Mountaineer and Adventurer, Adriana Brownlee, supports the BRIT Ambassador family & BRIT Challenge
We are delighted that Adriana is part of our BRIT Ambassador family and championing the annual BRIT Challenge to support and improve young adult and student mental health and fitness throughout the UK.
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 in the winter of 2020 and spent two months on K2 with the Nepali First Winter K2 Ascent team. Adriana summitted Everest with Nimsdai and the Elite Exped team on the 31st May 2021.
Adriana’s aim is to become the youngest person to complete all 14 8000m peaks. The current record is 30 years 166 days, held by Mingma "David" Gyabu Sherpa, an absolute legend with whom she got to climb on both K2 and Everest. Adriana’s plan would be to summit all 14 in 3-4 years meaning she would be 23 years old on completion of her mission. After submitting Everest, Adriana then summitted Manaslu and Dhaulagiri. She therefore completed 3 of the 14 8000m peaks in 2021.
“Having been a student, I know that COVID-19 has 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 annual BRIT Challenge is a feelgood February fundraiser that every university college, specialist college and Students’ Union can embrace to support and improve the mental health and fitness of their students and staff.
The British Inspiration Trust (BRIT) are adopting an inspirational and collaborative approach to their annual BRIT Challenge; they are inviting every university and college team to choose a second charity to raise funds for, alongside BRIT. This will undoubtedly support local, regional and national charities who have felt the impact of the pandemic on their fundraising efforts.
I am delighted that BRIT have designed their BRIT Challenge to be inclusive so that students and staff of all abilities can take part in many different ways and hope that every UK university and college enters teams and encourages participation. 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 Challenge, complete their target distance and raise vital funds for BRIT and local, regional and national charities”.
Mountaineer and Adventurer
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 summitted Everest with Nimsdai and the Elite Exped team. Adriana’s aim is to become the youngest person to complete all 14 8000m peaks. The current record is 30 years 166 days, held by Mingma "David" Gyabu Sherpa, an absolute legend with whom she got to climb on both K2 and Everest. Adriana’s plan would be to summit all 14 in 3-4 years meaning she would be 23 years old on completion of her mission.
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.