About This Guide
In 2014, he summitted the highly technical granite Mount Asgard in Arctic Baffin Island, in one single 27-hour summit push. Ice and alpine climbing are described as being among his great passions, and he has climbed such peaks as Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world at 8201 m, and Cholatse in the Himalayan Khumbu. He qualified as an advanced Himalayan Expedition leader from India's Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. He partnered John Arran and Ivan Calderon up the first ascent of Upuigma-tepui in Venezuela, and led the first ascent of the North face of Mount Kuli in Borneo.
In 2005, he ran the Marathon des Sables 243 km across the Sahara desert to raise money for the Wolftrust.
Backshall has a black belt in judo, attained after a year living in Japan studying the martial art.
He is an experienced BCU four star sea kayak leader having led expeditions to East Greenland, the Scillies, which included a crossing back to the mainland and around the Cornish Peninsular and whitewater expeditions to Borneo, he and has three times completed the 125-mile, 24-hour, canoe race from Devizes to Westminster on the river Thames.
He has competed in numerous triathlons, adventure races and fell running events. His best finishes include winning the 'Extreme' and 'Last Man Standing' events at UK Tough Guy, finishing 9th overall at Tough Guy and 4th in the Welsh 1000m peak marathon.
In July 2008, while attempting to climb a wet cliff face in the Wye Valley in the Forest of Dean, he fell 10 metres (33 ft) onto rocks. The impact sent his heel bone through the bottom of his foot, dislocated his ankle, and fractured two vertebrae in his back. He required twelve operations and several years of rehab to get back to fitness.