Andrew Lock OAM

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“We are all capable of incredible things, so whatever your goal or dream is – plan, prepare and go for it!!”
- Andrew Lock

On the afternoon of Friday, 2nd October 2009, Andrew Lock reached the summit Tibet’s Mt Shishapangma and made mountain-climbing history, becoming the first Australian to summit all 14 of the world’s 8000m+ peaks.

Only a handful of the world's elite climbers have made it to the top of the 14 highest mountains, including the impressive heavyweights of Everest, K2 and Kanchenjunga.

Although Shishapangma was the lowest altitude mountain on his hit-list, it proved to be one of the most difficult to climb, taking Andrew five separate attempts to reach the true summit. He faced temperatures of up to -30 degrees Celsius, set off minor avalanches, and was forced to tip-toe along a terrifying knife-edge ridge to reach the top. Soon after conquering the summit of Mt Shishapangma a vicious storm descended, and Andrew and his climbing partner were forced to spend the night on a ledge of ice at 7600m.

“I'm absolutely exhausted and very dehydrated and the like. I'm still revelling in the success of the climb," Andrew told ABC News after returning safely to the Mt Shishapangma base camp.

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Andrew first began high-altitude mountaineering in the mid-1980s, and considers the Scouting Movement to be the initiator of his love for the outdoors. Andrew joined Scouting as a Cub in Brisbane, before moving to Sydney and joining the Pymble Scout Group. He went on to 1st Killara Venturers and Rovers, during which he participated in numerous extended outdoor activities such as cross-country skiing, bushwalking and caving.

“I loved the opportunities it offered to have adventures in the outdoors but also to learn great survival skills that allowed me to be self reliant and to take on increasingly greater challenges,” Andrew said.

“I also developed very strong friendships with like minded people. In fact, 30 years later, my best friends today are the friends I made in Scouts.”

Andrew believes that Scouting provides young people with a wealth of opportunities for self-development in team environments and in the outdoors.

“Scouting offers a whole world of new experiences in a fun, challenging and completely different environment from the norm. You can get dirty, have great adventures in the outdoors, learn great new skills and make really good friends with people like yourself. You can be yourself, learn about yourself and learn fantastic life skills like teamwork, self reliance, goal setting, leadership and motivation.

“I used all of the abovementioned life skills early in my career and have continued to develop them throughout my adult life. I continue to use the outdoor skills that I learnt in Scouts for all my outdoor adventures and they were the basis for many of the skills that I further developed in my mountaineering pursuits.”

As well as his considerable personal achievements in mountaineering, Andrew is widely recognised as one of Australia's most competent Mountain Climbing and Remote Area trekking guides. He has led successful expeditions to Heard Island, Central Asia, South America, Mt Everest's summit and remote areas of every continent on earth. In 2004 he was contracted to film the summit of Mt Everest for a Discovery Channel documentary which has been shown around the world.

He has survived avalanches, crevasse falls, frostbite, bivouacs at extreme altitude without equipment and witnessed friends perish. His exceptional achievements in the face of such adversity have demanded supreme levels of endurance, motivation and leadership.

A vastly experienced Antarctic veteran, Andrew has led, trained and guided members of the Australian National Antarctic Research Expeditions on multiple expeditions and guided commercial groups across Antarctica and the sub Antarctic.

He has a comprehensive background in corporate and outdoor training, military and multi-agency emergency services.

He holds a Bachelor of Social Science (Emergency Management) with Distinction, is the recipient of the Australian National Medal, the Australian Defence medal and has twice been awarded the Mount Everest medal by the Government of Nepal.

He is a regular speaker at charity events, and is an ambassador for the Sir David Martin Foundation, a charity that raises money to rehabilitate street kids. In 2010, he is planning an expedition to Mount Everest (which he has already climbed twice) to raise money for the Appin Hall Children’s Foundation in Tasmania.

Despite this extraordinary list of achievements, the one thing Andrew would most like to be remembered for is his commitment to chasing his dreams. He feels that everyone can achieve their dreams if only they believe in themselves.

“We are all capable of incredible things, so whatever your goal or dream is – plan, prepare and go for it!!”

Read more about Andrew's amazing mountaineering achievements at www.andrew-lock.com.