Ed Farrelly: the boy who wants to conquer the mountains of the world

YOUNG mountaineer Ed Farrelly talks to us about his record-breaking Peak Chapayev summit as well as how he manages to train and plan for his adventures while also studying full time.




ED FARRELLY is a modern day adventurer having travelled to and climbed on some of the biggest mountains in the world. At just 22 years old he has ranked sixth in a list of the 20 most seasoned adventurers, explorers and expedition leaders in Mens Fitness. He has also been described as ‘a man child’ by Loaded.


In the summer of 2014 Ed attempted to climb Khan Tengri, a record breaking attempt to become the youngest Briton to solo a 7,000m plus peak, but due to dangerous conditions he was forced to abort the climb. However, during the expedition he became to first Briton to solo Peak Chapayev (6,095m).


Here Ed talks to us about that attempt of the record last year and also about how he manages to train and plan for his adventures while studying full time.


How hard has it been to train in the UK with limited mountains compared to other countries in the world?


Obviously being in the UK brings a unique set of challenges, it’s not like I have the Alps on my doorstep. That said, places like Scotland and Wales have some fantastic climbs, which challenge anywhere else in the world. Ultimately it all comes down to priorities. I try and make the most of what I’ve got. It seems to work okay for the moment!


What do you do in your day-to-day life and how do you fit training into your schedule?


So I’m a full time student at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) reading Politics and Development. Fitting training around this works well. At the moment I undertake one large scale expedition per year so in between that I work on general fitness. I only really ramp up my working out in the months leading up to heading off.


You’ve climbed and hiked many mountains around the world. What have some of the highlights been?


Gosh, so many, I owe adventuring a lot! I guess Central Asia has been the highlight. The people, the culture, the scenery, the mountains etc it’s all just so incredible and I feel so privileged every time I go there. My most recent highlight has to be climbing solo up and on to the summit of Peak Chapayev (6,000m plus), which I did over the summer. It really was the culmination of years of expeditioning and It felt like I’d really worked for it!




In the summer of last year you set out to become the first Briton to climb Khan Tengri. Due to dangerous conditions you had to abort that expedition but during the course of the climb had become the first Briton to solo Peak Chapayev. How did it feel to set that record but at the same time how disappointing was it not to have achieved your original goal?


Correction, in the Summer of last year I attempted to become the youngest Briton to solo a 7,000m plus peak. I know it sounds cliché but for me climbing is about the journey, from planning to execution to ultimately coming back safely. I made the correct decision to turn back when I did, I would feel far worse If I’d continued on as it would have been the reckless decision (whether I ended up being successful or not). It’s far better to stick to your values than give up on them for simply a summit.

Reaching the top of Peak Chapayev was a cool thing but what was cooler was getting down safely!




Do you have plans to attempt the Khan Tengri climb again in the near future?


I will be back at some point, it’s unfinished business. That said, only doing one trip a year I think I want to try a few other things before heading back!


At the age of 22 you’ve already become quite a name in the world of climbing being featured as one of the most seasoned adventurers, explorers and expedition leaders in Mens Fitness. Did you expect to achieve so much at such a young age and in your opinion what are the reasons behind your success?


It continually amazes me how it’s all going but ultimately I’m just trying to do my own thing and see where it gets me. I’ll never be the most technical or the strongest but I do try to have fun in everything I do. I think that having fun is key to being successful really!


Do you any plans for adventure or expeditions this year?


Yes but I can’t say what yet!



Ed Farrelly is a brand ambassador for Olympus Cameras and Osprey Packs. Find out more about his adventures at www.edfarrelly.com



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