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Interview with Ed Wardle on his Bucket List and outlook on a life most extraordinary

I had the pleasure of meeting Ed Wardle on Everest in 2009. Not only has he summitted Everest twice now but he is usally lugging a video camera with him as well. Best known for his television work, Ed has starred and filmed some of the most adventurous footage of this decade for BBC, National Geographic and Discovery Channel to name a few. The star of Alone in the Wild, British Freediving Record Holder and beekeeper and dad, to name a few, Ed Wardle is the Chuck Norris of Bear Gryllses.

Ed Wardle

I got to thinking about Ed and his list of things to do while on Earth, and this is what he replied. I hope you enjoy it and are as inspired as I was. Thank you Ed - this is awesome!

You been to some of the most exotic places on Earth, which stood out for you?

Tibet is a shocker. If you want exotic Lhasa is up there; men prostrating along the streets and human skulls for sale at the roadside. I was also lucky enough to visit Fernando de Noronha in the Atlantic and body surfed some gigantic waves.

If you could have lunch and a casual chat with one person (living or dead) who would that be?

I should probably say Sandy Irvine [1924 Everest expedition climber] or someone but I’d like to talk to my mother. I was a waster at University, I had no idea what was out there and she died before I finished Uni. She’d be horrified at the adventures I could tell her about and so proud.

Is there anywhere on Earth you still want to go see, and what’s calling you to go there?

I don’t think I’ll ever run out of desire. I’m not really into sight seeing and don’t understand people standing at viewpoints taking pictures. I make films but to tell the truth I’d rather never have a camera with me. Just jump in and experience it.

West Papua, Pacific Islands, K2…

Is there one project or item on your Bucket List you are working toward at the moment?

I’ve always kept lists of things I’d like to achieve. This year I broke another UK record in freediving reaching 110m in training but I haven’t officially set the record yet so that’s on the list right now.


You have a pretty adventurous lifestyle, is there anything on your list of things to do that doesn’t involve going very high, very deep or very far?

My daughter Gracie is 3 now so we moved out of the city. I started keeping bees last spring. I’ve got 3 hives so far and took 15 pounds of honey at the end of the summer. They’re in a massive, run down, walled garden that I’ve started to bring back to life. It’s a magical place and its my ambition to make something amazing in there.

What is the one thing that you would shy away from? Is there anything too wild or scary that you would decline an invitation to take part in? What scares Ed Wardle?

Things scare me when I don’t know enough about them. The closer I get to something; the more I know about it and how it behaves, the more stable it becomes. I know I should shy away from some things. I filmed a guy close prox wing suiting off the Eiger a while back and I understand how dangerous it is but it looks like some kind of amazing heaven!

Wingsuit Eiger

I should shy away from motorbikes. I almost wiped out yesterday. Coming out of a bend I lost the back wheel and fishtailed violently, battering my legs off the sides of the bike before it settled down. I’ve been expecting a crash sometime and yesterday I thought, ‘oh! this is it!’. I had to get off and wait for the adrenalin to fade away.

What is the one thing on your list of experiences that you believe absolutely everyone should experience for themselves in their lives?

There isn’t one thing for me, it’s a life. I can’t do one amazing thing and then stop. I’ve gained a lust and a greed for experiences and I refuse to stop living. Get out there and do something amazing and should be the start of something great! You’ll find out what life is for!


OK. If you have to experience one thing then experience a super human ability. We all have it in us. I found it in finding perfect focus in freediving and with that came the development of my mammalian dive reflex that allows me to dive deep and hold my breath for a long time. Its elusive and difficult to find but I trained like an athlete and meditated and stretched and struggled through the barriers and found an ability that wasn’t there before and wasn’t easy to achieve. Now it takes me to places most people will never reach.

Lastly, any sage words of advice for people who are writing their own Bucket Lists…

Don’t worry if it seems too big when you write it down. Just write it down. You’re already a step closer to achieving it than you were a minute ago. At some point make another step toward achieving it; make a phone call, google it, tell someone you’re going to do it, buy a piece of kit, go do some training. So long as you keep moving toward your goal, at some point you’ll get there!


Thanks so much Ed for the chat, I know you have inspired some people today. To follow Ed Wardle, visit or just turn on the Discovery Channel, or Nat Geo Wild, or BBC...

Hope you enjoyed the post, I am off to pack the last few bits before jetting off to Kathmandu for the first leg of the Everest BC trek. Remeber to follow on Twitter @EverestRob and facebook Page Robby:That Bucket List Guy. Next stop - Himalayas!

On Sunday we will be taking a flight around Everest to take another look at the biggest mountain in the world! Follow me for photos!


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