Internationally acclaimed mountaineer and ex-coal miner Andy Cave traveled around the UK in autumn 2009 with his gripping lecture show Learning to Breathe.
Andy Cave is a figurehead for British Mountaineering, with more than 20 years of desperate routes to his name. Aged just 20, he became one of the youngest mountaineers ever to climb the North Face of the Eiger, an achievement made all the more remarkable as just 4 years earlier, Andy was working 3000 feet underground at Grimethorpe Colliery in South Yorkshire.
Andy’s story of transition from Yorkshire coal miner to one of the UK’s best climbers is a gripping and compelling tale. Traditionally a gentleman's sport, a young coal miner from Barnsley was an unlikely mountaineer. His journey from the blackened grime of the pit to the breath-taking Himalayan summits is both moving and startling. His gritty insight into the turmoil of the miner’s strike - which ravaged his local community - and his audacious decision to break with family tradition and seek out a life of adventure in the mountains is a tale of tremendous courage and ambition.
'A powerful testament to human strength, courage and the will to survive.'
Andy Learning to Breathetakes the audience on a tremendous human journey through his experiences of the miner’s strike in 1984-85 to his traumatic expedition to the perilous North Face of Changabang in the Himalayas in 1997 - an expedition in which his climbing partner paid the ultimate price. His inner-turmoil and eventual decision to return to the mountains is one of the most stirring tales of modern mountaineering. Set against a backdrop of the Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska, Andy explores some of the severest challenges modern Alpinism can pose in his understated but humorous style.
'An extraordinarily talented climber…with a ready perceptive wit and natural flair as a storyteller'
Andy comments: “This passion of mine started long ago when, as an inquisitive child, I scrambled up the local pit muckstack. Later, as a teenage coal miner disillusioned with the world of dirt and darkness, I had fallen in love with real mountain climbing.”
Contact us to book Andy Cave for a talk.