Inspired by ascents from the likes of MacIntyre, Boardman, Tasker, Cave and Fowler, Andy Houseman has completed a number of expeditions to the Greater Ranges, always opting for the light and committing ‘alpine’ style. Alpine style carries no guarantees of success but is a style Andy strongly believe in and has resulted in success (and a lot of failures!) on new routes and significant repeats in Alaska, Peru and Nepal. Closer to home Andy spend a lot of time in Chamonix when he can—having spent a number of seasons living and working there, it feel like a second home, and there’s always so much to do there. All the adventures aside, most of Andy’s time, and how he makes his living, is spent at home in Yorkshire working in the family business—the haulage industry. Until recently Andy’s family ran a fleet of vehicles moving anything from 60 ton excavators, the 6m-wide London 2012 Olympic flame or taking exhibition equipment around Europe. And yes, he did used to drive the trucks as well as the desk, much to everyone’s surprise!
Discipline: Alpine ClimbingHometown: Darley, Yorkshire, England Currently Living: Darley, Yorkshire, England Height: 180 cm
Career Highlights: First ascent of the North Face of Chang Himal, Nepal; Slovak Direct on the South Face of Denali, AK; Second ascent of the French Route, Mount Hunter, AK; First ascent of Hunku, Nepal (not a hard route but such a fun day out!).
When did you first start climbing/skiing?1998.
What do you most enjoy about your sport?So many things, the adventure and exploration, the people I meet, the places it takes me and the diversity of the sport.
How do you define success?Having fun!
What are you most proud of, either in life, your sport or both?Living life to the full, whether that’s work or play and making the most of the opportunities I’m given.
Who are your heroes?Not heroes as such, more people I am inspired by – Alex MacIntyre, Boardman and Tasker, Andy Cave, Mick Fowler.
What inspires you?Anyone out there getting after it and having fun.
What are your hobbies outside of your sport?Skiing, running and cycling.
What’s your guilty pleasure?Coffee and red wine.
What are your hidden talents?Truck (HGV) license.
Tell us about your most favorite place in the world:Chamonix – there’s just so much to do with such easy access, oh the skiing’s pretty good too.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?Fighter pilot.
Tell us about a time in your life when you have been scared:Stuck in a storm at 5500m on the South Face of Denali. Nick Bullock and myself had joined the Cassin Ridge after climbing the Slovak Direct when the weather got too bad to carry on. It was a pretty scary 16 hours in the tent knowing the only way off the mountain was to go up and over the top.
Describe your perfect day:Too many options, but it definitely involves being out with good friends, sunshine in the high mountains and ends with a massive glass of Hoegaarden in the Le Lapin Agile in Chamonix!
How would your friends describe you?I dread to think!