One of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers, having successfully climbed Mount Everest 14 times.
His first summit was in 2004, and he has completed almost one every year since, with the 14th climb in 2019.
Born in Slough, England, to a florist and a photographer, you may think that Kenton Cool was not exactly set up for a career in mountaineering.
However, he is one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers, having successfully climbed Mount Everest 14 times.
His first actual explorations were during his time in Boy Scouts but his obsession with rock climbing developed at Leeds University.
After graduating, he moved to Sheffield to pursue this further.
Unfortunately in 1996 he suffered a fall from a rock face in Wales, shattering both heel bones and being told by doctors he would likely need a stick to walk for the rest of his life.
Refusing to be defeated, a year of surgery and therapy saw him regain his climbing form and allowed him to join the British Mountain Guides scheme.
From here his portfolio of climbs developed exponentially. Guiding first for Jagged Globe and then co-founding ‘Adventure Base’ (now an established worldwide adventure company), he continued guiding around the world in Nepal, Everest, the UK and Alaska.
Cool is considered one of the UK’s top mountain and ski expedition leaders, and is one of the most successful Everest guides to date.
In March 2007, Cool drove a three-man team, that also included Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ian Parnell up the North Face of the Eiger to raise funds for the Marie Curie Eiger Challenge Appeal.
The successful summit raised £1.8 million for the charity and was all the more impressive given that polar explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, then in his sixties, was initially terrified of heights.
In May 2009, Cool once again took on a charitable climbing challenge with Fiennes, raising a further £2.6 million for the Marie Curie charity as part of the Everest Challenge Appeal.
Not content with these remarkable achievements, Cool returned to Everest in 2013 to attain the Triple Crown.
This involved climbing the three mountains that make up the Everest Horseshoe – Nuptse (7,864 metres), Everest (8,850 metres) and Lhotse (8,516 metres) – in the space of seven days without once returning to Base Camp.
reviously thought to be impossible, due to the amount of prolonged time spent at altitude and the effect on the body, it was simply another triumph on his growing tick list.
Outside of the Himalaya, Cool 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 devised on Annapurna III.
Outside of climbing he is a tireless individual and force to reckon with. In 2006 he was the first British person to complete a ski descent of the 8,000-metre peak Cho Oyu in Nepal, and in 2010 made the third-ever ski descent of Manaslu to become one of a handful of people to have skied multiple 8000-metre peaks.
On top of this he is an international motivational speaker, regularly sits on specialist panels, and has even carried one of the 1924 Olympic Gold Medals awarded to the 1922 British Everest Expedition to the summit of Everest – earning a personal and public thanks from Lord Coe.
Cool has always said that his inspiration is to strive for the fullest achievement in the outdoors – whether this be on ice, on rock, or out on the hill – something that he has certainly been successful in doing.
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