Adrian Nelhams

Sport

Guide

Hometown

Kendal, UK (Lake District)

Hometown

Kendal, UK (Lake District)

Sport

Guide

Adrian Nelhams made a splash in the world of competitive slalom paddling as a teenager, and it was by way of this watersport that he discovered his passion for rock climbing. Growing up in Wokingham, England, Adrian's slalom paddling competitions took him across the United Kingdom to places with remarkable rock climbing opportunities. In between his paddling competitions Adrian ventured on a few climbs, and what started off as a hobby soon transformed into his calling. During a trip to New Zealand, Adrian took a small group of friends over the Copland Pass, and upon the group's return from such a thrilling experience, Adrian made the decision to return to the UK so he could dedicate his professional career to alpine mountaineering.

Now, as the Director of the International School of Mountaineering and the Technical Director for The British Association of Mountain Guides, Adrian is responsible for delivering alpine mountaineering courses, guiding adventure trips, and overseeing the training program for future British IFMGA mountain guides. 

Adrian has been a mountain guide for over 20 years, and what he loves most about climbing is the adrenaline that comes from exploring new terrain, the connection he develops between local cultures, and the unique experiences he gets to share with new found friends. 

In his role as an Arc'teryx Ambassador, Adrian is committed to making climbing more accessible within his community in the Lake District, and to deliver skills and experiences so others have the confidence and abilities to enjoy the outdoors for themselves. While Adrian often serves as a source of inspiration for his clients, colleagues, peers and students, it's his son, Monty, who inspires him. A doting father, Adrian witnesses how his own experiences have moulded his son's expectant outlook, mature and outgoing personality and love of nature, and this, in turn, inspires Adrian to step into his own experiences with the unshakeable belief that anything in life is possible if you work hard for it.

Achievements

  • Being with my partner for over 30 years!
  • Being a Dad that plays a large part in his son’s life! 
  • IFMGA British Mountain Guide
  • Director of the International School of Mountaineering (ISM)
  • Technical Director for the British Association of Mountain Guides (BMG)
  • Over 100 First Ascents in Kyrgyzstan 
  • First Ascents ‘icefall’ climbing in the Canadian Rockies
  • First Ascents ‘mixed’ climbing in the British winter
  • First Ascents ‘alpine’ climbing in Alaska
  • Being a part of many clients stories, in their climbing adventures and life time memories
  • Being a part of many talented climbers journeys, in becoming an IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • A lifetime worth of great memories, stories and friendships made around the world 30 years on, I’m as motivated today to go climbing as I ever have been!