Mountaineer and Adventurer, Adriana Brownlee, joins the BRIT Ambassador family
We are delighted that Adriana has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.
Adriana climbed Mt Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua all before the age of 18. She then completed a more technical climb and summitted the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc in two and a half days. She celebrated her 20th birthday climbing to K2 Camp 1 last winter and spent two months on K2 with the Nepali First Winter K2 Ascent team. Adriana will be climbing Everest and Lhotse with Nimsdai and the Elite Exped team this spring. In the summer, Adriana will be attempting K2 and Broad Peak; if successful, she will be the youngest woman to climb both Everest and K2.
“Having been a student, I know that COVID-19 is compounding the existing mental health challenges faced by many young people and students; one in four young people were unable to access the mental health support they needed during the 2020 lockdown and their wellbeing must be looked after now, in order to avoid long-term effects on their mental health.
The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) are adopting an inspirational and collaborative approach to their BRIT 2021 Challenge this year;; they are partnering with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and The Charlie Waller Trust, so that all donations raised through the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between the five charities. As a former student at the University of Bath, I know how proactive both Nightline and Student Minds were to support student mental health, and that Team Bath embraced the BRIT 2020 Row Britannia Challenge to support and improve student mental health. I applaud BRIT for signposting and raising awareness of Samaritans and Shout to ensure that every visitor to their sites are aware of support services available to them should they need it.
Charities have a vital role to play in supporting young adult mental health and the British Inspiration Trust (BRIT)’s vision is both exciting and innovative. Firstly, they are partnering with, and supporting, other charities to ensure there is a joint approach to raising both funds and awareness. Secondly, they are striving to unite the Education, Sport and Charity sectors by partnering with governing bodies and organisations to engage with, and involve, as many students as possible. Thirdly, they are delivering a UK-wide annual BRIT Challenge and inviting every UK university and college to take part in order to support and improve the mental health and fitness of all students, young adults and staff.
I am delighted that BRIT have designed their BRIT 2021 Challenge to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can take part in many different ways and I hope that every UK university and college enter teams and promote the opportunity to participate. I urge current and retired Olympians, Paralympians, sports personalities, adventurers and explorers to join our BRIT Ambassador family so that we can inspire and encourage students and staff at universities and colleges across the UK who are taking on the BRIT Challenge.
I look forward to encouraging students and staff at the University of Bath, and universities and colleges throughout the South West, to take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge, complete their 2,021 miles and raise vital funds for BRIT and their partner mental health charities”.
Adriana was born and raised in London. She never had that mountainous backdrop or countryside where she could be inspired to suddenly explore the outdoors, however Adriana’s father introduced her to the Three Peaks Challenge when she was 9 years old.
This is where Adriana’s love of the outdoors and her story of adventure began. At 9 years old, she faced a 24 hour challenge that many adults would struggle with. From that first arduous challenge, Adriana began to apply a positive, focused and determined mindset that has endured and made her an independent, strong and passionate climber.
In 2017, Adriana began to really explore the mountains, and accompanied by her father, she climbed Mt Elbrus, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua all before the age of 18.
After getting a taste for the high altitude world, she decided to also go for a more technical climb - the Matterhorn; some may know it as the Toblerone Mountain. Adriana climbed both the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc in two and a half days.
Adriana’s mountaineering career is now at a whole new level. She celebrated her 20th birthday climbing to K2 Camp 1 in winter 2020 with the Nepali First winter K2 Ascent team. Spending two months on K2 with this team was not only a dream come true for Adriana, but a learning experience like no other. She experienced unimaginably cold temperatures, avalanches, frostnip toes and the harsh and sobering reality of death on the mountain. Despite the treacherous conditions, her positive experiences on the expedition have fuelled her love for climbing and her passion to summit mountains continues to grow.
In the spring of 2021, Adriana will be climbing Everest and Lhotse with Nimsdai and the Elite Exped team. Following this, she will be attempting K2 and Broad Peak in the summer of 2021.If Adriana is successful, she will officially be the youngest woman to climb both Everest and K2.
Adriana has also qualified as a solo paragliding pilot; another passion that she has embraced.
For Adriana, extreme sports are a way of showing her that life is real and she pushes herself to the limit to truly learn who she is as a person. This is a message she would love to translate to others - find what you are truly passionate about and own it!
As a successful young female climber, Adriana is keen to use this platform to share her experiences to raise awareness of mental health and how involvement in sport is one way that she, along with many other people, have combatted their own mental health challenges.
You can follow Adriana’s climb of Everest on her Instagram.