Andy Cave started out as a Yorkshire coalminer but is now one of the UK's most outstanding mountaineers with a PhD and two award winning books to his name. He grew up in Royston, a small coal-mining village in South Yorkshire. On leaving school he followed family tradition and began work down the pit, but during the 1984–85 miners' strike he discovered climbing on his local Peak District crags. Finding he had a natural talent, Andy progressed through hard trad E7s, sport routes and hard Scottish winter climbing before venturing further afield into the Alps, blitzing the classic routes. Taking the alpine climbing ethic into the Himalayas, Andy made ascents including Gasherbrum IV, the Ogre, Trango Tower and Shishapangma before a fateful ascent of Changabang saw his partner Brendan Murphy swept to his death on the descent. Andy also discovered a talent for writing with his first book, Learning to Breathe, winning the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature in 2005. His second book, Thin White Line, received many accolades including the 2011 Leggimontagna Prize, Italy. Andy has also made numerous radio and TV appearances on BBC and ITV.