As well as being a fully qualified IFMGA Climbing and Ski Guide she is also a qualified physiotherapist and a professional speaker. When she can be dragged away from the mountains, Lydia has also found time to write a book with Laurence Fearnley 'Going up is Easy' that was published by Penguin in 2015.

    IFMGA logo

  • Notable Achievements

    • First woman in the world and the only New Zealander to climb Everest without oxygen (1988)
    • Awarded as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for Services to Mountaineering (2020)
    • One of very few women to successfully guide Everest six times
    • First Ascents on mountains in Pakistan & Antarctic Peninsula
    • More than 20 expeditions to over 6,000m
    • Climbed on personal expeditions and commercial guiding trips to high altitude in Nepal, Pakistan, India, China, Bhutan, Argentina, Peru and Tanzania
    • Climbed 10 “Big Walls” in Yosemite Valley, California, USA (cliffs taking 7-10 days to climb), making 7 first female ascents in the early 1980s
  • International Expeditions

    Seven Summits

    • Everest (8,850m/29,035ft) - Guide 2008, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 Summit 1988, 2008, 2013, 2016, 2018, 2019
    • Mount Vinson (4,892m/16,050ft) - Lead Guide 2012
    • Kilimanjaro (5,895m/19,340ft) - Lead Guide 2011
    • Aconcagua (6,962m/22,841ft- Lead Guide

    8,000m Peaks

    • Cho Oyu (8,188m/26,863ft) - Guide and summit
    • Gasherbrum 2 (8,035m/26,361ft) - Summit
    • K2 (8,611m/28,251ft) - Attempt
    • Dhaulagiri (8,167m/26,794ft) - Summit 2017
    • Broad Peak ‎(8,051 m/26,414 ft) - Summit 2019

    Himalayan Climbs

    • Ama Dablam (6,828m/22,401ft) - Lead Guide 2012 & 2013, Guide 2010
    • Island Peak (6,189m/20,305ft) - Lead Guide 2012


    • Mt Khuiten, Mongolia (4,375m/14,353ft) - Lead Guide 2010
    • South Pole Ski the Last Degree - Lead Guide 2017
    • Ojos del Salado - Lead Guide 2020, 2018
    • Alpamayo
    • Aoraki Mount Cook
  • Media

    Follow Lydia...


    In the News...

    Lydia Aspiring BiodiversityWanaka Sun - Aspiring Biodiversity Trust Appoints Patron Lydia Bradey
    4 June 2020 - The Aspiring Biodiversity Trust (ABT) is delighted to announce the appointment of Lydia Bradey, international mountain and ski guide, mountaineer and physiotherapist as patron.

    Lydia Order of MeritODT - New Year honours 2020: Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit
    31 December 2019 - Lydia Bradey among those awarded with New Year honours - Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

    Lydia Stuff 2019Stuff NZ - Kiwi Lydia Bradey started from the bottom, but climbed to the top of the world
    4 November 2019 - Thirty-one years after she entered the history books, Lydia Bradey can still recall every detail of her historic climb to the top of the world.

    QA with Lydia 2015Q&A with Lydia Bradey - First woman to climb Everest without oxygen
    10 August 2015 - We had the privilege to sit down with Lydia Bradey recently, as she took a breath between her work as a physio, mountain guiding, and the publication of her memoir Going Up is Easy.



  • Lydia's Testimonials

    "Lydia is fantastic! Such a wealth of knowledge and general experience which translated across all aspects of the trip."
    Annie Paras, Aspiring, 2018

    “I have had the pleasure of being guided on a number of mountain expeditions by Lydia, most recently to the summit of Everest in April/May 2018. Being ex-military, have served as an infantry officer, and being a professional guide, I am a pretty hard task master with very high expectations. I am thrilled to say that Lydia has always measured up and more. Her attention to detail, focus on the task at hand, professional skills, manner with clients and her ability to lead in extremely trying circumstances is exemplary. Of course with rigorous undertakings like mountain expeditions you put ultimate trust in your guide. I would have no hesitation in putting my life in Lydia’s hands again…”
    Brad Horn, Mt Everest, 8848m, April – May 2018

    "As six ‘adventurers’ we had a trip filled with hard work, fun, laughter and emotion and despite only knowing [two of the members] you managed to integrate yourself with ease into our group and yet still look after our welfare and safety in a truly professional manner – with the aid of the odd beer and glass of wine to keep you sane…!”
    – Philip & Penny Walker, September 2018, Everest Base Camp Trek, AC