Adrian Hayes: The Last Adventurer


A British record-breaking polar explorer and adventurer, Adrian Hayes is a force to be reckoned with. He has climbed Everest and the deadly K2 (among many other expeditions) and is a model of fortitude, ambition, strength and stamina. Climbing, trekking, and mountaineering require more than physical strength alone, and Adrian Hayes is here to tell the tale.

Curious to observe how Adrian would fair in a setting outside his comfort zone, I met him at the Dukes Dubai Hotel. We sat down at the Champagne Lounge and Tea Room and Adrian was hoping for a mug of cappuccino— however, I quickly realize that he would have preferred chatting over a pint in a local Dubai pub (a 5-star establishment is ill-equipped to accommodate a mountain man).

Hayes became captivated by adventure while growing up in the New Forest, Hampshire. His passion for nature eventually overtook his other interests, and he started climbing at age 16, leaving school at this time. Adrian traveled the world adventuring and exploring for the next 7 years attempting every form of extreme expedition. He joined the British Army for 2 years and then served for 8 years as an officer in the Brigade of Gurkhas. After leaving the army, he worked in various international sales and marketing managerial positions before joining Airbus as a Regional Sales Director Middle East and West Asia. Adrian set up his own company in 2007.

Hayes is a man of many hats. He is a professional adventurer, keynote and motivational speaker, business coach, and a campaigner for various world issues including economic, social and environmental sustainability. He has a passion for people and believes that we can all work together to make the world a better, sustainable place.


Eager to contribute, Hayes participates in projects that represent his passions. He became involved in Gulf 4 Good’s expedition to Bhutan, after the founder Brian Wilke invited him on as a board member. Adrian explains that while Gulf 4 Good’s treks may not be as intense as climbing Everest, for some participants this is the biggest expedition they will ever be a part of. Adrian feels honored to play a part in helping them achieve their goals.

Adrian’s new book, “K2: The Tragedy and the Triumph” details an intensely personal account of his attempts to climb K2 in 2013 and again in 2014.

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K2 is the world’s second highest and deadliest mountain in the world, located in the Karakorum Himalayas on the border of Pakistan and China. With an elevation of 8,611 meters (28,251 ft), it is widely regarded as the greatest challenge in high altitude mountaineering. A total of 381 confirmed climbers had reached its summit as of September 2017 since its first ascent on 31 July 1954. That compares with over 4,500 who have reached the summit of Everest. 82 have died attempting it — a summit to death ratio of nearly 22%.

On Adrian’s first attempt in 2013, an avalanche at Camp 3 on 27 July 2013 tragically killed New Zealand father and son, Marty and Denali Schmidt, calling a halt to the expedition. Adrian returned for a second attempt a year later, fortunately summitting the mountain on 26 July 2014.

The absorbing and self-reflective journey detailed in his book is as much a story of climbing a mountain as it is a compass for conquering the mountain within all of us. It is a riveting exploration of the drive within every individual and what we have the power to achieve.

Adrian’s new book is being released in the Middle East on March 10, 2018 and in the US and Western World in Fall of 2018.