Mountaineer, writer, broadcaster
One of the best known mountaineers of his generation and former President of the Alpine Club, Stephen Venables was the first Briton to climb Everest without oxygen – just one of many pioneering climbs throughout the Himalaya and other mountain ranges around the world. His first book Painted Mountains won the Boardman Tasker Award; reviewing A Slender Thread, the Observer praised his ‘novelist’s sense of dramatic punch’. His autobiography Higher than the Eagle Soars, won the mountain literature prize at Banff International Mountain Festival. As well as twelve books, he has written for all the major national newspapers and appeared in numerous television programmes, including the the BBC Mountain Men series, for which he climbed the Matterhorn in Victorian tweeds and nailed boots, and the BBC’s Race for Everest. One of his more recent overseas projects was retracing Ernest Shackleton’s steps across South Georgia for the IMAX movie Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure; he also wrote the script for the IMAX film The Alps – Giants of Nature. In recent years most of his expeditions have been to the far south, sailing, skiing and climbing in South Georgia, Tierra del Fuego and Antarctica.