Fay Manners: from the English hills to the off-road mountaineering

On their return from their expedition to Pakistan in June 2023, Basque climbers Iker and Eneko Pou described her as “the living example of the new generation of hard-walking women mountaineers.” At 37 years old, with the ambition to promote more accessible and egalitarian mountaineering, Fay Manners has not finished making a name for herself. Meet this all-round mountaineer.

After completing a series of openings around the world in 2023, including “Waa Shakil” (6b/M5), a mixed line of almost 2200 m on Trango II (6,327 m) in Pakistan, and “Mental Breakdown“, an ascent of the Father Tower in Greenland’s Mythic Cirque, this winter, British mountaineer Fay Manners has decided to concentrate on a discipline she’s particularly fond of: extreme skiing.

On the 17th of February, 2024, she completed – with Tom Lafaille – the first ski descent of the Charlet-Straton ridge on the Aiguille de l’Argentière, in her adopted Mont-Blanc massif. A spectacular line that combines commitment and technicality, and above all marks the start of a steep slope season that the athlete hopes will be fruitful. Fay Manners tells us all about her career and projects.

On the South Face of the Aiguille du Moine. ©Coll. Manners/Lafaille

Alpine Mag: You started doing mountaineering quite late, at 20 years old. How did you discover this world?

Fay Manners: I grew up in the UK. When I was younger, I used to play a lot of field field hockey. I wanted a