In a career spanning twenty years Simon Yates climbing and traveling has taken him from Alaska in the west to Australia in the east, from the Canadian Arctic in the north to the tip of South America. During this time he has been fortunate enough to climb with some of Britain's leading contemporary mountaineers including among many Andy Cave, Mick Fowler, Andy Parkin, Paul Pritchard, Doug Scott, Sean Smith and Steve Sustad.
He first came to prominence as a mountaineer in 1985 after the first ascent of the West Face of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes and the ensuing epic descent described in Joe Simpson's book Touching the Void. However, this event has actually been a relatively small, if dramatic, part of a hugely enjoyable climbing career.
As a mountain climber Simon Yates has made ten visits to the Pakistani Karakoram, climbing numerous peaks. These have included first ascents of Leyla Peak (6300m) and Nemeka (6400m) in Hushe, a second ascent of Lobsang 2 on the Baltoro and various 6000m peaks on the Hispar glacier. In other parts of the world, Simon has succeeded with a team making the first British ascents of Khan Tengri (6995m) in Kazakhstan and for a time concentrated on big wall climbing in Patagonia and Baffin Island - the most notable achievement, a new route on the Central Tower of Paine in Chilean Patagonia. Most recently (2001 and 2003) Simon has made two sailing and mountaineering trips to Chilean Tierra del Fuego resulting in the first ascent of Monte Ada (2100m) and the third ascent of Monte Frances (2200m).
In addition to climbing for himself Simon Yates has successfully guided clients to the summits of peaks such as Ama Dablam (6856m) in Nepal, Aconcagua (6960m) in Argentina and Khan Tengri (6995m) in Kazakhstan.
Simon's Yates' first book - 'Against The Wall' was published to critical acclaim in 1997 and was runner up in The Boardman Tasker Award for mountain literature. His second book "The Flame of Adventure" was published in 2001 and was short-listed for a prize in the prestigious Banff Mountain Book Festival.
In keeping with the best style of modern mountaineering Simon Yates has often tackled large objectives in small teams. The nature of both the challenge and the extreme environment does place an emphasis on minute-by-minute self-reliance during a climb. However, working closely as a team is equally important to the overall success of the venture.
As a motivational speaker Simon takes a humorous and philosophical look at his mountaineering career, while stressing the importance of planning, goal setting, being focused, improvisation and the management of risk.
Concluding his review of Simon Yates' second book for the American Alpine Journal, Jeff McCarthy noted: In the Flame of Adventure we look back across one mountaineer's wild times, desperate effort, joy and uncertainty. We are privileged to watch him wrestle that variety of experience into a philosophy that explains, excuses and inspires.