Kenton Cool is one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers and his accomplishments are staggering. He has reached the summit of Everest sixteen times, holding the record for the most summits of the world’s highest mountain by a non-Sherpa. He was also the first person in history to climb the three Everest peaks – the so-called Triple Crown of Lhotse, Nuptse and Everest – in one climb without returning to basecamp, a feat previously thought impossible. Kenton is the only Briton to have skied down two 8,000m mountains and is a world renowned mountain guide, achieving unrivalled success with his clients.
His accomplishments are all the more extraordinary considering an incident in the summer of 1996 which tore Kenton's world apart.
Whilst climbing in Wales, he broke a handhold on a route aptly called 'Major Headstress' and fell to the ground with such force that he shattered both his heel bones. Initially told he would never walk unaided again, Kenton spent four weeks in hospital, had three operations, three and a half months in a wheelchair and months of rehab. Today he is still in pain and after a long day in the mountains it's not uncommon to see him struggling to walk or moving around on his hands and knees. Yet he still climbs.
'Why do you do it?' people ask him. In his riveting and awe-inspiring motivational keynote speeches, Kenton will tell you why...
Kenton Cool was first introduced to mountaineering when he read about Hillary and Norgay’s first ascent on Mount Everest in 1953. An obsession with rock climbing developed at university and, on graduating, Kenton moved to Sheffield to pursue this further.
Since then, Kenton hasn’t looked back. He has climbed extensively all over the world – establishing new routes and first ascents on peaks in Alaska, France and India. In 2003, he was nominated for a Piolet d’Or award (the equivalent of the Oscars for mountaineers) for a route on Annapurna III.
Kenton is also one of the world’s most sought-after guides, his track record on Everest is the best of any leader. In 2007, Kenton successfully guided Sir Ranulph Fiennes up the North Face of the Eiger before leading him to a successful Everest summit in 2009, and in the process helping to raise over £3 million for Marie Curie. Sir Ranulph said of him “Kenton is one of the finest, and at times the bossiest mountain guide I've ever had the pleasure to sleep with on a 3 foot ledge!”.
In 2011, Kenton became the focus of the world's media after proving that 3G was now accessible on the summit of Mount Everest. He then went on to enter the record books for sending the first and only Tweet from the summit and making many lists of the most epic tweets of all time.
In 2012, Kenton fulfilled the Samsung Olympic Games Pledge by taking an Olympic Gold medal awarded to the 1922 Everest Expedition at the 1924 Winter Olympics by Baron Pierre de Coubertin, to the top of Mount Everest, thus fulfilling a 90 year old Pledge to see one of the medals successfully reach the summit.
In recent years, the Olympic Pledge and the Everest Triple Crown, has cemented Kenton’s position as one of Britain’s most high-profile and celebrated climbers. He is regularly featured on global and national TV media channels, radio and national newspapers along with adventure publications like Outside Magazine and Side-tracked.