2013 Speaking Recap

Last year gave me dozens of opportunities to relive my journey to the top of the world through motivational presentations at schools, universities / business schools and companies primarily across Europe and the Middle East, including at great companies such as Accenture, HP, McKinsey & Company, Danone and Dubizzle.

I spoke to audiences of various sizes, ages and cultural backgrounds about how many of the challenges we face on high altitude expeditions are very similar to the challenges that we encounter in our daily private and professional lives and therefore, how many of the ways in we address those challenges on the mountains are also relevant at sea-level.



As a businessman and mountaineer, I use the journey to address various topics relevant to businesses from encouraging ambition and setting goals for sales teams, to improving teamwork within and across departments as well as addressing topics such as dealing with constantly changing operating environments.

My most memorable experience from the past year was one young lady who came up to me post-presentation explaining that she suffered from ADD and has struggled to focus for periods longer than a few minutes for most of her life, however, my story had kept her engaged for almost two hours.

It gave me an amazing feeling…almost like the one I felt standing on top of the world ;-)


Photo Shoot in London

Had a great day in London today! Spent most of the day on a photo shoot with Greg Funnell. Also met Tom Kevill Davies, better known as The Hungry Cyclist.

First part of the day in the studio and second part outside. It was cool in London terms, but I think my downsuit was a bit of an overkill!

In the evening watched Arsenal beat AC Milan 3-0 with Delanii as guests of Arsenal Football Club. Thanks Charles!

This must be true love!

I was a guest on a morning show on Finnish TV yesterday and after the program, I took a train with my wife Delanii to Hyvinkaa to see my parents.

At the train station, an elderly lady recognised me from the TV show, still with my make-up on, and said that she was especially touched by how Delanii helps me train by sitting on the car tyre. This must be true love!

Any couples looking to strengthen their bond, let me know, the tyre will be not in use for the next three months as I’ll be on Everest and Denali! :-)

Good morning Finland!

I’m on a whirlwind visit to Finland to visit family, do a bit of press and pick up some missing items for my upcoming expedition to Mount Everest.

Yesterday, I did a couple of interviews with Finnish newspapers along with the mandatory photo shoots. I was happy that most people were focused on the inauguration of the new president and paid little attention to me making snow angels in a central Helsinki park, wearing mountain gear ;-)

This morning I was on a breakfast TV show, Huomenta Suomi, which basically means good morning Finland. It was a great experience, although forced us to wake up a bit too early.

Now finally getting a chance to visit my family and then tomorrow its time to fly back to London to pick up the last pieces of gear before returning to Dubai for the last three weeks before I depart for Nepal and start my expedition to Mount Everest.

Snow & Rock…rocks!

Had a very strange day today.  The events resembled an acclimatisation hike…start low, go high, return back to lower altitude but in reverse. 

Woke up to a fun phone interview for The Kris Fade Show on Virgin Radio which is to be aired Wednesday 7th March 2012 at 09.10 hrs (UAE time).

Then a partner I had expected to provide critical gear for my Mount Everest expedition, bailed out, but I guess that’s just something that happens despite good intentions.

Fortunately, I was in London so I went to Snow & Rock in Covent Garden where Anselm Murphy, an Everest climber himself, helped me pull most of the required gear together. It was also great to exchange stories and get some gear tips from him. Thank you Anselm!

Retracing Adam’s footsteps

I’m going to be spending three of the next 4.5 months on mountains, so I want to make sure I also spent quality time with my wife Delanii before jetting off to enjoy Everest and Denali ;-)

So to celebrate Valentine’s Day, we flew to Sri Lanka for a week. I had prepared to take a few days off training, but it turned out that some of Sri Lanka’s sights offered great training!

On Valentine’s Day we decided to climb Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada, which is a 2243m mountain in Central Sri Lanka. The summit of Adam’s Peak has a footprint, which Buddhist believe belongs to Buddha, Hindu’s to Shiva and Muslims as well as Christians believe it belongs to Adam.

The path to the top of the mountain is 5200 steps, which most people tackle during the cool hours of the night as daytime temperatures reach above +30C  with high humidity.

Delanii and I didn’t start our climb until 0700 and although we took only 2.5 hours getting to the top, we regretted not having started a bit earlier to benefit from the cooler weather.

The climb was actually very similar to my stair climbing in Dubai: I usually spend 2-3 days a week climbing stairs of my 55 storey apartment building with a 20-25kg backpack on. I try to do 200-250 floors at a time, which takes about 4 hours and was very similar to climbing to see the summit of Adams’s Peak….although, the views on top of the mountain were much better than the top of our stairwell.


Visited my doctor in Dubai this morning to confirm that I didn’t need any new vaccinations for my expedition to Mount Everest in Nepal.

I’ve travelled a lot in the past years: I’ve been to 49 countries in the last three years alone, including a lot of very exotic places in Asia and Africa, so I was pretty sure that I didn’t need anything…but how wrong I was!

It turned out a couple of vaccinations had expired last month! So, no choice but to kick off the day with three shots and I still need go back for two more!

Well, I guess I’ll rather take the vaccinations than get a bug that ruins my expeditions, so better safe than sorry!