Adrian Hayes: The Last Adventurer


Usually, The Pemberley Magazine interviews men of business but when we were approached by Adrian’s PR representative we had to say yes to a meeting. Climbing, trekking, and mountainerring; and the great outdoors is a huge interest to many persons, especially one who has climbed Everest and the deadly K2. Please forgive us for the lack of bespoke suiting, he is after all a mountain man.

We sat down for tea at the Champagne Lounge and Tea Room in the Dukes Dubai Hotel. He asked for a mug of cappuccino. Unfortunately, the hotel was not able to accommodate our hero, as this is a five star establishment.

I brought Adrian to the Dukes Dubai to see how he would fair in a different setting. He had just got off the plane and needed to relax in an elegant atmosphere, or so I believed. He probably would have preferred talking over a pint in a local Dubai pub.

Adrian Hayes is a man of many hats. He wears the professional adventuring hat, the keynote/ motivational speaker hat, the MC hat, the leadership team/executive coaching hat, the campaigning hat, and a few more hats on top. The linkage between all of these hats is the passion he has for sustainability, passion for people, and passion for those people to all really work together to make the world a better place.

“Sustainability is one of the most overused, misunderstood word in the whole world today.”

How did he get involved In Gulf 4 Good’s expedition to Bhutan?

“The founder, Brian Wilke asked me if I wanted to be a board member a few years ago. He thought it would be a god fit to have someone like me on board with my background in conflict management and mountaineering.”

Their treks may not be as large as climbing Everest but for some people this is the biggest thing they will ever do in their life. And I want to help them achieve their goals.

The adventure side of his life started when he was growing up, in the back forests when he was 6 or 7. The nature overtook his interests and he started climbing at age 16. Leaving school at age 16 he went around the world over the next 7 years doing every form of extreme adventure you can think of. He hitchhiked to Norway and worked on a farm for 6 months, he travelled all of New Zealand, he did the “Gap Year” thing before it was a thing.


After his time adventuring and seeing the world he decided to do this and get paid and he joined the British Army. Soon becoming an officer and adventuring his way through life and only after that did he go into business.

The Pemberley has great respect for this mountain man who just wants the best for the world. I know I personally am looking forward to reading about his story in his new book, “K2: The Tragedy and the Triumph”.

K2 is the world’s second highest mountain, located in the Karakorum Himalayas on the border of Pakistan and China. With an elevation of 8,611 metres (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%.

K2’s notoriety stems from its northerly location; its unpredictable and poor weather; its unstable and deep snow conditions; its steepness; avalanche prone slopes and constant rock fall. It is a technical climb that starts steep and ends steep, with no respite.

Adrian attempted the mountain twice in recent years.

On his 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. He returned for a second attempt a year later, fortunately summitting the mountain on 26 July 2014.

k2 book.jpg

A deeply moving story of the beauty and brutality of life, and death, on the world's most unpredictable and perilous mountain.

Adrian Hayes details an intensely personal account of his attempts to climb K2 — the second highest and deadliest mountain in the world — in 2013 and again in 2014. The gripping narrative seamlessly shifts between his guilt and struggles as a father amid tumultuous personal circumstances; the profound events on K2 and the powerful lessons for our lives in the world below.

The absorbing and self-reflective journey is as much a story of climbing a mountain as it is a compass for conquering the mountain within all of us.

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