Kenton Cool is one of the world’s leading high-altitude climbers, an avid adventurer and a highly engaging and inspiring speaker. Kenton has summited Mount Everest 16 times, a non-sherpa record, which confirms his title of ‘The Everest Leader’ and puts him among the mountaineering greats. He is also one of the world’s most sought-after mountain guides whose quest for personal excellence creates an entertaining and high energy speech, where audience members will empathise with the importance Kenton places on mental strength when attempting to reach one’s goals and how combining team strengths with personal motivation and self-belief can create a winning formula.
Since birth, Kenton Cool has had a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors, this was harnessed very early on when he became a boy scout. He is now acknowledged as one of the World's great high altitude leaders and has an incredible success rate on Everest. Kenton has summited Everest an incredible 16 times between 2004 and 2022 and he holds the non-Sherpa record for the amount of summits of the highest mountain in the world. Two of these summits were back-to-back expeditions in the same week, a global first.
Kenton was nominated in 2003 for the Piolet D'Or (climbing Oscar) for an audacious committing first ascent on Annapurna III in Nepal, adding to his reputation as being renowned for his bold approach to Himalayan climbing. In 2007, Kenton became the first British Guide to lead a client successfully up the infamous North Face of the Eiger, commonly referred to as the 'Death Wall'. The client was Sir Ranulph Fiennes and, in conjunction with ITN, they conducted a live interview from the face of the Eiger into UK homes. The summit attempt was in aid of the cancer charity Marie Curie, their success raised a whopping £2million.
In 2009, a similar feat was achieved. Kenton assisted Sir Ranulph Fiennes in his third attempt on Everest, and they achieved a successful summit, this time filmed live for the BBC. Ranulph Fiennes dubbed Kenton as ‘the best guide in the World.' To add to his successes summiting high altitude peaks, in 2006 Kenton became the first Briton to ski down from the summit of an 8,000 metre peak. The ski descent was done solo and unassisted, another first. The peak was the Tibetan mountain Cho Oyu (the 6th highest mountain on the planet). Being above 8,000 metres puts this mountain firmly in the 'death zone', an area where there is so little oxygen that life cannot be sustained.
In May 2011, Kenton again made the record books by completing a 23-day return trip from the UK to successfully summit Everest and send the first 'Tweet' from the top! In May 2012, Kenton returned to Everest to attempt to honour an 88-year-old Olympic pledge. A promise was made in 1924 by Great Britain to Baron Pierre de Coubertin (the founding Father of the Olympics) that one of the Olympic Gold Medals awarded to the 1922 British Everest attempt team would, one day, be placed on the summit of Everest.
Kenton honoured the pledge just four weeks before the London 2012 Opening Ceremony and was congratulated at Camp 4 over the telephone by Sebastian Coe for 'single-handedly kicking off the Olympics for Great Britain'.
In May 2013, Kenton achieved one of his lifetime goals while also gaining another World first. Kenton, with his Sherpa Dorje, attempted to climb the Everest Triple Crown (Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse, the three peaks that sit together in the Everest valley) in one summit push without returning to base camp for rest or refuelling. This was a feat considered impossible by the global climbing community, the human body would not withstand the amount of time spent in the 'death zone' or the endurance required to summit all three peaks one after the other.
On Tuesday 22 May 2013, Kenton returned to Everest base camp having completed this audacious climb in honour of the 60th anniversary of the first successful summit of Everest by Hillary and Tenzing, writing himself into the history books.
However, Kenton is not simply an elite IFMGA Mountain Guide, he is a multiple business owner, attuned to the complexities of market variance, organisational structure and operational delivery. He has been credited with rapidly evolving the commercial industry of 8000m peak climbing, bringing in a new generational focus on speed, agility and efficiency (as a business operation and in the outdoors).
Kenton delivers popular keynote sessions about his passion for his sport. He also explores the direct comparisons between leading summit expeditions and the importance of team building, leadership, decision-making, motivation and facing personal fears in adverse situations. His years in the mountains have taught Kenton how to face and overcome his own challenges as well as bringing out the best and inspiring belief in those around him.
Kenton's delivery is entertaining, high energy and filled with humour, yet presses some serious points. Audience members will empathise with the importance Kenton places on mental strength when attempting to reach one’s goals and how combining team strengths with personal motivation and self-belief can create the winning formula.