Voice of the Mountains

Shift Your Understanding

Guest Lydia Bradey

On the third episode of Voices of the Mountain, Steve House welcomes the pioneering climber Lydia Bradey, who created a life of climbing through windows when the doors were slammed. She became the first female climber to summit Everest without oxygen in 1988 along with many first ascents worldwide. From big walls, to alpine climbs, Lydia has made her mark on the climbing world as a leader in her own climbing and a mountain guide. Unfortunately, she faced tremendous doubt and scrutiny with her ascent and faced a ten-year ban from climbing in the Himalaya.

Steve and Lydia tackle the questions of whether the harder the journey, the greater the shift and, do all good journeys end with your understanding of yourself shifted? They also discuss how Lydia wishes to be remembered and what goals she has for her future.

Tune in, sit down, and get ready to listen to both Lydia’s humility and a lifetime of hard-earned wisdom.

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Voice of the Mountains explores the mental and emotional adventures found in discovering who we are and what we’re capable of. Here we engage in self-reflection, humility, and embrace the beauty and struggle of the alpine experience equally.

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00:00:00:00 – 00:00:31:08
Steve
1955 Alabama. Rosa Parks. She should not have sat down in front of that bus. But she did. And in doing so, helped start the revolution we now call the civil rights movement Karakorum. 2003. People thought it was impossible to climb K7 in a single non-stop push alone. So when I started working on it, I was alone. No one followed me.

00:00:31:08 – 00:00:57:14
Steve
No one cheered for me. No one noticed at all. I was a crazy one. Trying a crazy thing. Today we will explore the difference between doing what you should not do and what people believe you cannot do. The laws of physics are, after all, the only immutable law. And no amount of crazy can break them doing the impossible changes.

00:00:57:15 – 00:01:32:18
Steve
Are you doing what you shouldn’t change? Changes? Everyone should not come in many forms. The pioneering climber Lydia Brady as unassumingly and persistently created a life of climbing through windows when the doors were slammed. Interface. They say the pioneers get arrows and settlers get land. To be a groundbreaking female climber meant taking a lot of arrows. When she climbed Everest without the use of bottled oxygen.

00:01:32:20 – 00:02:07:12
Steve
In 1988, the most famous, seasoned and media savvy guides on the planet went on the record publicly calling her a liar. Half her team had died climbing Everest. Southwest faces coming home with their own accomplishment publicly stripped from her. She bore both immense grief and the threat of a ten year ban on climbing in her beloved Nepal. What is a good journey and how is the journey of a pioneer different from the journey of the proverbial settlers that follow?

00:02:07:14 – 00:02:38:14
Steve
Today, women continue to climb Everest with and without supplemental oxygen, and no one doubts they can do it. And no one calls them a liar. When they do. And yes, as we will hear from Lydia, she had her own MeToo experience on Everest in 1988. Does it follow, then, that the harder the journey, the greater the shift good journeys end with your understanding of yourself shifted?

00:02:38:16 – 00:03:10:03
Steve
I had the opportunity to ask Lydia one question: how do you want to be remembered? Her response will surprise you. So tune in, sit down, and get ready to listen to both Lydia’s humility and a lifetime of hard earned wisdom. From Uphill Athlete. I am founder and CEO Steve House, and this is voice of the mountains, where we explore the philosophy and humanity of mountain sports.

00:03:10:05 – 00:03:32:23
Steve
This is where we ask ourselves who we are, what we learn, and who we want to become as a result of our adventures. This is the voice of the mountains. It is my great privilege to have Lydia Brady joining me today. Lydia is a world class climber and mountain guide who fell in love with climbing as a teenager in her native New Zealand.

00:03:33:00 – 00:03:59:22
Steve
She quickly rose through the climbing ranks and did a lot of first ascents worldwide, from Yosemite Valley to the United States to Pakistan, China and the Antarctic Peninsula. One of her crowning achievements came in 1988, when she became the first woman to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen. Lydia is a physiotherapist, an acupuncturist, an inspirational speaker and a sought after ski and climbing guide.

00:03:59:24 – 00:04:20:01
Steve
She has led groups in Europe, Kashmir and Kyrgyzstan, and she has guided her guests to the top of Everest no less than six times more than any other woman in history. For her contributions to climbing, she was appointed an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit at the 2020 New Year’s Honors. I don’t know what to do.

00:04:20:05 – 00:04:27:01
Steve
Do you have a title I should use? Lydia. Should I call you Lydia? Madam. Your Highness.

00:04:27:03 – 00:04:30:13
Lydia
No, no highness is way too high.

00:04:30:15 – 00:04:34:21
Steve
I mean, you from the top of Everest. I don’t know how. It doesn’t get higher than that.

00:04:34:23 – 00:04:38:07
Lydia
All right, I think we’ll work on that on the podcast.

00:04:38:12 – 00:04:56:21
Steve
Okay, great. We’ll work on your title. Lydia published her book, Going Up Is Easy, in 2015, recounting her accomplishments and the challenges she faced in her several decades of climbing. Lydia, it’s really great to have you. Welcome to the voice of the mountains.

00:04:56:23 – 00:04:58:01
Lydia
Thank you. Thank you.

00:04:58:01 – 00:05:02:05
Lydia
For inviting me to come and join you on this.

00:05:02:07 – 00:05:04:02
Lydia
What an inspiration.

00:05:04:02 – 00:05:05:23
Lydia
Sounding podcast.

00:05:06:00 – 00:05:25:16
Steve
Yeah, it’s a different kind of adventure. It’s a little bit more of an adventure and ideas and reflection and vulnerability and sharing. And I think that, I have a feeling that you have a lot to share with our audience. Before I ask the first question, I want to just sort of be honest right out of the gate.

00:05:25:18 – 00:05:53:22
Steve
I’m. I’m fast. The reason I had you here is that I’m fascinated by pioneers. And you have been a pioneer simply by how you’ve lived your life and also how you’ve climbed over many years. I did hard climbs in my career, things that people thought were impossible. But there’s a huge difference between doing something that people say you cannot do and doing something that people say you should not do.

00:05:53:24 – 00:06:16:06
Steve
And you have been a person that has sort of systematically seemed like what I see from your career and your life, dismiss the shouldn’ts and just been more of a why not kind of gal. How does that land for you? Am I reading too much into your personality or when we’ve only just met? We’ve never met in real life.

00:06:16:08 – 00:06:36:05
Steve
But when I, you know, remember seeing you on the cover of summit Magazine in 1988 with an article about your climb and so on? You know, I mean, I was a 17 year old kid really interested in mountaineering and climbing, and I was just like, you know, like you had gone to the moon for me.

00:06:36:07 – 00:06:43:00
Lydia
Well that’s amazing. Thank you. when you’re reading this out, I sort of feel this.

00:06:43:00 – 00:06:45:22
Lydia
If you’re describing somebody else.

00:06:45:24 – 00:06:48:12
Lydia
I’ve not.

00:06:48:16 – 00:06:49:19
Lydia
Had the.

00:06:49:23 – 00:06:50:19
Lydia
Huge first two.

00:06:50:19 – 00:06:53:16
Lydia
Sentences that quite a lot of people have had.

00:06:53:18 – 00:06:57:00
Lydia
But thank you. Perhaps I’ve done a few.

00:06:57:00 – 00:07:00:06
Lydia
Things in the Himalayas in my early days that I maybe.

00:07:00:06 – 00:07:05:13
Lydia
Shouldn’t have done, but when I’m, I’m actually going to repost with.

00:07:05:13 – 00:07:10:17
Lydia
A question so that I can answer your question more specifically.

00:07:10:17 – 00:07:16:00
Lydia
And then that is when you say should not do you mean should not?

00:07:16:02 – 00:07:24:10
Lydia
And social terms like I didn’t have a permit to climb the route that I was on on Everest, for example.

00:07:24:12 – 00:07:30:02
Steve
What I was thinking about was that you should not climb Everest without oxygen.

00:07:30:21 – 00:07:55:10
Steve
You know, I mean, 1988 was only ten years after 1978, when Reinhold and Peter climbed it without oxygen for the first time, and they had been told that they were going to come down and be vegetables for the rest of their lives. And, you know, I don’t know how many people had climbed Everest without supplemental oxygen between 1978 and 1988, but I bet it wasn’t very many.

00:07:55:12 – 00:08:27:23
Steve
Let’s go back to 1988, for that matter. Like, you know, it was very different. I mean, I can say it like I was there too. I was a young man. It was chauvinistic. And the attitude towards women was evolving, but it was different. I don’t want to make this about your gender either. I mean, I want to make this about your experience, but gender is one dimension of your being and your personality and who you are and you must have been having people tell you that you shouldn’t do these things like climb Everest without bottle oxygen.

00:08:28:00 – 00:08:29:19
Lydia
Well, it was quite funny because of.

00:08:29:19 – 00:08:34:00
Lydia
Everest we were a joint, New Zealand Slovak expedition.

00:08:34:02 – 00:08:36:15
Lydia
And as you say, politics.

00:08:36:17 – 00:08:37:22
Lydia
the way of climbing.

00:08:37:22 – 00:08:41:05
Lydia
Everything was quite different. For example, in.

00:08:41:05 – 00:08:43:13
Lydia
The olden days or the golden.

00:08:43:13 – 00:08:47:16
Lydia
Days. Yeah. Then, you know, you had a liaison.

00:08:47:16 – 00:08:49:15
Lydia
Officers always used to have a liaison.

00:08:49:15 – 00:08:50:22
Lydia
Officer. But in those days.

00:08:50:22 – 00:08:52:01
Lydia
And you know this.

00:08:52:03 – 00:08:53:07
Lydia
Your liaison officer.

00:08:53:07 – 00:08:57:04
Lydia
Was there in case you couldn’t climb the route that you were wanting to.

00:08:57:04 – 00:08:58:02
Lydia
Climb.

00:08:58:04 – 00:09:16:12
Lydia
In Pakistan, these Samaritans changed the route on Gazprom one because the glacier below the beginning of the route had been mined because it was our border disputes between Pakistan and India. And that’s a good reason. And so the liaison officer gave them a permit like that. And so.

00:09:16:14 – 00:09:20:16
Lydia
However, we did go.

00:09:20:16 – 00:09:40:20
Lydia
Everest with the ambition to climb it without oxygen. This is me and my New Zealand team and the joint. The Slovak team also had the intention to climb Everest with that oxygen. They had a much greater heritage and climbing than we had. And a different route in mind. You know, the southwest face of Everest.

00:09:40:20 – 00:09:42:21
Lydia
So the only way is to.

00:09:43:00 – 00:09:58:17
Lydia
You shouldn’t climb Everest without oxygen, but sort of general. Well, good luck. But, you know, it’s pretty hard. Who knows what’s going to happen. I hope she’ll be all right. I’m sure that people will see that and be disgusted.

00:09:58:21 – 00:10:04:06
Lydia
But we were pretty strong. I mean, and those days, you know, the French, everyone.

00:10:04:06 – 00:10:06:04
Lydia
Shared fixing of ropes on Everest.

00:10:06:04 – 00:10:10:09
Lydia
And so the French, and another team.

00:10:10:11 – 00:10:17:22
Lydia
They fixed ropes through the icefall, which is I suppose much smaller because there was more ice. So it was I think it was maybe at.

00:10:17:22 – 00:10:18:22
Lydia
Least half,

00:10:18:24 – 00:10:23:13
Lydia
For, of the disrupted terrain and.

00:10:23:15 – 00:10:24:10
Lydia
we.

00:10:24:12 – 00:10:36:01
Lydia
Fixed largely fixed the ropes on the lot, see face. So I was fixing the ropes and let’s see face, for the normal, a normal route. with the Slovaks.

00:10:36:03 – 00:10:41:18
Lydia
And so we got strong. you know, people were carrying.

00:10:41:18 – 00:10:49:15
Lydia
Loads in those days. We were carrying loads up to camp one and camp two, and we had four Sherpas and nine climbers.

00:10:49:17 – 00:10:59:03
Lydia
And two different routes. So, yeah, you I think maybe it was more of a.

00:10:59:05 – 00:11:00:10
Lydia
Vibe of.

00:11:00:10 – 00:11:03:06
Lydia
Possibilities.

00:11:03:08 – 00:11:04:00
Steve
Interesting.

00:11:04:04 – 00:11:10:04
Lydia
And that’s not saying that the people in the world who are climbing don’t have that. It’s just that.

00:11:10:04 – 00:11:15:03
Lydia
Probably they go to other places where there’s more of a vibe of possibilities.

00:11:15:09 – 00:11:17:22
Lydia
Which is now why you’re seeing, you know.

00:11:17:22 – 00:11:24:22
Lydia
People turning up to Annapurna, you know, men and women and climbing it in 15 days without oxygen.

00:11:24:24 – 00:11:27:03
Lydia
You just, you know, the vibe of.

00:11:27:03 – 00:11:36:07
Lydia
Possibilities persisted as it does and or climbing, whether it’s rope, ice or ice skating ones traveling to the moon. Yeah, that’s just human.

00:11:36:09 – 00:11:37:23
Lydia
And what I think.

00:11:37:23 – 00:11:39:15
Lydia
Driving this is curiosity.

00:11:39:15 – 00:11:43:14
Lydia
So everyone is a climber.

00:11:43:14 – 00:11:48:16
Lydia
At base camp in 1988.

00:11:48:18 – 00:11:49:20
Lydia
When I started.

00:11:49:20 – 00:12:07:13
Lydia
Guiding. And this is just a way, sort of sortie into the future, if you like. When I said guiding, I was at the first base camp, and it was like I met a team and they were Italian, and they were there to try to climb Everest without oxygen or something like this. Or another team was there to try the West Ridge.

00:12:07:13 – 00:12:10:14
Lydia
And I was really inspired and I came back to my guide.

00:12:10:14 – 00:12:12:05
Lydia
Posse, my.

00:12:12:07 – 00:12:19:17
Lydia
Big expedition had quite a few guides, and there was a total disinterest. And I was like, how can you be disinterested?

00:12:19:17 – 00:12:21:02
Lydia
This is really exciting.

00:12:21:02 – 00:12:29:07
Lydia
This is people trying really, really hard and it’s going to be really interesting. But that but there was a whole guiding world, and they’re interested in it.

00:12:29:07 – 00:12:41:04
Lydia
Other guides and how other guides are doing it, and the ethics of how they’re doing it, and the strategy of how they’re getting their clients up there, fascinated by that. But they weren’t engaged by climbers being depressed.

00:12:41:04 – 00:12:42:22
Lydia
So there were these two differences.

00:12:42:22 – 00:12:50:14
Lydia
Worlds and I were kind of standing at the crossroads, going left and right, just going, this is amazing.

00:12:50:16 – 00:12:51:21
Steve
That’s really interesting.

00:12:51:21 – 00:12:55:12
Lydia
Attitudes change. Yeah. And then on a micro.

00:12:55:12 – 00:13:14:19
Lydia
Level, you know, we, these guys on my expedition, these Slovaks, you know, I said, oh, when I met them on the walking to Everest, so I funny, and I go to Peter Bozak, who had just put out the magic line on K2 in 80, 86, wasn’t it, when all the, 50% of the people on K2 died in Big Bad?

00:13:14:19 – 00:13:15:07
Lydia
Yeah.

00:13:15:09 – 00:13:16:13
Lydia
And,

00:13:16:15 – 00:13:18:15
Lydia
And I said, I didn’t know that at the time.

00:13:18:17 – 00:13:22:00
Lydia
I go on, have you been to the Himalayas before?

00:13:22:02 – 00:13:26:04
Lydia
And he goes, yeah. Vito, new road, South space, blah, blah, blah, with no.

00:13:26:04 – 00:13:28:09
Lydia
New road east.

00:13:28:11 – 00:13:38:11
Lydia
canyon, jungle with all new roads, you know, and everywhere he’d gone to 8000 meter peaks. He’d done the first two centuries. They were experienced.

00:13:38:13 – 00:13:39:16
Lydia
Then.

00:13:39:18 – 00:13:42:13
Lydia
As the expedition went by, that.

00:13:42:15 – 00:13:43:05
Lydia
Occasionally.

00:13:43:05 – 00:13:45:14
Lydia
They’d throw out a line like, you.

00:13:45:14 – 00:13:48:09
Lydia
Know, mountains. Not a good place for women.

00:13:48:15 – 00:13:51:21
Lydia
Didn’t they go? But you are very strong, you know. And I’d like to.

00:13:51:21 – 00:13:53:10
Lydia
Yes, I’ve earned.

00:13:53:10 – 00:13:53:22
Lydia
My.

00:13:54:00 – 00:14:09:10
Lydia
Place. And so it was super interesting that this very chauvinistic if you like cohort of men, there were four climbers, Slovak climbers and two of them.

00:14:09:12 – 00:14:15:19
Lydia
They were kind of really nice and they were, but that was sort of quiet.

00:14:15:21 – 00:14:18:12
Lydia
Tiredly chauvinistic, if you like.

00:14:18:14 – 00:14:21:12
Lydia
As with my New Zealand team.

00:14:21:14 – 00:14:24:04
Lydia
But, but the other.

00:14:24:04 – 00:14:32:00
Lydia
Two, I made two of the best friends I’d ever made in my life, Peter Bozak for the magic line, and Kato and this guy called Yarrow, Yasuko and much younger.

00:14:32:02 – 00:14:34:08
Lydia
And they were funny.

00:14:34:10 – 00:14:38:04
Lydia
And they were curious. And this is what connected us.

00:14:38:04 – 00:14:41:01
Lydia
And if you say what drove you to.

00:14:41:01 – 00:14:54:04
Lydia
Climb Everest with that oxygen? people ask that, of course. And I just go, well, I’m a climber to begin with, so climbers are always curious about things. And I couldn’t go.

00:14:54:06 – 00:14:55:16
Lydia
In the.

00:14:55:18 – 00:15:12:02
Lydia
Area, which is your strength. And my strength was just the plod, plod, plod. You know, I’m a high altitude hiker. You know, I can rock my way up and I could plod my way down and I could look after myself on a steep snow slope. And keep going and keep going, keep going. So this my.

00:15:12:02 – 00:15:14:23
Lydia
Strength. Technically I’m not.

00:15:15:01 – 00:15:29:01
Lydia
I was a kid, I’m not, you know, super hardcore. I have to do things differently, but not super techie. And so that’s my strength. And then I could explore the mountain world in that way.

00:15:29:01 – 00:15:30:01
Lydia
So they were.

00:15:30:01 – 00:15:33:14
Lydia
Curious about their time. And I was curious about that climb. And it’s.

00:15:33:14 – 00:15:36:08
Lydia
This curiosity drives those.

00:15:36:08 – 00:15:38:11
Lydia
Questions of your podcast, you know.

00:15:38:13 – 00:15:41:01
Lydia
What are we? You know, what? What do we learn?

00:15:41:01 – 00:15:44:05
Lydia
And where do we want to go with our lives?

00:15:44:07 – 00:16:09:04
Steve
Thank you for that. I mean, for there’s a bunch of things that you just said that I’d love to follow up on. I want to start by saying that the little line of prose, the muse, if you will, for our episode today, is that good journeys end with your understanding of yourself shifted. I think that this is one of the things that unites mountain people.

00:16:09:04 – 00:16:28:06
Steve
I don’t care if you label yourself a plotter or a sport climber or a mountain runner or whatever it is, as you said, you’re you’re curious and tell me more about that. Like, what is it that you’re actually curious about, do you think? I mean, curiosity is a broad thing. What is it that you know, you’re curious about? You say you’re a climber.

00:16:28:08 – 00:16:33:17
Steve
It’s just curious as to what you can climb and how much or what is the curiosity?

00:16:33:19 – 00:16:35:06
Lydia
I think curiosity is always there.

00:16:35:06 – 00:16:38:06
Lydia
Shifting and it’s really dynamic. it’s.

00:16:38:06 – 00:16:39:07
Lydia
It’s a thing, you.

00:16:39:07 – 00:16:46:11
Lydia
Know? So one day, if I. Well, when I go sport climbing, when I come to America, I’ll be curious about it.

00:16:46:13 – 00:16:47:04
Lydia
Know how I’ll.

00:16:47:04 – 00:16:49:06
Lydia
Do on that rock or.

00:16:49:08 – 00:16:49:17
Lydia
and you.

00:16:49:17 – 00:16:52:08
Lydia
Know this. I mean, you’re curious. That’s why you have this podcast.

00:16:52:08 – 00:16:54:09
Lydia
Because you feel it gives you authority.

00:16:54:09 – 00:16:55:13
Lydia
To ask people a whole lot of questions.

00:16:55:13 – 00:17:00:23
Lydia
Things. So it’s, approach. And I’m. I don’t think I’m.

00:17:00:23 – 00:17:04:11
Lydia
Telling you this. I’m just saying it, you know, because I know you already know it.

00:17:04:16 – 00:17:06:24
Lydia
But it’s an approach that I think is.

00:17:06:24 – 00:17:15:06
Lydia
One of the biggest things that we can give people. If you are, if you’ve got children or people that you mentor or people.

00:17:15:06 – 00:17:31:23
Lydia
Who seeks inspiration, it’s just like you have it just start with curiosity. And other people call it engagement and or in order to learn from you. In order to be curious, you need to engage. And you just get so much more back to take.

00:17:31:23 – 00:17:40:09
Lydia
It went down to a microscopic level and to apply it to my ascent of Everest in 1988.

00:17:40:11 – 00:17:41:01
Lydia
I remember.

00:17:41:01 – 00:17:46:06
Lydia
Sitting at camp three on, with the face of, let’s see, just going.

00:17:46:08 – 00:17:46:21
Lydia
Looking.

00:17:46:21 – 00:17:50:19
Lydia
Up at the upper slopes of Everest above the South.

00:17:50:19 – 00:17:55:20
Lydia
Col. And I’m just going, look at this. You know, it’s just a simple mountain.

00:17:55:20 – 00:18:01:06
Lydia
It’s a simple New Zealand mountain. It’s just, you know, snow and rock and you walk up the snow and ladder.

00:18:01:08 – 00:18:03:23
Lydia
But there’s this big challenge.

00:18:03:23 – 00:18:04:20
Lydia
Up there, and it’s.

00:18:04:20 – 00:18:09:08
Lydia
Invisible. And how hard can it be? And it’s not like, oh.

00:18:09:08 – 00:18:10:08
Lydia
How hard can it be?

00:18:10:11 – 00:18:14:07
Lydia
It’s like, well, it’s got to change. You know?

00:18:14:07 – 00:18:17:19
Lydia
It’s going to change. It changes. When I get to 8000m.

00:18:17:21 – 00:18:22:22
Lydia
And what’s it going to be like? How will I react?

00:18:22:24 – 00:18:25:13
Lydia
How can I manage it? You know.

00:18:25:15 – 00:18:26:01
Lydia
What’s.

00:18:26:01 – 00:18:28:05
Lydia
Is it going to be like this? What’s it going to be like? What’s going to be like?

00:18:28:10 – 00:18:30:21
Lydia
So it was just this massive.

00:18:30:21 – 00:18:45:22
Lydia
Curiosity because I’d set myself up really well. I wasn’t having to deal with, I haven’t drunk enough tumor or oh, I’m not fit enough or I’m not acclimatized enough. Everything was pretty fat. I was feeling good and I was really strong.

00:18:45:24 – 00:18:48:00
Lydia
So it was a luxury too.

00:18:48:00 – 00:18:50:02
Lydia
Be able to look up there and go.

00:18:50:04 – 00:18:51:09
Lydia
How hard can it be?

00:18:51:13 – 00:18:53:03
Lydia
Not how hard it can be.

00:18:53:07 – 00:18:54:09
Lydia
But what’s.

00:18:54:09 – 00:18:56:10
Lydia
Is it going to be like this?

00:18:56:12 – 00:19:06:10
Steve
I love that. But, you know, what is it about your mindset that said, how hard can it be? Instead of how hard can it be?

00:19:06:12 – 00:19:07:14
Lydia
The curiosity.

00:19:07:14 – 00:19:11:09
Lydia
Thing is, what’s it going to be like? How hard will it be?

00:19:11:09 – 00:19:13:03
Lydia
I am lucky enough.

00:19:13:03 – 00:19:24:17
Lydia
To grow up, with somebody who encouraged my curiosity, and I’ve always seen it as a thing. Will we come back to this again?

00:19:24:19 – 00:19:25:05
Lydia
Yeah, I’ve.

00:19:25:05 – 00:19:34:20
Lydia
Always seen it as a thing. So I, treasure, you know, I value it as opposed to being there, going. I can’t think how hard I shouldn’t think. How hard will it be? I should just think.

00:19:34:23 – 00:19:39:09
Lydia
I can do it. I can do it. And the just different motivating factors, you know, you’ve got.

00:19:39:09 – 00:19:47:15
Lydia
To pull on that drive off, I can do this or I can do this and get down, or I can get down from here. You know, you’ve got to draw on that anyway because you need to be motivated.

00:19:47:18 – 00:20:15:17
Steve
That’s a good point. I mean, that was always very often something that I have said to myself in my climbing where it’s like, yeah, I can get down from here, so why can’t I just go a little bit higher? You know, and I think that that is one of those, one of those tricks, an analogy would be I’ve used this with in person coaching in the weight gym before, just with my training partners.

00:20:15:17 – 00:20:42:05
Steve
In the past, when I used to train a lot and they would be like, okay, put such and such a weight on and it would be maybe close to their PR, but not over. And I put more on without telling them, and it would be a personal record for them, but and they would do it because if they had known mentally that, oh, this is a personal record, it would have created all this anxiety and it would have reduced, you know, and they would have self-sabotage.

00:20:42:05 – 00:21:06:06
Steve
Right? So that’s a great mindset to have where you’re like, yeah, I can yeah, I’m okay. Right now I can get myself out of this situation for the foreseeable future. Everything I can foresee happening up there, and then you can sort of maybe it’s a track, maybe it’s not, but you can sort of trick yourself into like trying a little more when you, when you, especially when you’re at the end of your rope and you’re like, nah, I’m still okay.

00:21:06:06 – 00:21:19:03
Steve
Like I’m at the end of my rope. But you know what difference it would make if I go 50m? More like if I am fine, like it doesn’t actually change anything, I might as well go 50m more and then you might as well go another 50m. I might as well go. And then, you know, then you’re on top.

00:21:19:05 – 00:21:25:13
Lydia
Yeah, well, it’s more than a trick. It’s a method to stay alive.

00:21:25:15 – 00:21:30:03
Lydia
If you don’t keep checking that you can get down from here then.

00:21:30:08 – 00:21:30:22
Steve
Right.

00:21:30:24 – 00:21:35:23
Lydia
It’s more like you are. You are tricking yourself as well, aren’t you? I was like, oh, everything will be alright.

00:21:36:00 – 00:21:37:03
Lydia
Can I get down from here?

00:21:37:03 – 00:21:43:01
Lydia
Yeah, I can get down from here. Okay. Let’s go. And then you’ve got your motivation. What’s going to drive you?

00:21:43:01 – 00:21:43:13
Lydia
Forward.

00:21:43:18 – 00:21:48:11
Lydia
But you’ve got your self-preservation and survival.

00:21:48:11 – 00:21:54:00
Lydia
Instinct. I think that, too, is key. if we encourage.

00:21:54:00 – 00:22:00:05
Lydia
Ourselves, if we encourage society or people or our children or whatever to be, curious or.

00:22:00:05 – 00:22:02:10
Lydia
Moving forward, you also.

00:22:02:10 – 00:22:03:18
Lydia
Need to encourage them.

00:22:03:18 – 00:22:05:23
Lydia
To that. It’s cool.

00:22:05:23 – 00:22:08:13
Lydia
Okay to make sure that you can get down.

00:22:08:15 – 00:22:10:14
Lydia
And this is where the craft is.

00:22:10:14 – 00:22:12:13
Lydia
Of mountaineering or the.

00:22:12:15 – 00:22:14:13
Lydia
Craft of a.

00:22:14:13 – 00:22:20:13
Lydia
Gardening, if you like, or the craft of being an athlete or even a writer is.

00:22:20:15 – 00:22:21:14
Lydia
You know.

00:22:21:16 – 00:22:28:20
Lydia
People who are great at something or people who are great crafts people.

00:22:28:22 – 00:22:31:19
Lydia
I am really good at it.

00:22:31:19 – 00:22:34:06
Lydia
The monotonous, everyday things.

00:22:34:06 – 00:22:36:01
Lydia
Well, you know, they’re.

00:22:36:01 – 00:22:49:08
Lydia
Really good at checking their harness, you know, their belay loop, if you like, or they’re really good at body checking or they’re really good at making sure the crampons are sharp because, you know, when you get on terrain because the ice is very, very.

00:22:49:08 – 00:22:50:06
Lydia
Hard.

00:22:50:08 – 00:22:53:08
Lydia
You do need a sharp pair, crampons.

00:22:53:10 – 00:22:56:18
Lydia
Those sorts of things, those kinds of everyday.

00:22:56:18 – 00:22:58:24
Lydia
Things that can be seen as boring.

00:22:59:01 – 00:23:03:09
Lydia
But the people who are really good at the front.

00:23:03:09 – 00:23:19:04
Lydia
Ends are often really, really good at those sorts of things. And they do them very quickly, and they do them very well, and they don’t stop doing them because they’re number one and just keep doing them. And then they push their they do all the risk stuff at the, at the top end.

00:23:19:06 – 00:23:29:21
Steve
Yeah. That’s a great insight. And I think that is so true. You know you said something that triggered my curiosity. Who was that person for you that encouraged your curiosity?

00:23:29:23 – 00:23:34:13
Lydia
Oh my mother because that’s what I had in my family. I didn’t have any brothers and sisters or.

00:23:34:15 – 00:23:39:02
Lydia
I didn’t have a bigger brother.

00:23:39:04 – 00:23:43:24
Lydia
And I didn’t have a father. I mean, my parents separated when I was being born.

00:23:44:01 – 00:23:46:06
Lydia
She brought me up.

00:23:46:08 – 00:23:53:24
Lydia
So I wasn’t the person she was because she didn’t have a very nice childhood. So in the end, we were very, very different people.

00:23:54:01 – 00:23:55:14
Lydia
But she did a pretty good job.

00:23:55:16 – 00:24:06:04
Lydia
Except that she knew I was a bit of a wild child. She thought I’d get into really, really big trouble. When I was a teenager, I had a proverbial chip on my shoulder.

00:24:07:08 – 00:24:11:11
Lydia
Whatever we have, we do, and the other half don’t.

00:24:11:13 – 00:24:13:06
Lydia
They’re lucky.

00:24:13:08 – 00:24:14:16
Lydia
Or whatever.

00:24:14:18 – 00:24:21:04
Steve
Yeah. Or unlucky, depending on the perspective. Right? Right. you know, when.

00:24:21:09 – 00:24:22:02
Lydia
You have to.

00:24:22:04 – 00:24:23:17
Lydia
Expose yourself a little.

00:24:23:21 – 00:25:00:18
Steve
Yeah. Well, you know, one of the mutual friends that I called upon when I was going to, knew I was going to talk to you was a guy Cotter. And, this was exactly one of the things that guy said. He was like. He was a bit of a wild child in her youth. He didn’t expound on that, and I didn’t ask him to, but the question that came to my mind and what I actually wrote down as a along with that note is if there’s if that’s part of why you seek these journeys, I mean, your journeys happen to be in the mountains and you’ve already alluded to, you know, these different

00:25:00:18 – 00:25:21:15
Steve
kinds of crafts, whether it’s writing or other sports or whatever, that chip on your shoulder, that wild inner wild child was, that somebody who drove you to, to do things like go to Yosemite? I don’t know when, when did you go to Yosemite, like paint, paint that for me. You were like 18 or 19, something like that.

00:25:21:15 – 00:25:28:00
Steve
You show up in Yosemite Valley and teach and find some people and go climb some big walls.

00:25:28:02 – 00:25:30:02
Lydia
Yeah. That, that was the.

00:25:30:02 – 00:25:36:01
Lydia
Best thing to do when you are nine. I was 19, 19 and 20. Oh my God, so good.

00:25:36:03 – 00:25:37:16
Lydia
So,

00:25:37:18 – 00:25:39:22
Lydia
Those days, of course it wasn’t sport climbing.

00:25:39:22 – 00:25:40:08
Steve
Yeah. What year?

00:25:40:08 – 00:25:44:15
Lydia
Was it? Or they may have been sport climbing. Oh, it was 1981.

00:25:44:16 – 00:25:46:15
Steve
There was no sport climbing.

00:25:46:17 – 00:25:48:01
Lydia
Well, anyway, this certainly.

00:25:48:01 – 00:25:50:16
Lydia
Wasn’t a sport climbing around New Zealand.

00:25:50:16 – 00:25:50:23
Lydia
Yeah.

00:25:51:04 – 00:26:00:14
Lydia
And where I wasn’t as you, as you know, from reading my, and writing to me and reading my book, I was really bad at sports.

00:26:00:16 – 00:26:06:13
Lydia
So, I kind of wasn’t strong. I mean, my legs were strong.

00:26:06:15 – 00:26:12:15
Lydia
And the rest of me wasn’t very strong, and I wasn’t gymnastic, like, I couldn’t do a handstand.

00:26:12:17 – 00:26:14:02
Lydia
Even against the wall.

00:26:14:04 – 00:26:20:04
Lydia
And my hand eye coordination. I didn’t really catch balls very well, and.

00:26:20:04 – 00:26:21:01
Lydia
I didn’t learn.

00:26:21:01 – 00:26:28:08
Lydia
Fast in those areas either. And so, you know, failure, failure, failure and so on.

00:26:28:08 – 00:26:32:01
Steve
Wait, whose voice was that? This failure or failure? Failure? Whose voice was that?

00:26:32:06 – 00:26:33:24
Lydia
These are my voices, of course.

00:26:33:24 – 00:26:39:23
Lydia
Okay, okay. But also, you know, your kid, you know. Yeah. It’s not necessarily been a voice.

00:26:39:23 – 00:26:43:16
Lydia
It’s just an experience of being last.

00:26:43:18 – 00:26:45:24
Lydia
Yeah. And taste could taste because I.

00:26:45:24 – 00:26:55:14
Lydia
Kind of funny. I was a little bit wonky and, not wonky, stiff or whatever. And I was teased for walking funny and.

00:26:55:16 – 00:26:56:00
Lydia
You know.

00:26:56:06 – 00:26:58:15
Lydia
Things like that. Formative moments.

00:26:58:20 – 00:27:02:04
Lydia
Yes. By the time I had discovered it.

00:27:02:04 – 00:27:08:03
Lydia
The mountains or no, I should say when I had, when I discovered mountains.

00:27:08:05 – 00:27:09:09
Lydia
Through what we call.

00:27:09:09 – 00:27:20:02
Lydia
Tramping, which is hiking, but off trail hiking. So it’s pretty full on trying to hike. And, then I realized that there was.

00:27:20:04 – 00:27:20:16
Lydia
Other.

00:27:20:16 – 00:27:22:17
Lydia
Ways to achieve.

00:27:22:19 – 00:27:28:01
Lydia
Those goals that you may not even be able to describe.

00:27:28:03 – 00:27:31:20
Lydia
because you were young and inexperienced and, but.

00:27:31:22 – 00:27:34:17
Lydia
Physical goals. So I could be physical.

00:27:34:17 – 00:27:36:04
Lydia
Person in this new.

00:27:36:04 – 00:27:45:24
Lydia
Environment because I had other skills. And doing a handstand, catching a ball wasn’t that important. And people seem to forgive me if.

00:27:45:24 – 00:27:48:21
Lydia
I wasn’t very brave. Like, damn climbing and things like this. Then I.

00:27:48:21 – 00:27:54:00
Lydia
Got stronger. Stronger, and I can be better and better. And I also found out that so.

00:27:54:00 – 00:27:55:24
Lydia
Much of that is social, because when you go.

00:27:55:24 – 00:27:58:09
Lydia
In the mountains, you are living with people.

00:27:58:09 – 00:28:12:06
Lydia
Are managing. your experience was, let’s say I was with one other person or two other people or three other people, depending on who you were hiking or tramping or mountaineering with, and therefore it’s partly become social.

00:28:12:06 – 00:28:18:02
Lydia
And so you’re bringing other skills in, and those.

00:28:18:02 – 00:28:19:00
Lydia
Lessons are.

00:28:19:00 – 00:28:21:11
Lydia
About, say, if you.

00:28:21:11 – 00:28:25:24
Lydia
Like, achieving a goal which might become a physical person.

00:28:26:01 – 00:28:29:05
Lydia
Or recognizing you can achieve a goal.

00:28:29:05 – 00:28:31:00
Lydia
Via a different route.

00:28:31:02 – 00:28:34:01
Lydia
So then this.

00:28:34:03 – 00:28:53:23
Lydia
Concept has opened a massive door, large dog mountaineering. go to Alaska because everyone in New Zealand was going to Peru. So I decided to go to Alaska because it was more interesting. I didn’t know anything about it. and then come down through the lower 48 into Yosemite. And I.

00:28:53:24 – 00:28:54:22
Lydia
Done a little bit of rock.

00:28:54:22 – 00:29:07:07
Lydia
Climbing as Squamish, and I wasn’t very brave, but one person had, like, taken me on a wall that was A1 and, you know, the grand walls. one of the routes on was A1 or something like this, maybe.

00:29:07:07 – 00:29:11:02
Lydia
A2, and I.

00:29:11:04 – 00:29:16:20
Lydia
Realized there was another way to be up there. And when I got to Yosemite.

00:29:16:22 – 00:29:18:16
Lydia
And it was all those big walls.

00:29:18:18 – 00:29:20:09
Lydia
And, of.

00:29:20:09 – 00:29:28:22
Lydia
Course, and people would talk about being up there and then they’d have they come down, they’d have these experiences and these stories and experiences.

00:29:28:22 – 00:29:32:22
Lydia
And stories. So really what drove me as well and.

00:29:32:22 – 00:29:34:20
Lydia
Not stories so that I could tell them.

00:29:34:21 – 00:29:37:24
Lydia
Stories that are inside of me. And so.

00:29:37:24 – 00:29:38:19
Lydia
I

00:29:38:21 – 00:29:51:02
Lydia
Realized that through climbing, I could get up there. It’s just a different route, a different way to experience the same and have the same experiences as my friends. Yeah. So I started climbing and

00:29:51:04 – 00:29:51:12
Lydia
Yeah.

00:29:51:15 – 00:29:56:22
Steve
What’s the difference between a story and a journey and an experience?

00:29:56:24 – 00:29:59:13
Lydia
Well, everything is an experience.

00:29:59:13 – 00:30:04:10
Lydia
Like having wasabi ice cream could be considered an experience.

00:30:04:10 – 00:30:11:19
Lydia
It’s definitely an experience. Oh no, no, it’s actually not very , it’s not a particularly interesting experience. Okay. Sounds interesting.

00:30:11:19 – 00:30:13:04
Steve
Sounds interesting. Yeah.

00:30:13:06 – 00:30:15:16
Lydia
So what do you do? You know the. Yeah.

00:30:15:18 – 00:30:19:21
Steve
They got me.

00:30:19:23 – 00:30:22:05
Lydia
yeah.

00:30:22:07 – 00:30:25:01
Lydia
That’s pretty boring actually. Yeah.

00:30:25:03 – 00:30:28:14
Lydia
So, you know, you go think, oh, this will be an experience. So I actually it’s.

00:30:28:14 – 00:30:31:11
Lydia
Not much of an experience. So it’s the same as watching a movie, isn’t it?

00:30:31:12 – 00:30:34:03
Lydia
Oh, this could be. I really love watching.

00:30:34:03 – 00:30:42:05
Lydia
This person’s movies. Well, it wasn’t as good an experience, you know, that’s the whole way up.

00:30:42:07 – 00:30:44:12
Lydia
Well, hang on, what was the thing? Experience.

00:30:44:14 – 00:30:57:24
Steve
Journeys and stories you were talking about? Like people would go up on these walls and come back with experiences and stories like, okay, and you wanted these stories within yourself and just trying to figure out if that’s the same.

00:30:58:01 – 00:30:59:22
Lydia
I don’t think you have a whole lot of experience.

00:30:59:22 – 00:31:05:11
Lydia
Does add up into a journey, and sometimes those journeys make good stories.

00:31:05:13 – 00:31:07:09
Steve
Actually, most of the time.

00:31:07:11 – 00:31:11:01
Lydia
Honestly, it depends on whom you’re speaking to right now, let’s use it.

00:31:11:01 – 00:31:24:22
Lydia
The example of climbing Mount Everest, climbing Mount Everest, can be done in lots of ways. You can either be unassisted, which means you don’t use fixed ropes. Then you could climb up in the climate with air oxygen, enjoy.

00:31:24:24 – 00:31:41:22
Lydia
Or climb it by a different route. Like, yeah, all these different routes on Everest used to be climbed all the time, like the North route. And then the pinnacles got done and and and then all these different, the south west face got climbed a couple of times.

00:31:41:22 – 00:31:45:02
Lydia
The three times actually, I’m sure maybe made me more than that now.

00:31:45:02 – 00:31:50:09
Steve
But there was the Australian route that, you know, those guys did on the north side. Oh yes.

00:31:50:11 – 00:31:51:09
Lydia
The white Lambo.

00:31:51:14 – 00:31:52:20
Steve
Lambo.

00:31:52:22 – 00:31:59:22
Lydia
Yep. I know all these people used to climb all these different routes. And nowadays not that many people climb all these different routes anymore.

00:31:59:22 – 00:32:03:03
Lydia
So there’s plenty of room anyway. They’re experienced in climbing.

00:32:03:03 – 00:32:05:10
Lydia
Different route or a new route, or even repeating.

00:32:05:10 – 00:32:10:03
Lydia
An old route with their oxygen. without the support would be really, really different.

00:32:10:05 – 00:32:19:09
Steve
Yeah. How did the journey of climbing Everest in 1988 shift your understanding of yourself?

00:32:19:11 – 00:32:25:08
Lydia
well, slowly or quickly, perhaps,

00:32:25:10 – 00:32:27:11
Steve
Start slowly.

00:32:27:13 – 00:32:30:03
Lydia
That was slowly. no. Maybe I should.

00:32:30:03 – 00:32:32:19
Lydia
Start with the short.

00:32:32:21 – 00:32:37:11
Lydia
The fast learnings were, how I did at super altitude.

00:32:37:15 – 00:32:37:18
Lydia
Because.

00:32:37:19 – 00:32:41:15
Lydia
That’s what I called it. No one called it the death zone.

00:32:41:17 – 00:32:47:08
Steve
Please go back to Super Altitude. I like that way better than the death zone.

00:32:47:10 – 00:32:53:05
Lydia
no, it’s super super. Yeah. Is such a great word. super altitude in the distance.

00:32:53:05 – 00:32:54:12
Lydia
Yeah, well, that’s for some people.

00:32:54:12 – 00:32:59:08
Lydia
But SOS, SOS the street. Yeah, yeah, like like.

00:32:59:10 – 00:33:01:00
Steve
Yeah.

00:33:01:02 – 00:33:03:20
Lydia
yes. SOS being in your 90s.

00:33:03:22 – 00:33:04:18
Steve
Yeah.

00:33:04:20 – 00:33:10:15
Lydia
The short learnings were thin and sometimes they’re learnings that you taught, you reaffirm.

00:33:10:17 – 00:33:13:18
Lydia
For example, what I was going to say and way back was.

00:33:13:20 – 00:33:17:04
Lydia
When I started tramping.

00:33:17:06 – 00:33:20:20
Lydia
Hiking without trails. And when I started mountaineering.

00:33:21:00 – 00:33:24:09
Lydia
I realized that I could hang out with the people.

00:33:24:09 – 00:33:26:07
Lydia
Who were really experienced.

00:33:26:09 – 00:33:27:12
Lydia
And they were happy to.

00:33:27:12 – 00:33:30:16
Lydia
Spend time with me and give me their time.

00:33:30:18 – 00:33:30:23
Lydia
and

00:33:30:23 – 00:33:35:18
Lydia
Therefore I could learn a lot from them, and also achieve better than on my own.

00:33:35:20 – 00:33:37:21
Lydia
If I pulled my.

00:33:37:21 – 00:33:38:19
Lydia
Share of the.

00:33:38:19 – 00:33:40:14
Lydia
Chores. So, you know, I’ll.

00:33:40:14 – 00:33:45:04
Lydia
Go and collect more snow because they are basically making the decisions.

00:33:45:10 – 00:33:46:17
Lydia
So you have to recognize.

00:33:46:17 – 00:33:47:12
Lydia
What they bring.

00:33:47:12 – 00:33:55:23
Lydia
You have to honor it, and you bring what you can. And I’m funny sometimes. Okay? I mean, and people like to laugh and they like to.

00:33:55:23 – 00:34:03:12
Lydia
Wake up and then go forth rather than wake up and then have series snacks in the tent and yes, in melting the.

00:34:03:12 – 00:34:10:23
Lydia
Snow. And, you know, it’s called Create Stories. And so if you can give this to people, you can.

00:34:10:23 – 00:34:30:14
Lydia
Give your positivity to them, then they can give what they have. And it’s an exchange. You know, they realize you’ve gone outside and got more snow, or you’ve dug the tent out or you’ve melted more snow than anyone else because they are better and they do their stuff.

00:34:30:17 – 00:34:31:18
Lydia
So you bring this.

00:34:31:18 – 00:34:34:02
Lydia
To, in a way where we can, but.

00:34:34:02 – 00:35:04:08
Steve
No, can I stop on that for a second because I think that that is such a great analogy for so many things. Right. Like you could be talking about being a young mountain guide, you know, or you could be talking about being a junior doctor, working with a senior doctor that’s been practicing for 35 years, or if a young physiotherapist or a veteran, I wish somebody had spelled it out for me like that when I was young.

00:35:04:10 – 00:35:27:18
Steve
You don’t actually realize that until later, right? Like if I reflect on my first expedition when I was 20, I went to Nanga Parbat with a very experienced group of people, five of whom climbed 8000 meter peaks. That’s, you know, so much of what we learned was just around the cookstove, you know, and around the bowl of French fries and around the teapot.

00:35:27:20 – 00:35:30:06
Steve
That’s where I actually learned the most on that trip.

00:35:30:09 – 00:35:33:05
Lydia
That you, you put the nail.

00:35:33:05 – 00:35:43:21
Lydia
On the head for me for my Everest expedition and also for K2, and a lot because I hung out with some Slovenians. They’re so hardcore. And then my Slovaks were so hard.

00:35:43:21 – 00:35:55:20
Lydia
Core and get you to learn so much from. But you had to really have a humble corner.

00:35:55:23 – 00:36:04:00
Lydia
Of your stroppy 20 year old brain to go. Yeah, I can learn a whole lot from these guys.

00:36:04:02 – 00:36:05:03
Lydia
You’re probably so busy.

00:36:05:03 – 00:36:10:18
Lydia
Learning you didn’t quite put it into perspective. Know some things, but, hey, you know, you’re.

00:36:10:20 – 00:36:17:03
Lydia
There’s a kid you are already so busy learning. Yeah. And you were being invited so you would totally.

00:36:17:03 – 00:36:20:07
Lydia
Boring person to be with. Or you could be.

00:36:20:09 – 00:36:24:01
Lydia
I don’t know. What were you like when you were 20?

00:36:24:03 – 00:36:44:07
Steve
I think I was actually pretty quiet for the most part. And, I was in awe of these people most of the time and in awe of that place for all the time, and feeling very much like an imposter 99% of the time. And, you know, frankly, I mean, that is also a reason I did bring a lot of snow.

00:36:44:10 – 00:37:06:13
Steve
You know, I never took the lead. I never did anything in front of the team. I was always in the back carrying the loads, setting. You know, I want to go back to the kind of digging in. So these were the short term. What you became after Everest was some of these things. What were and but you said there was also some long term I mean, is this what what we’re we segueing into that now.

00:37:06:13 – 00:37:07:10
Lydia
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. But

00:37:07:15 – 00:37:24:19
Steve
Yeah. So the fallout I mean, I don’t want to so I didn’t want to make it and I mean, and I would like you to just describe, you know, the fallout as you, as you put it very briefly, because I don’t want to talk about that. I want this to be about. But that was certainly part of your journey.

00:37:24:19 – 00:37:31:12
Steve
Part of your experience of Everest was having especially the years to follow.

00:37:31:14 – 00:37:33:00
Lydia
It was a time for fun.

00:37:33:00 – 00:37:33:08
Lydia
You know.

00:37:33:08 – 00:37:35:11
Lydia
They never sounded.

00:37:35:11 – 00:37:42:06
Lydia
Like a good idea at the time. Wasn’t very good to deal with, but, yeah, it’s always formative. Yeah.

00:37:42:11 – 00:37:43:08
Lydia
I think the best.

00:37:43:08 – 00:37:54:18
Lydia
Things, especially for people who don’t know the story and kind of how many times have I been asked the story, which I’m. And this is not you, because you totally get it. But often ROG skewers the fact that.

00:37:54:18 – 00:37:56:02
Lydia
Hey, I did cool.

00:37:56:02 – 00:38:00:06
Lydia
Climb. Yeah, I don’t just want to talk about the,

00:38:00:08 – 00:38:04:05
Lydia
But it was a hashtag. Me. It was a hashtag MeToo situation.

00:38:04:07 – 00:38:10:16
Lydia
I set myself up. I was a bit of a wild child. I was the one who, you know, I didn’t sleep with.

00:38:10:16 – 00:38:14:17
Lydia
Right people and.

00:38:14:19 – 00:38:16:08
Lydia
slept with the wrong people.

00:38:16:10 – 00:38:18:12
Lydia
And I made Rob all.

00:38:18:12 – 00:38:23:20
Lydia
The guy who the Everest movie was made about, largely as he said, you know.

00:38:23:20 – 00:38:26:20
Lydia
I always hung out with the cool people. I didn’t see that. I just hung.

00:38:26:20 – 00:38:28:18
Lydia
Out with the people who.

00:38:28:20 – 00:38:32:14
Lydia
Had that really positive approach and opened the door.

00:38:32:14 – 00:38:33:21
Lydia
For people who carried them.

00:38:33:21 – 00:38:36:16
Lydia
Loads. you know exactly what you are.

00:38:36:16 – 00:38:40:05
Lydia
We’re talking about Nanga Parbat, and I just.

00:38:40:07 – 00:38:43:15
Lydia
I want to say get back to this, that doing the stuff in the background in order.

00:38:43:15 – 00:38:46:18
Lydia
To learn the stuff in the foreground,

00:38:46:20 – 00:38:50:19
Lydia
Is what is what entitlement obscures.

00:38:50:19 – 00:38:52:06
Lydia
The opportunity to.

00:38:52:08 – 00:38:53:07
Lydia
Do that show.

00:38:53:07 – 00:38:53:15
Steve
Us.

00:38:53:21 – 00:38:55:18
Lydia
So if you feel that you’re entitled.

00:38:55:18 – 00:38:58:15
Lydia
To be there or you are entitled to have something, that.

00:38:58:15 – 00:38:58:21
Lydia
Whole.

00:38:58:21 – 00:39:06:13
Lydia
Concept of entitlement and second generation wealth, you know this as we as mountain guides have seen a lot.

00:39:06:15 – 00:39:08:02
Lydia
It obscures your.

00:39:08:02 – 00:39:09:11
Lydia
Opportunity.

00:39:09:16 – 00:39:10:20
Lydia
To be part.

00:39:10:20 – 00:39:11:23
Lydia
Of this.

00:39:12:00 – 00:39:20:03
Lydia
Learning and growing team. It’s actually a disability. But anyway, so, the but the fallout.

00:39:20:03 – 00:39:23:04
Lydia
Was where my team, my New Zealand teammates.

00:39:23:06 – 00:39:24:03
Lydia
Who hadn’t.

00:39:24:03 – 00:39:48:18
Lydia
Been successful on their final attempt on Everest. So they stated that it wasn’t possible that I’d summited Everest. And of course, it’s a male dominated society. It still was, of course, and nada. And so things went really pear shaped after I got down from the summit. To add to it, 50% of my expedition died, which are all the Slovaks.

00:39:48:18 – 00:39:59:10
Lydia
They died on the descent from down the normal route, from climbing the south face of Everest, alpine style and without oxygen. So yes.

00:39:59:10 – 00:40:01:10
Lydia
That was a formative few.

00:40:01:10 – 00:40:03:00
Lydia
Years.

00:40:03:02 – 00:40:16:13
Steve
And so you’re you’re managing, you come off of this climb, you’re you’re managing, first of all, that you just climbed Everest without supplemental oxygen. I mean, that’s just an incredible achievement by any measure for anyone.

00:40:16:15 – 00:40:19:03
Lydia
That rose from the South called.

00:40:19:05 – 00:40:19:17
Lydia
No rope.

00:40:19:17 – 00:40:20:19
Lydia
Something, no, no.

00:40:20:19 – 00:40:22:20
Steve
Ropes above the South Col, either. Wow. Or a.

00:40:22:20 – 00:40:24:21
Lydia
Little rope. One. One little tight.

00:40:24:21 – 00:40:28:21
Lydia
Rope on the Hillary step. One little level, but not on the traverse around it.

00:40:28:23 – 00:40:55:23
Steve
You’ve just accomplished this, and that is just all kinds of incredible. And then you are also managing your friends that you’ve made on this trip. There you are speaking very highly of you clearly cared a lot for them. Go missing, they’re gone. You know, then you have people saying that there’s no way you could have done what you say you did.

00:40:56:00 – 00:40:57:05
Lydia
Those people were,

00:40:57:07 – 00:41:04:11
Lydia
Rob and Gary, and then it was the reporters. And then that’s where the report came from. Yeah.

00:41:04:13 – 00:41:16:11
Steve
And this is all part of your journey. Yeah. And this journey shifted a lot in you, I can imagine. I mean, any one of those things would affect someone indelibly. Yeah. Yeah.

00:41:16:13 – 00:41:17:21
Lydia
And I was pretty lucky.

00:41:17:21 – 00:41:28:13
Lydia
I mean, obviously, I guess, you know, then I went into a dark space. You know, I obviously got depressed, if you like, but, and not bad. It was pretty.

00:41:28:15 – 00:41:29:13
Lydia
It was pretty horrible.

00:41:29:13 – 00:41:31:12
Lydia
Having people say that you’re a liar.

00:41:31:14 – 00:41:32:23
Lydia
The two things.

00:41:32:23 – 00:41:34:06
Lydia
Going on is that.

00:41:34:08 – 00:41:36:22
Lydia
You know, I wanted to go back and climb.

00:41:36:24 – 00:41:44:22
Lydia
And. And those days you either got banned. I’d say, remember I said, or the part where you would know the politics were quite different, so that.

00:41:45:03 – 00:41:46:11
Lydia
If you did ,

00:41:46:11 – 00:41:47:19
Lydia
Route without a permit.

00:41:48:00 – 00:41:49:08
Lydia
You either did it as part of the.

00:41:49:08 – 00:42:10:01
Lydia
Team, and they did. You and the leader of the team would get penalized. the rest of the team wouldn’t, and you would get fined. And the penalties would either be ten years of banning from climbing in Nepal or five years. And depending on how bad you were at that time, that was my understanding. And that seemed consistent.

00:42:10:01 – 00:42:11:07
Lydia
Because we knew other people have.

00:42:11:12 – 00:42:12:10
Lydia
Done things like.

00:42:12:10 – 00:42:19:12
Lydia
That. And if you left.

00:42:19:12 – 00:42:38:02
Lydia
The team and this is I talked to my liaison officer before, I’d gone up because I knew there was major consequences once I got out to the politics, because the New Zealand guys had made official statements that it was not possible, that I was, that it was not possible that I climb Everest, but that also, I climbed Everest.

00:42:38:04 – 00:42:41:14
Lydia
What else? Oh. So. Yeah. No, that was a dark time.

00:42:41:16 – 00:42:53:11
Steve
Yeah. So what was that? So the dark time wasn’t from achieving your goal, like. I mean I certainly had that like from achieving goals, you know, the sort of a high there’s just like, oh I don’t have a goal now, what the hell do I do with my life?

00:42:53:12 – 00:42:54:11
Lydia
I’ve never had that.

00:42:54:11 – 00:43:02:16
Lydia
People talk about that, that talk about postpartum. You know, when you have a really big party because you’ve turned 50 or 60 or something or 40,

00:43:03:24 – 00:43:09:14
Lydia
and there’s post party low or post expedition, I’ve never had that.

00:43:09:16 – 00:43:12:10
Steve
So it wasn’t that for you.

00:43:12:11 – 00:43:13:06
Lydia
No, no, it wasn’t.

00:43:13:07 – 00:43:33:17
Steve
But it was, you know, you were being publicly called a liar. Yeah. you were having this incredible achievement by implications completely stripped from you. Like, that’s not what you did, even though you know that you did it. You were changed by it. How did all of that change? How did this dark time change you?

00:43:33:17 – 00:44:04:21
Steve
Did it change your perspective? on life, on climbing, on expeditions? Did you learn what lessons came? You know, it was like, maybe it’s not. The analogy is going back to the 20 year old me or the young you on those expeditions, and, you know, you weren’t seeing what lessons were being offered to you at the time. As is so often the case with these and the later you make meaning out of it, either creatively or objectively, I don’t know, but like, what kind of things came from that journey for you?

00:44:04:23 – 00:44:06:06
Lydia
Lots and lots of things.

00:44:06:08 – 00:44:10:00
Lydia
As you said. quite some time later.

00:44:10:02 – 00:44:11:10
Lydia
And I.

00:44:11:10 – 00:44:14:07
Lydia
Knew at the time there would be.

00:44:14:09 – 00:44:15:20
Lydia
Learnings.

00:44:15:22 – 00:44:27:19
Lydia
But at the time for the first few couple of years until, you know, quite a few, mountaineering, researchers of three particular,

00:44:28:11 – 00:44:44:19
Lydia
Mountaineering researchers, did you know some stories about it and had talked to people and, and rung up people and put two and two together. Then I just had to deal with, being the object of, sometimes.

00:44:44:19 – 00:44:48:09
Lydia
Derision. And I didn’t.

00:44:48:11 – 00:44:52:21
Lydia
Publicly stand up and defend it.

00:44:52:23 – 00:44:53:19
Lydia
For two.

00:44:53:19 – 00:45:15:18
Lydia
Reasons, initially for one reason. And that was because I didn’t say to the Ministry of Tourism that I did climb it, because that might be why I didn’t know what to do, you know, and I was looking at a ten year ban, and my goal was to go back and see the climate. I saw the pillar on Makalu and I just went. I don’t know if I could do anything like that, but that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.

00:45:15:23 – 00:45:20:03
Lydia
And it was in this beautiful mountain and the sun was sitting on it and it was like.

00:45:20:07 – 00:45:21:19
Lydia
Yeah, it’s just so.

00:45:21:19 – 00:45:27:01
Lydia
Gorgeous. And I was coming down Everest. And I was like, oh my.

00:45:27:03 – 00:45:30:05
Lydia
Because I’ve got these guys who are saying.

00:45:30:05 – 00:45:42:05
Lydia
I didn’t summit and I’m in a male dominated thing. So saying I did summit within my the Nepali kind of pissed me off with me. I didn’t say I didn’t summit.

00:45:42:07 – 00:45:44:04
Lydia
far out, you know, I didn’t know.

00:45:44:04 – 00:45:54:08
Lydia
The liaison officer was saying what I should say. I was on my own. There was nobody to hang out with and talk to in Kathmandu. except my lord was giving me this advice.

00:45:54:08 – 00:45:55:19
Lydia
He said, I think you should say you.

00:45:55:19 – 00:45:59:05
Lydia
Just went on the wrong route accidentally too high and just left it like.

00:45:59:05 – 00:46:01:05
Lydia
That and then nobody is.

00:46:01:05 – 00:46:05:10
Lydia
Everyone can not have their, be embarrassed.

00:46:05:12 – 00:46:29:12
Steve
I myself and I’m sure everyone has been in situations where they felt cornered and accused unjustly. And those are definitely not situations where I ever felt I found my best self. And so, you know, you were actually making what it sounds like really measured decisions. You’re like, well, I don’t want to publicly stand up because I want to go climb McAloon next year.

00:46:29:14 – 00:46:31:20
Lydia
Yeah, I don’t want a public stand up because.

00:46:31:20 – 00:46:37:10
Lydia
A whole lot of guys have said, I have two guys, three guys have said, I haven’t done it and I’m an male.

00:46:37:14 – 00:46:43:22
Lydia
Okay, so we’re not even playing. And then that is utterly key. And everyone.

00:46:43:22 – 00:46:45:02
Lydia
I Like controversy.

00:46:45:06 – 00:46:47:24
Lydia
So, you know, you’re sitting in a hotel and five.

00:46:48:00 – 00:46:55:11
Lydia
Telephones are going because there’s not the internet and they’re from different countries saying, they say that you are lads, that you really are with your photo.

00:46:55:13 – 00:46:56:18
Lydia
Now. Irony I’ve planned.

00:46:56:18 – 00:46:59:16
Lydia
Out. I came out to cook about 14 times.

00:46:59:16 – 00:47:01:01
Lydia
Routes, which and New.

00:47:01:01 – 00:47:07:10
Lydia
Zealand highest mountain. I mean, I’ve climbed other mountains of course, overseas, but

00:47:07:12 – 00:47:12:08
Lydia
And it’s really a significant climb. It’s grunty. And,

00:47:12:10 – 00:47:16:15
Lydia
How many summit photos have I got? Wow.

00:47:16:17 – 00:47:19:13
Lydia
I just didn’t have social media. We didn’t.

00:47:19:15 – 00:47:20:07
Steve
It wasn’t part of the.

00:47:20:07 – 00:47:27:09
Lydia
Culture of the photos. And I took my camera and I was really, really careful and I knew that I was going to be.

00:47:27:09 – 00:47:27:23
Lydia
On my own.

00:47:27:23 – 00:47:35:08
Lydia
So I pre organized everything instead of having it around my neck. I put it on a little tripod in my pack.

00:47:35:10 – 00:47:39:06
Lydia
but I’d never frozen my camera before because I’d always had it hanging around my neck.

00:47:39:10 – 00:47:43:02
Lydia
And remember, it’s not like millions of people are doing this.

00:47:43:02 – 00:48:24:21
Steve
I was literally interviewed this morning by a German journalist about my experience on the summit of Nanga Parbat, because they’re still talking about what Reinhold and Gunter Messner experienced on their summit day in 1970. And what I said to him was, you know, no one can sit in the pub or in their living room and make judgments about what people did or didn’t do above 8000m, because you’re just it’s just a difference.

00:48:24:23 – 00:48:49:18
Steve
You’re just so barely surviving. You don’t make the same decisions. You don’t have the same cognitive abilities. And for those people that are listening that have never been to a super altitude, as we’re going to call it now, until you’ve been up there, you just really don’t honestly have any business saying what it’s like making judgments on people and what they did or didn’t do or could or couldn’t have done.

00:48:49:20 – 00:48:53:14
Lydia
No. It’s great. No, it’s really great. But also it’s like, I’m really.

00:48:53:14 – 00:49:06:12
Lydia
Proud of the fact that I preempted my camera. Yeah. Situation. Well, I was actually really organized in my tent and I was super, super proud that everything was ready for me when I got back into my tent.

00:49:06:12 – 00:49:10:09
Lydia
And, you know, these things that I was proud of, I was dialed.

00:49:10:11 – 00:49:37:24
Steve
You know, I think that there’s two things I want to pick up on. And again, I don’t want to make you know, you are your gender. But I do want to pick up on this thing that you’ve said a couple of times that you had three well-respected male mountain guides saying that you hadn’t done something. You know, you had people turning your successes into your failures.

00:49:38:01 – 00:49:40:01
Steve
You know, that must have felt horrible.

00:49:40:03 – 00:49:46:24
Lydia
Must feel. Yeah. But it happens to a lot of people. And so, fortunately.

00:49:46:24 – 00:49:50:05
Lydia
I grew up with it.

00:49:50:07 – 00:49:50:21
Lydia
With,

00:49:50:23 – 00:49:56:13
Lydia
And my family, my two person family, we talked about people, we talked about wives and houses and things like that.

00:49:56:14 – 00:50:12:21
Lydia
So that’s when I knew life wasn’t fair. If it was fair, I’d be really good at sports. Not if it was fair. and so I think and also, I decided that in order.

00:50:12:21 – 00:50:19:15
Lydia
For my mental survival, I had to assume that the good will prevail.

00:50:19:17 – 00:50:22:13
Lydia
And, I had to trust that.

00:50:22:15 – 00:50:26:21
Steve
Where did you get that idea? I mean, honestly, like, why didn’t you think that.

00:50:26:23 – 00:50:27:17
Lydia
I knew that.

00:50:27:17 – 00:50:42:16
Lydia
Good might not prevail? I also knew that I wasn’t going to fight it because that rob hole was way, way, way more savvy with the press than I was. And he was a man. And people want to side with things. And so I knew.

00:50:42:16 – 00:50:47:04
Lydia
That even if I’m 100% right, unless I have a photo of them.

00:50:47:04 – 00:50:49:05
Lydia
Summit, because that’s become the pinnacle of.

00:50:49:05 – 00:50:49:22
Lydia
Proof.

00:50:49:24 – 00:50:51:19
Lydia
Well, then I wasn’t going to win.

00:50:51:19 – 00:50:52:17
Lydia
Even if.

00:50:52:17 – 00:51:08:02
Lydia
I, which I was, you know, I had every other bit of proof I needed. I wasn’t going to win because he’s way, way more savvy. So I just held inside myself, you know, quietly and kept a real, real low profile and.

00:51:08:04 – 00:51:08:21
Lydia
Managed.

00:51:08:21 – 00:51:13:21
Lydia
My sleepless nights. And I just decided that.

00:51:13:23 – 00:51:14:19
Lydia
Go to prevail.

00:51:14:19 – 00:51:16:15
Lydia
In the end, I think.

00:51:16:17 – 00:51:20:10
Steve
Who did you have with you? Who did you have around you doing that? Do you have anyone?

00:51:20:13 – 00:51:21:08
Lydia
I made friends.

00:51:21:08 – 00:51:26:23
Lydia
Other worlds, you know, so I would go to, I went to university and.

00:51:26:23 – 00:51:28:16
Lydia
I always was.

00:51:28:16 – 00:51:51:16
Lydia
Going to go to university. I hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do, and then I wanted to move to the States. And I decided that after spending a couple of years in the States, I wanted to become, I wanted to go and live in America. And, I knew that becoming a physical therapist by that time, would get me entry into America because it was a wanted profession.

00:51:51:18 – 00:51:57:21
Lydia
And so this is why I studied physical therapy so I could move to the United States.

00:51:57:22 – 00:52:07:19
Steve
You dove into that path headlong, and that was your companion through this period.

00:52:07:21 – 00:52:09:22
Lydia
And all the people I met on the way.

00:52:09:22 – 00:52:11:13
Lydia
And, you know, and you did others.

00:52:11:13 – 00:52:12:19
Lydia
Things and.

00:52:12:21 – 00:52:14:11
Lydia
Started rock climbing and sport.

00:52:14:11 – 00:52:16:01
Lydia
Climbing had hit New Zealand by.

00:52:16:01 – 00:52:16:08
Lydia
Then.

00:52:16:14 – 00:52:22:12
Lydia
And then I discovered rock climbing where, you know, I wasn’t so scared. and so that was really cool for me.

00:52:22:12 – 00:52:38:21
Steve
And can we just pause for a minute and say how amazing that is, that you turned all of that negativity into something profoundly positive because you did. And, I mean, not everybody could do that. And that’s pretty real. That’s pretty big.

00:52:38:23 – 00:52:44:03
Lydia
One of the things I grew up with, I was lucky enough to grow up with, is that life actually isn’t fair.

00:52:44:03 – 00:53:09:17
Lydia
And you can see that because there’s people suffering extreme hardship of poverty or war or abuse within. So life isn’t fair. And so, you know, you can pretty much if you push it too much, then life can make it unfair. and so Ra and I were super lucky that kept me out.

00:53:09:17 – 00:53:10:20
Lydia
Of the blame.

00:53:10:22 – 00:53:12:16
Lydia
And I actually, this is what.

00:53:12:16 – 00:53:18:14
Lydia
I was going to say to you. I, because I knew we’d be talking about this if I was thinking to see.

00:53:18:16 – 00:53:20:15
Lydia
And the year before.

00:53:20:17 – 00:53:44:09
Lydia
I had had this huge adventure and it turned into an epic with John Wheeler, who’s a stallion climber and a pretty amazing person. And we had been in India. And on the kidnaps, and we’d been going to traverse the kidnaps dome kidnaps peak, another mob, and we got caught in a big storm. And of course, we didn’t have a map because there were no maps.

00:53:44:09 – 00:53:47:09
Lydia
We did have a map, but I only had like five lines on my map.

00:53:47:09 – 00:53:47:22
Steve
So I know this.

00:53:48:02 – 00:53:53:16
Lydia
This, you know, you’re crazy, isn’t it? Like. Oh, yeah. There’s a ridge that matches the ridge and.

00:53:53:16 – 00:53:55:10
Lydia
There’s like one line. Yeah.

00:53:55:12 – 00:53:57:22
Lydia
And people just kiss it.

00:53:57:23 – 00:54:00:00
Lydia
So surreal, isn’t it?

00:54:00:02 – 00:54:02:14
Lydia
And so we hadn’t. So we descended.

00:54:02:14 – 00:54:06:19
Lydia
Face of a mountain and a complete storm in a whiteout. On day six.

00:54:06:21 – 00:54:07:09
Lydia
We just came.

00:54:07:11 – 00:54:18:22
Lydia
From over 7000m without a rope and a big storm. And we had we got caught in six avalanches and buried in a snow cave, collapsed on me in an avalanche grotto that was a James Bond day.

00:54:18:24 – 00:54:20:13
Lydia
And then near the.

00:54:20:13 – 00:54:29:02
Lydia
End of that day, 16 hours later or something, at this epicness and Nate and nearly dying multiple times, then, we ended.

00:54:29:02 – 00:54:30:23
Lydia
Up having that finding this little shelter.

00:54:30:23 – 00:54:32:14
Lydia
Under this little triangular ice.

00:54:32:14 – 00:54:35:01
Lydia
Cliff. And we were standing.

00:54:35:01 – 00:54:37:11
Lydia
There is another avalanche coming down and.

00:54:37:11 – 00:54:38:10
Lydia
But it wasn’t so big.

00:54:38:13 – 00:54:45:09
Lydia
And we managed to not be buried and patted down around our feet. And we were quite wet in the post cellar, but.

00:54:45:11 – 00:54:47:01
Lydia
We were just looking and looking.

00:54:47:01 – 00:54:48:04
Lydia
And looking at the storm.

00:54:48:04 – 00:54:48:24
Lydia
Because that last.

00:54:48:24 – 00:54:50:08
Lydia
Avalanche wasn’t as big as the ones.

00:54:50:08 – 00:54:50:24
Lydia
Before.

00:54:51:01 – 00:55:05:14
Lydia
So does that mean, of course, is the snow falling less intensely? And I said to John, you know, how long do these storms happen? And, last and, this area and with this is day two of the storm and, and the day one, I spent vomiting and altitude.

00:55:05:16 – 00:55:07:10
Lydia
And,

00:55:07:12 – 00:55:11:23
Lydia
And he said, sometimes mostly too. But I saw them last fall and I went.

00:55:12:00 – 00:55:15:12
Lydia
Yeah, well, I won’t last. I will tonight.

00:55:15:12 – 00:55:30:15
Lydia
I’ll probably just get a bit of cold damage because I’m a bit damp, but I’m, I’m not sure even if we don’t get buried with, I will last another 24 hours out in the open, all 36 be. And he goes, yeah, I’m, I’m pretty much the same.

00:55:30:15 – 00:55:37:05
Lydia
I reckon. And then at that point I thought about it a lot later, of course. And this is true.

00:55:37:05 – 00:55:39:17
Lydia
Really momentous moment of learning.

00:55:39:19 – 00:55:40:24
Lydia
Is that.

00:55:41:01 – 00:55:46:06
Lydia
We didn’t have that much gas, personal energy left, no gas on the stove and gas in our bodies.

00:55:46:08 – 00:55:48:01
Lydia
And then he didn’t.

00:55:48:01 – 00:55:50:05
Lydia
Complaining that he was there.

00:55:50:07 – 00:55:51:15
Lydia
And I didn’t complain.

00:55:51:15 – 00:55:52:16
Lydia
That I was here.

00:55:52:18 – 00:55:59:19
Lydia
And because we got ourselves there. And so nowadays, we would say we didn’t.

00:55:59:19 – 00:56:03:00
Lydia
Assume blame culture. We didn’t buy into the blame culture.

00:56:03:02 – 00:56:08:22
Lydia
It wasn’t somebody else’s fault. It wasn’t the storm’s fault, and we weren’t innocent. We’ve gone and.

00:56:08:24 – 00:56:17:22
Lydia
Plotted our way along the ridge, and they got caught in a storm and then descended a mountain that we’d never seen before without a rope. And it’s really steep and there was an avalanche. We’d done it.

00:56:17:24 – 00:56:18:15
Lydia
And yes.

00:56:18:15 – 00:56:19:17
Lydia
It wasn’t fair. But you.

00:56:19:17 – 00:56:21:23
Lydia
Can. But life isn’t fair, and that’s the.

00:56:21:23 – 00:56:26:01
Lydia
Beauty of it. And that’s why, by artist created and all this kind of stuff, you know, because.

00:56:26:01 – 00:56:27:24
Lydia
It’s mutating, mutating.

00:56:28:05 – 00:56:29:18
Lydia
Left and right. And that’s not fair.

00:56:29:20 – 00:56:32:15
Lydia
And, and because we.

00:56:32:15 – 00:56:38:17
Lydia
Didn’t complain, we didn’t drag each other down and you would have had these experiences so many times, Dave.

00:56:38:19 – 00:56:43:08
Lydia
And because and therefore we were able to harness the third of.

00:56:43:11 – 00:56:46:02
Lydia
Lydia that was left in the third of John.

00:56:46:02 – 00:56:47:16
Lydia
Was left, that’s two thirds of a person.

00:56:47:20 – 00:56:50:12
Lydia
And that got us down.

00:56:50:14 – 00:56:53:15
Lydia
and I took that, and I came away.

00:56:53:15 – 00:57:00:13
Lydia
From it, I got PTSD and started a war for two days without talking after that, because, you know, it was so traumatic.

00:57:00:15 – 00:57:04:22
Steve
Near-death is very one of the, one of the most severe traumas you can experience.

00:57:04:24 – 00:57:06:05
Lydia
Yeah, yeah.

00:57:06:07 – 00:57:08:21
Steve
I mean, I can’t stop, I mean, multiple times.

00:57:08:23 – 00:57:12:18
Lydia
Multiple times. And, Yeah. And, but then.

00:57:12:18 – 00:57:20:07
Lydia
I went on to climb, and the third one, you know, I love, but, because I was young and motivated.

00:57:20:09 – 00:57:22:07
Lydia
I want to be optimistic.

00:57:22:09 – 00:57:39:22
Steve
And because when you’re young, you can sweep the trauma under the rug. Because it’s. The rug isn’t, it’s not bulging with trauma yet. There’s still relatively little dust. Trauma does thunder there. So there’s room for more when you get older. there’s a lot more trauma dust under that rug, and it’s harder to sweep it under. But yeah.

00:57:39:24 – 00:57:47:14
Lydia
It’s a really good analogy, but I think the rug is the adventure and underneath is the trauma dust. Okay. And then there’s another adventure, you know.

00:57:47:19 – 00:57:54:22
Steve
Yeah. Just throw another adventure over the trauma. Yeah I’m fighting it out a little bit. Stomp on it.

00:57:54:24 – 00:57:57:03
Lydia
Yeah, yeah, yeah. But I realized.

00:57:57:03 – 00:57:57:14
Lydia
I had the.

00:57:57:14 – 00:57:59:01
Lydia
Resource to.

00:57:59:01 – 00:58:05:17
Lydia
Climb. By that time I wanted to have a go at Mount Everest, but. No, there wasn’t an expedition yet, but I.

00:58:05:19 – 00:58:06:22
Lydia
Got 8000.

00:58:06:22 – 00:58:08:14
Lydia
Meter peak because that’s what I was going to.

00:58:08:19 – 00:58:09:13
Lydia
I had.

00:58:09:17 – 00:58:15:09
Lydia
The resource to climb to 8000 because I had the resource to harness.

00:58:15:15 – 00:58:16:14
Lydia
Everything.

00:58:16:14 – 00:58:19:20
Lydia
Of mine. And I was a human. And other humans are DNA.

00:58:19:22 – 00:58:26:07
Lydia
So, you know, that took me in and took me.

00:58:26:07 – 00:58:28:12
Lydia
Away from blaming.

00:58:28:14 – 00:58:31:21
Lydia
Because I realized the power if you accept.

00:58:31:21 – 00:58:40:08
Lydia
Responsibility. So this is what I say sometimes, and, but, and, corporate presentations or inspirational.

00:58:40:08 – 00:58:48:08
Lydia
Talk is if you teach your child or you teach yourself about the bad things that happen.

00:58:48:08 – 00:58:50:16
Lydia
To you it is somebody else’s fault.

00:58:50:18 – 00:58:51:11
Lydia
It’s their fault.

00:58:51:11 – 00:58:54:07
Lydia
Therefore, I’ll sue them, so to speak.

00:58:54:09 – 00:58:58:17
Lydia
Then logically, most of the good things that happen to you are.

00:58:58:17 – 00:59:00:14
Lydia
Also somebody else’s fault.

00:59:00:16 – 00:59:09:10
Lydia
So therefore you don’t have to take away your advocacy, you take away your, your, your own empowerment.

00:59:09:10 – 00:59:10:11
Steve
Your own agency.

00:59:10:11 – 00:59:17:04
Lydia
Create more good things, your own agency, because somebody else is the.

00:59:17:07 – 00:59:18:12
Steve
Doing all the things to you?

00:59:18:17 – 00:59:28:19
Lydia
Yeah, exactly. They’re doing things to you. And so no wonder our teenagers are really stressed because we’ve brought them up in a world of blame culture.

00:59:29:12 – 00:59:31:21
Lydia
Hello.

00:59:31:23 – 01:00:01:11
Steve
Can we go back to that? Because I agree wholeheartedly with this. You took that knowledge that you gained from this epic and Kedarnath and that’s a mountain in the Indian Himalaya. You took that and you turned it into this knowledge, as you said, that you could dig really deep and.

01:00:01:11 – 01:00:03:13
Lydia
Yeah, but that took years.

01:00:03:15 – 01:00:08:05
Steve
And did it do it or was it available on cash the next immediately after?

01:00:08:06 – 01:00:08:17
Lydia
Oh no.

01:00:08:17 – 01:00:09:14
Lydia
Okay.

01:00:09:16 – 01:00:10:09
Lydia
It was available.

01:00:10:09 – 01:00:17:19
Lydia
Optimistically on cash amount. I had a ball and I climbed with these baskets and we did it alpine style in the end. And then, you know, a large. Yeah, yeah.

01:00:17:20 – 01:00:38:23
Steve
But you know, you went straight over and did this other, other thing like, you know, maybe these are maybe there’s some slow and some fast thinking here, maybe there’s some subconscious like, yeah, this is hard, but I’m hard, I’m tough, I can endure and I’m human and they’re human, like, you know, why can’t I say you can do it?

01:00:38:23 – 01:01:05:08
Steve
Why can’t I do it? I mean, that’s I think, honestly, one of the most powerful things that you can say to yourself in almost any human endeavor, right? Like, and I’ve certainly said it to myself like, and we’ve also all marveled at the pioneer is like, you know, wow, these guys climb this mountain 100 years ago with, you know, hub nail boots and, you know, we’ve all had these conversations with our mates in the mountains, right?

01:01:05:10 – 01:01:30:15
Steve
It’s a combination. I think the real conversation there is one of would we have been able to do that had we had only the resources, the limited resources and knowledge that they had? You know, aren’t we lucky to live in this time where we have, you know, incredible steel crampons that stay sharp for days and GPS instead of, you know, blank maps and, you know, these kinds of things?

01:01:30:17 – 01:01:46:23
Steve
I mean, I think that’s really a gem of an insight. I think that you learned that, but you had to learn that through six avalanche burials or whatever it was. I lost count, you know, and just completed the epic. And is there another way to learn that?

01:01:47:00 – 01:01:49:02
Lydia
Oh, you I’m.

01:01:49:02 – 01:01:49:23
Lydia
Sure there is.

01:01:50:00 – 01:01:50:15
Lydia
You know, you do.

01:01:50:15 – 01:01:56:16
Lydia
Learn some things when you grow up as you and your family and, perhaps, your parents.

01:01:56:18 – 01:01:57:18
Lydia
How old are your sons?

01:01:57:18 – 01:01:59:14
Steve
They are five and eight. Right now.

01:01:59:16 – 01:02:05:01
Lydia
Okay. Well, you know, you’ll be talking to them and you’ll be hearing conversations like this.

01:02:05:03 – 01:02:06:10
Lydia
That goes into.

01:02:06:10 – 01:02:07:11
Lydia
Their DNA.

01:02:07:13 – 01:02:12:20
Lydia
For sure. So they’ll come away, they’ll see how their parents think.

01:02:12:20 – 01:02:22:07
Lydia
And react and they’ll come away with knowledge. And, you know, if they’ve got climbing, skiing, parents, they’ll come away with the expert. The experience of knowing how to climb and.

01:02:22:07 – 01:02:28:11
Lydia
Skiing, but also how to think. It’s the biggest present that we can give people. And they don’t have any.

01:02:28:11 – 01:02:29:22
Lydia
To be our own children.

01:02:29:24 – 01:02:32:20
Steve
But, they’re often better not to be, I’d say.

01:02:32:22 – 01:02:36:24
Lydia
And if you’ve grown up in a house where people think about how people think.

01:02:37:01 – 01:02:46:13
Lydia
And I think that’s probably what I did, I probably grew up in a house where my mother taught me to think how people think and how do you think? And so I oh.

01:02:46:17 – 01:02:46:23
Lydia
This.

01:02:46:23 – 01:03:17:15
Lydia
Isn’t going so well. I’m feeling like shit. Is there another way to think about this? Is there another approach? And then possibly retrospectively, through decades, decades later, I can philosophize about it. But basically post Everest drama was shit to go through. Excuse the language. So I should not be disciplined. But you know, it wasn’t very nice and, and but, I’m very lucky that biochemically I didn’t stay down.

01:03:17:17 – 01:03:30:18
Steve
Yeah, that’s a good point of differentiation. I mean, I imagine you often get asked what advice would you give to young women climbers trying to find their way into the mountains and this kind of thing?

01:03:30:24 – 01:03:32:06
Lydia
The immediate.

01:03:32:08 – 01:03:39:21
Lydia
advice that I give, female alpinist that you like is not to carry really heavy loads.

01:03:40:14 – 01:04:02:24
Lydia
You know, not to trash themselves because women, Fina, joints are sloppier at joints per body weight. a smaller we have, you know, 12 to 24% pure red blood cells per body, per, volume of, red blood. And if they last, the red blood cells last less time than the men’s blood cells, you know, as they go through the body.

01:04:03:01 – 01:04:12:10
Lydia
And, and, you know, have the same body weight as you and I, the same body weight. You have up to 40% more muscle mass than me, blah, blah, blah, all that kind of stuff.

01:04:12:13 – 01:04:13:01
Lydia
You know.

01:04:13:02 – 01:04:26:10
Lydia
Men, machines, lots of women are as strong or stronger than men. But if you plot at the normal curve, don’t wear yourself out carrying huge loads just to be part melted. More snow.

01:04:26:13 – 01:04:27:12
Steve
Melt more snow, you.

01:04:27:12 – 01:04:28:06
Lydia
Know, work.

01:04:28:06 – 01:04:47:14
Lydia
It melts more snow, carries light packs, and spends the money on packs that trash out. We didn’t have the option of light packs. We have big heavy canvas packs. Back in the day. But you know the next generation will have different gear as well. You know? Now we have 100 gram harnesses. Look at our harnesses. In the olden days.

01:04:47:16 – 01:04:49:00
Lydia
And

01:04:49:02 – 01:04:49:16
Lydia
so and so.

01:04:49:16 – 01:04:58:03
Lydia
Fourth. So that’s an immediate thing. And, as far as both genders.

01:04:58:05 – 01:04:59:03
Lydia
Then I.

01:04:59:04 – 01:05:02:16
Lydia
Think the best thing you can do is to bring people.

01:05:02:16 – 01:05:06:06
Lydia
Up, non-religious, if the young people end up.

01:05:06:12 – 01:05:06:19
Lydia
Having.

01:05:06:19 – 01:05:25:04
Lydia
To sit at the table, eat the adult food, not get their little precious meals cooked for them differently, they have to eat adult food, you know, they, treated like young, young people and their opinions, respected for people of that age and their experience.

01:05:25:06 – 01:05:28:02
Lydia
And their lesson.

01:05:28:04 – 01:05:32:23
Lydia
They’re listened to at the table and they have to listen to other people.

01:05:33:00 – 01:05:36:00
Lydia
then, then and they’re encouraged.

01:05:36:00 – 01:05:47:20
Lydia
With curiosity, they can have a conversation with somebody who is an older woman. And if they are just having a conversation with another person, then you’re not going to have a problem.

01:05:48:19 – 01:06:04:03
Lydia
Because then you have this intrinsic respect for humanity and gender differences, become less of an issue. The other thing is that life isn’t fair.

01:06:04:05 – 01:06:11:07
Lydia
You know, you can do the best with what you have, and you can’t always do the best. You know, you have to give yourself.

01:06:11:07 – 01:06:12:21
Lydia
Some slack because, you.

01:06:12:21 – 01:06:14:10
Lydia
Know, over insecure, over.

01:06:14:10 – 01:06:18:19
Lydia
Achievers tend to always want to do their best when they.

01:06:18:21 – 01:06:46:15
Steve
You know, I laughed out loud when I read that, that you described yourself as an insecure overachiever somewhere in my research, because I’ve used that term for myself and I learned that term from a friend of mine who has done this in a very different way. But it’s working for him, and that, you know, is something that I’ve marveled at because I think that’s largely what drove me.

01:06:46:15 – 01:07:09:07
Steve
And sounds like it was a similar thing for you, whether that’s related to The wild child and you’re nodding. But, you know, there’s also these people that do it out of the pure love of it, right? And they’re just balanced and healthy emotionally, and they have love for it and they have enthusiasm for it. And they’re also incredibly successful.

01:07:09:09 – 01:07:11:18
Steve
And life isn’t fair.

01:07:11:20 – 01:07:14:16
Lydia
well, I think.

01:07:14:18 – 01:07:16:06
Lydia
Actually most.

01:07:16:08 – 01:07:16:19
Lydia
most.

01:07:16:19 – 01:07:19:03
Lydia
High achievers have sleepless nights.

01:07:19:21 – 01:07:33:04
Lydia
They may not have sleepless nights going, oh, what will people think of me? But they will have sleepless nights about doing their best because they want to. Not necessarily because they’re driven from competitiveness. They could be driven to something else.

01:07:33:06 – 01:07:35:01
Lydia
And I also think that you.

01:07:35:01 – 01:07:36:10
Lydia
And I and a lot of.

01:07:36:10 – 01:07:36:22
Lydia
People, just.

01:07:36:22 – 01:07:55:17
Lydia
Because you’re an insecure Motiva, doesn’t mean that you’re not passionate about nature and you’re passionate about the experiences that you have in these beautiful places. And you’re not passionate about people, which means you’re passionate. So passionate. You have a podcast where you talk to a whole lot of people. And because it feeds your curiosity about how people’s minds.

01:07:55:17 – 01:08:25:07
Steve
Totally. Yeah. This is entirely a creative project for me that doesn’t really have any meaning or doesn’t necessarily benefit the athlete business model in any way. It’s just something I have to do because I want to find out. I want to talk to you, and I want to talk to these other people. And I have this thesis that, when I was young, I was so driven to achieve, and it didn’t matter if there was a future to it.

01:08:25:09 – 01:08:51:13
Steve
And one of the things that I experienced in my life is having lost a lot of really dear, dear friends and to mostly to the mountains, but also to cancer and other things and. Especially the ones that I lost to climbing. I always felt like, and I wish that they had seen how much good work there was still left to do for them, because most of them were honestly quite young.

01:08:51:13 – 01:09:01:04
Steve
You know, they’re in their 20s and 30s. The occasional one was 40 or, you know, my son was 42.

01:09:01:06 – 01:09:02:14
Lydia
Max.

01:09:02:16 – 01:09:03:22
Steve
Right.

01:09:03:24 – 01:09:04:19
Lydia
Yeah.

01:09:04:21 – 01:09:42:04
Steve
I mean, talk about imagining what mugs would be like today, right? Like he was a walking prophet 30 years ago. Like, imagine if he was alive today and what he would have to say to us, right. Like, but I don’t think that there would be. So I guess what my thesis with some of this, this inquiry, is to actually create something that hopefully will stand the test of time and people, young people will listen to and hear you and hear me and hear others that and think, yeah, okay, I want like, that’s real wisdom.

01:09:42:06 – 01:10:05:07
Steve
That’s, that’s a life worth living it. And I want to have that part too. I want to have that wisdom that is earned when I’m in my 50s and 60s and 70s and 80s and maybe 90s, you know, that would be something that would be a legacy, right, to to really leave behind, to give, to show people that that’s possible.

01:10:05:09 – 01:10:07:19
Lydia
Okay. So that’s really interesting.

01:10:07:19 – 01:10:09:03
Lydia
I know, and you’re saying that I’m going.

01:10:09:09 – 01:10:14:21
Lydia
Well, maybe if we. If, if young people.

01:10:14:23 – 01:10:16:08
Lydia
realize.

01:10:16:10 – 01:10:16:23
Lydia
A, we’re.

01:10:16:23 – 01:10:26:09
Lydia
Not sexist teenagers, so to speak, in this setting and base camp, or the sitting around the dinner table, actually listening.

01:10:26:10 – 01:10:28:06
Lydia
Not all the time.

01:10:28:07 – 01:10:35:06
Lydia
Just as they can, they can engage. Then, then they’ll have this.

01:10:35:06 – 01:10:36:20
Lydia
They will grow.

01:10:36:20 – 01:10:49:04
Lydia
More of the value. But there’s so much you’re gonna learn so much when you’re young. I mean, it’s, you know, you learn how to hold a spoon when you’re very young, and then after that, it’s kind of like an adult version of the same thing. It’s not really like learning how to hold.

01:10:49:05 – 01:10:50:02
Lydia
A.

01:10:50:04 – 01:10:51:24
Steve
File a tax return.

01:10:52:01 – 01:10:54:21
Lydia
Yeah. For the tax return. And until you.

01:10:54:21 – 01:10:58:09
Lydia
Learn that you can pay someone else to do it.

01:10:58:11 – 01:11:02:15
Lydia
but one, you know, when we come to mentors, if.

01:11:02:15 – 01:11:06:08
Lydia
We look at mentorship, I strongly believe.

01:11:06:10 – 01:11:07:20
Lydia
That mentorship.

01:11:07:20 – 01:11:08:22
Lydia
Goes both ways.

01:11:09:01 – 01:11:12:18
Lydia
So the classic white, middle class.

01:11:12:20 – 01:11:17:24
Lydia
The model of mentorship is the older person being a mentor to the younger person.

01:11:18:04 – 01:11:18:18
Lydia
Now, in.

01:11:18:18 – 01:11:23:14
Lydia
Maori philosophy or Maori culture, they have two karna.

01:11:23:16 – 01:11:34:21
Lydia
And that is the mentor and the mentee. And that can switch in an hour into reverse. So they have the belief.

01:11:34:21 – 01:11:41:23
Lydia
That a young person can mentor an older person, and an old person can mentor a younger person. It just depends on what you’re talking about.

01:11:42:00 – 01:11:43:19
Lydia
If we brought this.

01:11:44:00 – 01:11:45:08
Lydia
Philosophy more.

01:11:45:14 – 01:11:46:10
Lydia
Then the young.

01:11:46:10 – 01:11:49:02
Lydia
Person sitting at the table or in base camp or something.

01:11:49:07 – 01:11:50:10
Lydia
Would.

01:11:50:12 – 01:11:53:13
Lydia
See the benefit of being older.

01:11:53:15 – 01:12:00:08
Lydia
Because there’s more mutual respect, therefore, that you would know.

01:12:00:08 – 01:12:03:06
Lydia
That when you’re older, you can still keep learning.

01:12:03:08 – 01:12:06:21
Lydia
It’s just a binary system. It’s just like you learn.

01:12:07:02 – 01:12:19:06
Lydia
And you teach and you teach and you learn, and it should be non-racist. And therefore, then you open the door more to the reason why you might as well live a bit longer, because you can keep learning.

01:12:19:07 – 01:12:21:08
Lydia
It’s more interesting when you’re young.

01:12:21:08 – 01:12:22:21
Lydia
Being old is really uninteresting.

01:12:22:22 – 01:12:38:05
Steve
When I was a boy, I was really into the Boy Scouts, and one of the things that I learned in the Scouts was that, you know, I would go through these things of having to learn these tasks or whatever, like camping or something, a first aid or something, and then shortly after that I would have to teach it.

01:12:38:06 – 01:13:00:09
Steve
And I actually didn’t know it until I taught it. And it was like, that was a hit, that I learned that really young. And I was like, okay, so that’s how this works. Okay, I learned the basics and then some time passed. Maybe I do a little practice and then I’m gonna have to teach someone else. So then that’s when I actually go and bone up and really like to fill in the gaps.

01:13:00:11 – 01:13:11:10
Steve
And after I’ve done that for a while, then I actually know it. And I mean, even guiding is that way, right? Like, I mean, teaching ice climbing helped by ice climbing so much.

01:13:11:12 – 01:13:18:10
Lydia
Yes, absolutely. And that requires work and that. Yeah. and hard work.

01:13:18:12 – 01:13:23:11
Lydia
Even the term hard work is often said, oh, that’s hard work as opposed to.

01:13:23:11 – 01:13:25:10
Lydia
Oh wow, some hard work.

01:13:25:12 – 01:13:33:21
Lydia
We don’t celebrate the skill of embracing hard work. The actual knowledge that, you know, well, that’s okay.

01:13:33:21 – 01:13:35:01
Lydia
That’s hard work. you.

01:13:35:01 – 01:13:39:03
Lydia
Sometimes it’s not that pleasant, and sometimes it’s hard.

01:13:39:05 – 01:13:42:08
Lydia
But I can do it. And sometimes just because it’s.

01:13:42:08 – 01:13:45:20
Lydia
Hard doesn’t mean it’s fun. Not fun. I should say.

01:13:45:22 – 01:13:51:21
Lydia
Or fun. Yeah. So, you know, is it? And it’s like when we talk about the word consequence.

01:13:51:21 – 01:13:54:14
Lydia
Oh, my God, that’s a really consequential decision.

01:13:54:16 – 01:13:56:07
Lydia
Yeah. But actually with good.

01:13:56:07 – 01:14:06:00
Lydia
Consequences to, you know, the consequence of doing exercises that get you fit, a consequence of eating healthy food is that you get more healthy. The consequence of learning something is that you know it at the end.

01:14:06:00 – 01:14:09:21
Lydia
So, this is, you know, we load we.

01:14:09:21 – 01:14:11:00
Lydia
Back, load these.

01:14:11:00 – 01:14:18:04
Lydia
These terms are really important for life, real life, not protected.

01:14:18:04 – 01:14:19:17
Lydia
Little bubble and a building.

01:14:19:17 – 01:14:21:09
Lydia
Environment.

01:14:21:11 – 01:14:23:07
Lydia
You know, we need to.

01:14:23:09 – 01:14:24:00
Lydia
we need to load.

01:14:24:00 – 01:14:26:03
Lydia
These terms of positivity as well as negative.

01:14:26:04 – 01:14:27:02
Steve
I love that, yeah.

01:14:27:03 – 01:14:28:17
Lydia
I mean, you know. Yeah.

01:14:28:18 – 01:14:35:11
Steve
And real life and not in protected bubbles. Yes. More of that, please. Yeah.

01:14:35:13 – 01:14:57:18
Lydia
Years ago I was doing a keynote for a conference in New Zealand, but a whole lot of scientists had come over for it, it was movement and or ergonomics and extreme environment. And so I was talking to this professor of, physical science and, one of the universities in New Zealand, and.

01:14:57:24 – 01:15:00:19
Lydia
He was talking about extreme environments, and he interrupted me.

01:15:00:19 – 01:15:15:14
Lydia
And he said, you know, Lydia, and this will stay with me forever. He said, I actually think that the built environment is now one of the most extreme environments that we subject ourselves to. And that stuck with me. You know, you don’t.

01:15:15:16 – 01:15:16:00
Steve
yeah.

01:15:16:02 – 01:15:34:04
Lydia
Yeah, you don’t trigger. But a whole lot of development inside the brain. If you live in a straight, flat, organized environment, you know, you don’t do this. You don’t do that. You don’t. There’s no consequence to things. You’re not going to break your leg and then die, if you like, or something like that.

01:15:34:04 – 01:15:35:05
Lydia
So,

01:15:35:07 – 01:15:39:02
Lydia
Yes, the built environment is a really extreme environment.

01:15:39:04 – 01:16:02:09
Steve
Yeah. So at the outset of this project, I knew, as I said before, that I was going to call on those of us who have spent, you know, 4 or 5, six decades in the mountains to help us work towards what I hope to be sort of a philosophy of the mountains. And, you know, you’re currently 62 years old, you’ve done big wall first ascents and first female sense.

01:16:02:09 – 01:16:25:08
Steve
You’re the first woman to climb an 8000 meter peak in alpine style, the first woman to climb Everest without supplemental oxygen. You’ve created Everest a bunch of times. You’re a physiotherapist, you’re FMJ certified guide, and you still are guiding and climbing actively. You’ve written an incredible book. How do you want to be remembered?

01:16:25:10 – 01:16:25:14
Lydia
as.

01:16:25:14 – 01:16:29:05
Lydia
Funny.

01:16:29:07 – 01:16:29:22
Lydia
as.

01:16:30:02 – 01:16:32:19
Lydia
positive and as good company, I guess.

01:16:32:21 – 01:16:34:15
Lydia
But,

01:16:34:17 – 01:16:37:17
Lydia
Somebody would like to have a different year in.

01:16:37:18 – 01:16:43:15
Lydia
Security, visa and security. no, no, no, I just think, how would it.

01:16:43:17 – 01:16:46:12
Lydia
That’s an interesting question.

01:16:46:14 – 01:17:28:22
Steve
it doesn’t have to be from insecurity, though. I mean, like, that’s that, I think your inner critic is talking there. But being good company, that’s not a small feat. Right? Like that’s something that you might say offhand and it might sound light and might sound insignificant at first. But if you think about it, you know, I’m I immediately think of like a Winston Churchill type character that would, you know, have like his brandy glass had like just be like telling you these incredibly clever, witty and subtle jokes and talking about the war, the stories like all the things kind of making fun of everything.

01:17:29:02 – 01:17:45:09
Steve
But in a very, way that enlightens and enlivens conversation. I mean, that’s a fine goal, I think. I mean, that’s a very, very human, fine goal.

01:17:45:11 – 01:17:52:17
Lydia
I want to die knowing that I used as much of my brain power as I can. I think I’m.

01:17:52:19 – 01:17:53:10
Lydia
I’m reasonable.

01:17:53:10 – 01:18:16:00
Lydia
Smart, but I think I try to use as much of my brain as I can. I like these conversations, but I went to a play last week and the actor as a single person played just phenomenal. And the actor came out afterwards into the Q&A and he was speaking about the, bringing a Japanese noh theater in and, and with the Greek philosophy of theater.

01:18:16:04 – 01:18:20:11
Lydia
And he was just bringing it and I was going, I am in the presence of a great man.

01:18:20:11 – 01:18:24:00
Lydia
Teacher, not a good teacher, but a great teacher. That’s what I am.

01:18:24:00 – 01:18:28:05
Lydia
Felt like I was hanging out with the Slovaks on Everest. But I couldn’t have verbalized that as well.

01:18:28:05 – 01:18:29:01
Lydia
These are,

01:18:29:03 – 01:18:30:02
Lydia
Peta is not a.

01:18:30:02 – 01:18:42:17
Lydia
Good teacher. He’s a great teacher. And this, the ability to engage with the world, not to waste your life. It’s. You don’t have to.

01:18:42:17 – 01:18:43:21
Lydia
To go and climb mountains.

01:18:43:21 – 01:18:46:14
Lydia
But this engages in love.

01:18:46:16 – 01:18:48:02
Lydia
Care and.

01:18:48:04 – 01:18:49:08
Lydia
And learn and.

01:18:49:08 – 01:18:49:22
Lydia
Grow.

01:18:49:22 – 01:18:50:24
Lydia
And

01:18:51:01 – 01:18:58:12
Lydia
Develop ideas. And, you know, I’m sure that if we meet again, we’ll we’ll, let’s have a great conversation.

01:18:58:14 – 01:19:31:18
Steve
I mean, I think you are a great teacher, Lydia. I mean, I think that you owe it to yourself. And, you know, I, I’m I’m sure everyone listening to this conversation today will agree that, you know, you should own that because you, you are that. And, you know, I think that one of the great beauties of the mountain experience is how, you know, it can take you from, you know, just to use abstractions.

01:19:31:20 – 01:20:05:23
Steve
You know, a single child of a single mother and somewhere in New Zealand who had a chip on her shoulder and was a wild child and went to Alaska and climbed big walls in Yosemite and climbed Mount Everest, was called a liar for not having the right photo. And, you know, all of the things that you went through and learned through all of those things, how to how to manage it.

01:20:05:23 – 01:20:33:01
Steve
Right. Like it’s a little bit like I think what, you know, makes great humans is doing hard things and finding, you know, it’s that, you know, I mean, I think we could talk I could ask this question about Everest, like, were you the person that could climb Everest before you climbed it, or were you only the person who could climb Everest after you climbed it during.

01:20:33:01 – 01:20:50:01
Steve
Actually during. Yeah. Or during? Yeah. Yeah. But were you already that person and then you just had to manifest it and put one foot in front of the other, or did it, could it not happen until you actually went through the action?

01:20:50:03 – 01:20:58:06
Lydia
No, I think it when you do really hard things, maybe you realize just before you know you because it’s only to just before.

01:20:58:06 – 01:21:01:03
Lydia
If they’re really hard, you’ve gained enough experience to.

01:21:01:03 – 01:21:02:04
Lydia
Say if you were a.

01:21:02:04 – 01:21:09:09
Lydia
Dancer and you were doing a really, really challenging solo piece, then it’s the.

01:21:09:09 – 01:21:10:09
Lydia
Build up for you.

01:21:10:09 – 01:21:12:20
Lydia
Go to the Olympics. They talk about the build up.

01:21:12:22 – 01:21:15:06
Lydia
So essentially you’re the.

01:21:15:06 – 01:21:22:09
Lydia
Person who can do that solo peacefully with a medal or just do really well.

01:21:22:11 – 01:21:25:11
Lydia
you know, you’re pushing to that moment. That’s what I’m doing.

01:21:25:11 – 01:21:26:09
Lydia
Something new is.

01:21:26:13 – 01:21:27:20
Lydia
So it’s just before.

01:21:27:20 – 01:21:31:08
Lydia
You do it so that you become the person who can do it just.

01:21:31:08 – 01:21:31:19
Lydia
Before.

01:21:31:19 – 01:21:32:05
Steve
I totally.

01:21:32:05 – 01:21:39:12
Lydia
Agree. Yeah. And I think that gives you the confidence, you know, that gives you that sort of okay. I’m ready. Oh I.

01:21:39:12 – 01:21:40:11
Lydia
Don’t know if I’m ready, but.

01:21:40:11 – 01:21:42:12
Lydia
I think I’m ready, you know.

01:21:42:12 – 01:21:45:10
Steve
Or let’s find out if I’m ready.

01:21:45:12 – 01:21:47:01
Lydia
Yeah. If I’m ready.

01:21:47:01 – 01:22:29:23
Steve
Yeah, yeah. And then like let it, let the cards fall where they may and then come back and say, okay, I was ready or it was, I wasn’t ready. Like, let’s try again or not try again or change the objective. I think that that approach to, to life, but also to, you know, personal development, organizational development, you know, there’s just so many ways to apply, apply that, you know, when I’m, you know, internally with Uphill Athlete and I tell my like my colleagues, this like everything’s a test and it’s not a pass or fail.

01:22:29:23 – 01:22:53:07
Steve
Where are you strong? Where do you need help? Where do you need assistance and how and and can I assist you in those areas? And if I can’t, who can? And do we have somebody in our team that can or do we have to go find somebody outside of our team that can, you know, and let’s just keep having this conversation about how we’re all doing in these continual tests.

01:22:53:12 – 01:23:16:24
Steve
And it’s like every I tell them, like, basically we’re on a cycle. There’s a major test every 3 to 4 months, and then we take a little break and then we do something hard again. And, you know, and then we talk about it. We observe ourselves, we observe one another, we give feedback. And, you know, in the mountains, the feedback loop is much more personal.

01:23:16:24 – 01:23:37:21
Steve
It’s with yourself, right? Like it’s like I’m feeling good today. I’m feeling bad today. Like I feel strongly about that kind of thing. In team environments, the feedback loop is, you know, your colleague saying like this, this sucks. This copy is terrible. I don’t like it. I don’t know why, but can you try again or whatever it is.

01:23:37:21 – 01:23:44:02
Steve
Right. Like, but in a compassionate way. Maybe that’s not a good example, but.

01:23:44:04 – 01:23:47:07
Lydia
Yeah, they’re all good. And I was going to say at the beginning of.

01:23:47:07 – 01:23:51:07
Lydia
When you just started speaking, I was thinking.

01:23:51:09 – 01:23:53:12
Lydia
That we’re talking. You’re saying did you.

01:23:53:12 – 01:23:58:02
Lydia
Become the person who could climb up before, during or after?

01:23:58:04 – 01:23:59:11
Lydia
and that really.

01:23:59:11 – 01:24:02:07
Lydia
Is focusing on the end goal.

01:24:02:09 – 01:24:09:03
Lydia
And I think that in order to help people on the passage, we need to.

01:24:09:03 – 01:24:10:08
Lydia
Celebrate.

01:24:10:10 – 01:24:11:19
Lydia
What already exists.

01:24:11:19 – 01:24:13:09
Lydia
And that’s the journey.

01:24:13:11 – 01:24:16:15
Lydia
More so if you.

01:24:16:17 – 01:24:21:06
Lydia
Say, not only will you be challenged, you know, you’ll be getting further.

01:24:21:06 – 01:24:24:10
Lydia
Along the way. But in order.

01:24:24:10 – 01:24:33:11
Lydia
To achieve that, you’ve connected one of your clients or an uphill athlete with, say, psychologist, you know, a sports psychologist, and.

01:24:33:13 – 01:24:39:00
Lydia
Then you’re not just it’s not just getting the information you need.

01:24:39:00 – 01:24:43:01
Lydia
To try to get better at doing your exercises, which would.

01:24:43:01 – 01:24:51:00
Lydia
Be what I need, from that sports psychologist, you also have the experience of spending.

01:24:51:00 – 01:24:53:09
Lydia
Time with the psychologist.

01:24:53:11 – 01:24:55:01
Lydia
So I am listening.

01:24:55:01 – 01:24:56:02
Lydia
To speak.

01:24:56:04 – 01:24:57:12
Lydia
This is cool.

01:24:57:12 – 01:25:01:16
Lydia
Experience spending time talking to Steve Haas. I’m so lucky.

01:25:01:18 – 01:25:02:18
Lydia
Because we can talk.

01:25:02:18 – 01:25:04:15
Lydia
About philosophy and ideas.

01:25:04:17 – 01:25:05:11
Lydia
And it’s true.

01:25:05:11 – 01:25:14:01
Lydia
Interesting, and I really hope that we do meet again soon, you know, because it’ll be fun. Yeah. And, funny and,

01:25:14:03 – 01:25:23:01
Lydia
Yeah. And so this, these two layers and so that, that then reinforces the.

01:25:23:01 – 01:25:29:23
Lydia
Fact that it’s the journey that gets us to the goal, that is what we are really relishing.

01:25:30:00 – 01:25:53:15
Steve
And, I mean, you’ve done this, I’m sure, a thousand times as a mountain guide. But we do this every day with uphill athletes to where people come to us and they say, I want to, I want to achieve the goal. I want to climb Everest or whatever the goal happens to be. I want to run this race. And what I know and what you know is that it’s not the goal, it’s the becoming the person that can do those things, you know?

01:25:53:15 – 01:26:19:20
Steve
And it’s a process. Like you said in the beginning, you talked about the the person that could show up and do the, do the basic things consistently well without making a big fuss out of, show up with sharp crampons, you know, goggles that are at least at the beginning, not cracked and not scratched. you know, boots that fit whatever the thing is.

01:26:19:20 – 01:26:29:04
Steve
Right. And have all that sorted be sorted, like, you know, and then you can work on the other things and it’s the becoming.

01:26:29:04 – 01:26:34:05
Lydia
Yeah, absolutely. Then you can take risks. That’s when you instead of having to risk that.

01:26:34:05 – 01:26:38:05
Lydia
Your goggles are going to break properly because they’ve got a crack and lots.

01:26:38:05 – 01:26:39:15
Lydia
Of scratches.

01:26:39:17 – 01:26:41:19
Lydia
Scratches on your goal was that thin ice.

01:26:41:19 – 01:26:44:08
Lydia
Up so you cannot see it in a whiteout.

01:26:44:10 – 01:26:45:22
Lydia
You can’t see in whiteout before.

01:26:45:22 – 01:26:54:00
Lydia
Oh yeah. You know. Yeah. And so but if you’re going to take that risk, if you’re going to take a unit of.

01:26:54:02 – 01:26:59:24
Lydia
Say, Ice out of ten risk or four out of ten risk, whatever risk profile you want,

01:27:00:01 – 01:27:03:00
Lydia
Then put it at the top.

01:27:03:02 – 01:27:07:05
Lydia
You know, don’t waste your risk taking because you got scratch goggles. Sort that out. You know.

01:27:07:05 – 01:27:07:14
Lydia
This really.

01:27:07:14 – 01:27:09:03
Lydia
Boring place to take risks.

01:27:09:05 – 01:27:13:17
Lydia
You know, make it fun. It means, like, it’s really cool to turn up with gold goggles because.

01:27:13:17 – 01:27:20:03
Lydia
You’ve got a unit of lemons that you can absorb or whatever people want to do when they talk about risk profile.

01:27:20:04 – 01:27:22:18
Lydia
Right. you know, you’ve got a unit of.

01:27:22:18 – 01:27:26:17
Lydia
Risk that you’re allowed to take before you like. Yeah. You like it. Yeah.

01:27:26:18 – 01:27:33:13
Lydia
Don’t waste it on goggles. Boring. Yeah. That’s making life fun. Yeah.

01:27:33:15 – 01:27:44:23
Steve
I asked you how you’d like to be remembered, and I’m going to ask you another really hard question. What is your dream at this point?

01:27:45:00 – 01:27:49:21
Lydia
Oh, that’s easy, my joints are wearing out and my dream is to.

01:27:49:23 – 01:27:51:01
Lydia
Write about.

01:27:51:03 – 01:28:13:14
Lydia
A dream I dream, and I’m not sure we’ll see. Because I am older, I’d like to climb another 8000 to the. Sure. I’d love to. And, I need to. My dream would be to just. So you know, I do have quite not very good knees. And I’ve got one particular knee at the well, one of my two knees, and that’s not very good.

01:28:13:14 – 01:28:20:01
Lydia
So, that would be me. It’s real practical in your face. Come on, Lydia, things are really happening.

01:28:20:03 – 01:28:25:07
Steve
So I. New knee. I get a new knee and climb and climb another 8000.

01:28:25:09 – 01:28:33:22
Lydia
Yeah, something like that. I do love expedition life, and I do love guiding at altitude. And,

01:28:33:24 – 01:28:40:18
Lydia
Yeah. And a dream. That would be kind of a practical dream. I don’t necessarily.

01:28:40:18 – 01:28:58:03
Lydia
I’m not sure if I can get another how much I can get out of my knee, but, you know, it just fits. Kind of managing it creatively and not missing out too much because, you know, I have the timescale of my age this and I hope that I can keep going high for a little bit longer. I’ve no idea.

01:28:58:05 – 01:29:11:19
Lydia
haven’t been to 8000. I’ve been to 7000 each year, but not to eight since my last April 2019. Then we had Covid and, you know, New Zealand closed down. It was pretty, but it was too hard to get back in.

01:29:11:24 – 01:29:15:04
Lydia
And so those are sort of practical dreams.

01:29:15:06 – 01:29:16:12
Lydia
And I want to.

01:29:16:12 – 01:29:20:07
Lydia
To, oh, this other career kind of thing.

01:29:20:09 – 01:29:23:11
Steve
See, say the crazy thing.

01:29:23:13 – 01:29:24:18
Lydia
I really like to.

01:29:24:18 – 01:29:26:11
Lydia
Start to make some films.

01:29:26:16 – 01:29:27:16
Lydia
I think I made a little.

01:29:27:16 – 01:29:32:06
Lydia
Film last year. I don’t own it, but it was my idea and I will.

01:29:32:06 – 01:29:35:23
Steve
Link to it in the show notes, because I. I’ve watched that. It’s really great.

01:29:36:00 – 01:29:36:14
Lydia
Do you like it?

01:29:36:15 – 01:29:37:05
Steve
I do, yeah.

01:29:37:09 – 01:29:37:22
Lydia
Yeah, yeah.

01:29:38:03 – 01:29:42:19
Steve
It’s just been really, I mean, I have only been on YouTube at least a couple of weeks.

01:29:42:21 – 01:29:46:20
Lydia
Has it? I don’t even know. Okay, that was on this is, take out of the path.

01:29:46:23 – 01:29:47:15
Lydia
Yeah.

01:29:47:17 – 01:29:48:23
Lydia
Is it? Yeah, yeah.

01:29:49:00 – 01:29:56:10
Lydia
And, so I and part of that is exploring how people think it’s exactly.

01:29:56:10 – 01:29:57:07
Lydia
What we’re doing here.

01:29:57:07 – 01:29:58:15
Lydia
We’re exploring.

01:29:58:15 – 01:29:59:02
Lydia
How people.

01:29:59:02 – 01:30:02:01
Lydia
Think who has had significance.

01:30:02:01 – 01:30:11:22
Lydia
Events in their life. That’s your whole thing. How have these events changed you? What do you think now? What did you think before? That’s your big question of this whole podcast.

01:30:11:24 – 01:30:20:20
Lydia
That’s what I have to do. Yeah, it’s so exciting. The mind is so exciting.

01:30:20:22 – 01:30:38:20
Steve
Yeah. And you have a lot to share about that. I think that that’s a great dream I love. I can’t wait just to. I’m sure we’ll talk again before I have a feeling. And, I can’t wait to see what happens with that? I know, make that happen.

01:30:38:22 – 01:30:40:11
Lydia
Well, you know, that’s the dream.

01:30:40:11 – 01:30:44:09
Lydia
But I’m also not, you know, I’m not living in Europe, and I’m not living in America.

01:30:44:09 – 01:30:49:09
Lydia
We’re open ism as a culture. And, with this more money.

01:30:49:11 – 01:30:50:13
Lydia
And I’m.

01:30:50:13 – 01:30:52:09
Lydia
Not the current hot chick.

01:30:52:09 – 01:30:54:06
Lydia
Doing super hard ice climbers.

01:30:54:08 – 01:30:58:15
Lydia
You know, just all that kind of stuff. I’m just a, you know.

01:30:58:17 – 01:30:59:12
Lydia
I’m just the same.

01:30:59:14 – 01:31:19:18
Steve
No, no, no, no, don’t you. You’re not allowed to say that here. You’re not just anything. You’re incredible. And this goes back to you know, the pioneer piece that I mentioned before, how I’m fascinated with people. And there’s a saying, you know, pioneers get arrows, settlers get land. Have you ever heard that?

01:31:19:20 – 01:31:21:22
Lydia
Pine pioneers get what?

01:31:21:24 – 01:31:23:08
Steve
Arrows.

01:31:23:10 – 01:31:24:14
Lydia
Arrows.

01:31:24:16 – 01:32:01:06
Steve
Pioneers get arrows. Settlers get land. And, you know, you’ve been a pioneer, whether you know in so many ways to who you are, it’s in your identity. It’s just how you show up in the world. And some it’s amazing. And that’s what we need more of. That’s why, I mean, if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the pioneering aspects that you’re like opening a trail that other people can be 62 and have done all these amazing things and still like, have big, amazing things left that you want to do and that you will do.

01:32:01:08 – 01:32:02:02
Lydia
Oh, yes.

01:32:02:04 – 01:32:19:05
Steve
I mean, and because you will become the person that can do it in the act of doing it or trying to do it right, I mean, to bring it full circle, right? Like that’s how you’ve done all these other things before. So why can’t you do that too? Like there’s no reason you can’t do that to zero.

01:32:19:07 – 01:32:19:21
Lydia
You should have.

01:32:19:21 – 01:32:24:24
Lydia
A company that inspires people to. Okay, I’m just going.

01:32:25:01 – 01:32:26:05
Steve
No. That’s true.

01:32:26:07 – 01:32:26:23
Lydia
There you go.

01:32:26:24 – 01:32:43:21
Steve
But you’ve done all of that. If I can offer you anything today, and and and in exchange for your being here and having these conversations, that would just be that I see you and I see how amazing you are. And I’m so happy to have had this chance to connect with you and have this conversation and share these ideas.

01:32:43:21 – 01:32:53:20
Steve
And I think our listeners will also appreciate it really a lot. How can our listeners find you or connect you in the ever present digital world?

01:32:53:22 – 01:32:54:15
Lydia
Instagram.

01:32:54:15 – 01:33:03:12
Lydia
Lydia Brady they can message me that way or, Instagram or Facebook or I think my email is pretty visible. Findable.

01:33:03:14 – 01:33:30:00
Steve
Yeah, Instagram and Facebook are always good. You’re out there and we’ll try to link to you in the show notes. Thank you so much, Lydia. Thanks to our listeners for tuning in. Do not forget to click the subscribe button to the Uphill Athlete podcast for more inspiring conversations like this one. Until next time, remember Lydia is words. The uphill is easy.