Kenton Cool

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Kenton Cool
Kenton Cool.jpg
Born (1973-07-30) 30 July 1973 (age 43)
Slough, Berkshire, United Kingdom
Alma mater University of Leeds
Occupation Mountain guide
Motivational speaker[1]
Known for
  • Holder of British record for most Mount Everest summits
  • 1st British ski descent from 8 km peak
  • Nominee for Piolet d'Or mountaineering award

Kenton Cool (born 30 July 1973) is an English mountaineer, alpinist and IFMGA mountain guide. He is one of Britain's leading alpine climbers and he has successfully climbed Mount Everest twelve times, including leading Sir Ranulph Fiennes' 2008 and 2009 Expeditions. He has completed 21 successful expeditions in the Greater Ranges. In 2011 he successfully made the first 3G call at the summit of Mount Everest and the first social media update at the summit of Mount Everest. In 2013, he and his climbing partner became the first people to traverse Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse in a single expedition without returning to base camp.[2]


Cool was born in Slough, Berkshire in 1973. His family surname was originally Kuhle and was changed during the Second World War, by his half German grandfather. His father was a photographer and mother a florist and the family home was near to Uxbridge, in Middlesex. Kenton Cool was schooled at John Hampden Grammar School in High Wycombe, and later obtained a place at University.[3] Kenton Cool graduated from the University of Leeds in 1994 after studying BSc Geological Sciences.[4] Cool was first introduced to mountaineering at Scouts.[5] An obsession with rock climbing developed at Leeds University and, on graduating, he moved to Sheffield to pursue this further. In 1996, he suffered a fall from a rock face and shattered both heel bones. A year of surgery and therapy saw him become determined to regain his climbing form and he joined the British Association of Mountain Guides scheme.[6][7]

Cool married in 2008 and splits his time between the small village of Mont-Saxonnex in the French Alps where he spends his time working as a director of Dream Guides, a Chamonix-based mountain and ski guiding company, and the village of Quenington in Gloucestershire in the UK.[8] A leading Alpine climber, he operates in the Alps and Greater Ranges of the Himalayas as a fully qualified IFMGA (UIAGM) Guide and Expedition Leader.[7][9]

Regarding the danger of mountaineering and the 37 friends he has lost in the sport he has said: "It's completely unstylish to get stuffed in the mountains...I want to die with my feet up in front of the fire drinking a glass of red wine aged about 95".[10]

In 2003, Cool was nominated alongside climbing partners for the Piolet d'Or award for a route on Annapurna III. In 2012 he made good on an 88-year-old Olympic pledge by taking one of the 1924 Olympic Gold Medal awarded to the 1922 British Everest Expedition (awarded for "Outstanding feats of human endeavour") to the summit of Everest.[11] This prompted Lord Coe to personally thank Cool and his team for helping "kick start the 2012 Olympic Games".

Expedition career[edit]

Cool is considered one of the UK's top mountain and ski expedition leaders having made several ascents of hard routes with clients, including the first British guided ascent of the famous North Face of the Eiger in 2007 with polar explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, then in his sixties, who was initially afraid of heights.[8][10][12]

In May 2008, Cool and Fiennes attempted to summit Mount Everest but Fiennes turned back 300m from the top. In 2009, Cool returned to Everest and successfully led Fiennes to the top, making Cool the most successful British Expedition Leader on the mountain.[13]

In 2013 Cool and his climbing partner Dorje Gylgen became the first people to attain the Everest Triple Crown.[14] In the space of just seven days and without returning to Base Camp, they climbed the three mountains that make up the Everest Horseshoe – Nuptse, 7864 metres, Everest 8850 metres and Lhotse 8516 metres.[7][15] This was a feat many thought to be impossible, due to the amount of time spent at high altitude and the effect this has on the human body.[16]

As an Expedition Leader, Cool has completed 21 successful expeditions in the Greater Ranges. On Everest he holds the highest success rate of any mountain guide. He has personally reached the summit of Everest twelve times, in May 2007 he summitted twice in one week.[14][17]

As well as his ascents of Everest, he has led further successful expeditions on the following significant mountains around the world: Kilimanjaro, Denali in Alaska, Ama Dablam in Nepal, Cho Oyu in Nepal/Tibet. He acts as a guide to wealthy private clients, for an Everest expedition charging from $65,000 to "mid-six" figures sterling.[10]

In October 2006 he was the first British person to complete a ski descent of an 8,000-metre peak, on Cho Oyu in Nepal, the 6th highest mountain in the world. In the autumn of 2010 Cool made the third ever ski descent of Manaslu in Nepal, the world's eighth highest mountain. In doing so become one of only a few people world wide to ski multiple 8000 metre peaks.

In 2013, he placed the flag of the micronation the Principality of Sealand on the summit of Everest.

On 12 May 2016 Kenton at 42, was joined by two Sherpas and another Briton, Robert Lucas on the summit of the World's highest peak. The Brits were also the first foreign climbers to reach the 8,850 metre (29,035ft) peak in two years, after a group of Sherpa guides fixing ropes got to the top on Wednesday 11 May. Outside the Nepalese climbers, this summit of Everest puts Kenton behind only Dave Hahn from the US (with 15 successful Everest summits).[18]

Major climbing routes[edit]

Climbing route ascents[19]
Mountain/location Route Ascent info.
Mount Hunter Alaska Moonflower Buttress 1st British ascent
Mount Hunter Alaska Mini Moonflower 1st ascent
Denali Alaska Extra Terrestrial Brothers, Father and Son's Wall 1st ascent
Denali Alaska Denali Diamond, SW Face 2nd ascent
Arwa Spire India East Ridge, East Spire[20] 1st ascent
Annapurna III Nepal SW Ridge 1st ascent
Grande Jorasses France/Italy L'Olan couloir 1st ascent

Television work[edit]

As part of the Eiger expedition in 2007, ITN set up a simulcast at the foot of the mountain, allowing Cool, Fiennes and Parnell to broadcast live from the mountain face and straight into the ITN News studio.[21] Their summit attempt was broadcast on each live news section for five days. A further one-hour documentary of the successful climb was aired on BBC Four and The Discovery Channel.

As part of his 2007 Everest expedition, Cool took part in filming for the five-part BBC Television documentary Everest ER. As well as providing extensive interview material for the documentary, Cool was also given specialist high-altitude camera equipment to capture footage high on the mountain, including summit footage. Everest ER followed Cool's expedition as it unfolded, which included his double summit in one week. The programme was aired over five weeks on BBC1.[22]

Charitable activity[edit]

In March 2007, Cool was part of a three-man team (including Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ian Parnell) to raise funds for the Marie Curie Eiger Challenge Appeal. A successful summit of the North Face of the Eiger raised £1.8 million for the Marie Curie Cancer Care charity. In May 2009, Cool and Sir Ranulph Fiennes raised a further £2.6 million for the Marie Curie charity as part of the Everest Challenge Appeal. Cool summitted with the Marie Curie flag.[23]

Annually, Cool provides a series of speaking events for the Royal Geographical Society and various outdoor clothing manufacturers and retailers as well as keynote speeches at corporate conferences. He has also been invited to sit on specialist panels. At these events, he heavily supports and promotes Porters Progress, a foundation set up to support the mountain portering community in Nepal. Porters Progress is now part of the dZi Foundation[24]

Personal life[edit]

In 2008 Cool married Jazz Black whom he had met in Chamonix, France, where she was visiting with friends. They were married in Fairford, Gloucestershire. Their first child, Saffron Opheila Frampton Cool, was born in 2010 and a second, Willoughby Fredric Hamilton, was born in 2012. They live in Quenington, Gloucestershire.

Everest summits[edit]

  • 1 in 2004[25]
  • 2 in 2005[25]
  • 3 in 2006[25]
  • 4 and 5: 3 summits by 2006 and two more in 2007 for a total of five by that time.[26][27] 17 May 2007 and 24 May 2007[25]
  • 6 in 2008[25]
  • 7 by 2009[27]
  • 8 in 2010[28]
  • 9 in 2011[29]
  • 10 in 2012[30]
  • 11 in 2013[30]
  • 12 in 2016[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Speakers From The Edge, Meet Our Speakers: Kenton Cool". Speakers from the Edge. Retrieved 8 April 2014. 
  2. ^ Outside Magazine - The Full Story of Kenton Cool and the Triple Crown - By: Alan Arnette - May 29, 2013
  3. ^ "Early life Daily TELEGRAPH Biog". 
  4. ^ University of Leeds Alumni – Sport
  5. ^ "Interview: Kenton Cool". Trek and Mountain. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  6. ^ "British Mountain Guides". Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  7. ^ a b c Samuel, Owen. "British Mountain Guide Kenton Cool Claims Historic Three Peaks Record For Britain in Everest's 60th Anniversary Year". British Mountaineering Guides. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Jones, Lola. "Kenton Cool summits Everest for the 9th time… to prove a point.". XtremeSport. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Royal Geographical Society : Because it's there Mountain Festival". Adventure Travel Presentations. World Expeditions. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c Whittell, Giles. "Kenton Cool – king of the mountains". The Times (London). Retrieved 9 June 2013. 
  11. ^ "London 2012: Kenton Cool Everest gold medal mission reaches summit". BBC News. 25 May 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Hill, Amelia (18 March 2007). "Fiennes scales his toughest challenge". Guardian. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "LFTO interviews Kenton Cool – the man who helped Ranulph Fiennes climb Everest". Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  14. ^ a b Roberts, Liz. "Kenton Cool's 'truly epic' Everest Three Peaks set new record". Grough. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  15. ^ Messenger, Alex. "Kenton Cool climbs Everest triple crown". British Mountaineering Council. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  16. ^ Hart, Matt. "Cool Everest Record". TORQ. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  17. ^ Mount Everest | British Story – Summiteers List
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Kenton Cool". Kenton Cool. Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  20. ^ On Thin Ice. Mick Fowler. Bâton Wicks, London (2005). ISBN 1-898573-58-1.
  21. ^ "Home > Theatre Tours > Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Everest, The Eiger & More Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Everest, The Eiger & More". Speakers from the Edge. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  22. ^ "Everest ER". BBC. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  23. ^ "Sir Ranulph Fiennes conquers Everest on third attempt". The Telegraph. 21 May 2009. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 
  24. ^ "Welcome to the dZi Foundation". Retrieved 10 October 2011. 
  25. ^ a b c d e UK Summiters
  26. ^ Climbing with Sir Ran Fiennes - The North Face of the Eiger
  27. ^ a b Everest Success for Ran Fiennes and Kenton Cool
  28. ^ Everest: eighth time for Kenton Cool + summit photo
  29. ^ Everest: nine times for Kenton Cool
  30. ^ a b Mountaineer Kenton Cool beats Everest for 11th time
  31. ^ 2 Brits, Mexican are 1st foreigners on Everest in 2 years

External links[edit]