First woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen

Lydia Pounamu Bradey is the first woman to climb Mount Everest without oxygen in 1988. She was born on 9 October 1961 in Christchurch, New Zealand. She is a mountaineer and Mountain guide. Bradey is the only New Zealander to have climbed Everest without oxygen and has climbed Everest six times.


Bradey is a passionate mountaineer and began climbing at an early age. At the age of 14, she went on her first expedition. She climbed to the summits of Mount Cook and Mount Aspiring when she was 17.

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Bradey left New Zealand when she was 19 years old for a four-year international climbing trip. During this trip, she attempted Denali in Alaska and ten ascents of Yosemite’s big walls.

Bradey successfully solo climbed Mount Everest in 1988, made her the first female to reach the summit without supplemental oxygen. In May 2008, Bradey climbed Everest as a guide for a group of clients. This was her second time climbing Everest after twenty years of her first ascent. In 2013, 2016, and 2018 Bradey made her third to fifth ascents of Everest. In 2019, she guided Everest for the sixth time and this time she climbed from Tibet, China. She has been on 10 expeditions over 8000 m and more than 35 expeditions over 6000 m.

In 1994, she graduated in physiotherapy from the University of Auckland, and in 1998, she completed a certificate in acupuncture. She became an International Mountain and Ski Guide (IFMGA) in 2000, holds the Canadian Level 2 ‘Avalanche Forecasting”, BHSc(Physio), is a registered Physiotherapist and is a professional Inspirational Speaker.

In the 2020 New Year Honours, Bradey was awarded the title of an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM), for services to mountaineering.

Bradey released a book “Lydia Bradey: Going Up Is Easy” in 2015. This book is about her oxygen-free ascent of Everest and later it was translated into French in 2020, re-titled “On ne m’a pas vole l’Everest”.


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