Ricky is a Chartered Accountant, Mountain Leader, Polar Ambassador, Churchill Fellow and the founder of Inspire Alpine®, and in May 2018 he reached the summit of Everest at the second attempt.

He founded Inspire Alpine® as a social enterprise to help close the attainment gap that exists between disadvantaged students and their more affluent peers. He grew up on a council estate near Glasgow and is passionate about ensuring that disadvantaged young people have the opportunity to fulfill their potential and have high aspirations.

He had a successful club rugby career with Glasgow Hawks RFC, winning three consecutive national championships and lifting the Scottish Cup twice, but he struggled with mental health issues and substance abuse; he dropped out of university twice and was arrested twice.

His mindset was transformed when he completed the toughest footrace on earth - the Marathon des Sables - in 2004 to overcome professional exam failure and redundancy.

Since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2005, he has worked in the private, public and third sectors, including six years deployed with the Red Cross & other aid organisations in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. From 2014 – 2018 he was the youngest ever member of the executive team at the UK’s national polar research organisation, before stepping down to climb Everest. 

He has now completed over 20 expeditions to the greater ranges in his ongoing quest to become the first Brit & second person in history to climb the ‘Triple 7 Summits’. 

Book Ricky as your speaker

Ricky’s story is fascinating, thought-provoking and inspiring. I would thoroughly recommend speaking to Ricky if you're looking for someone to motivate your team to make the best of themselves whatever their age or background.

~ Kevin, Director, Deloitte


Ricky is regularly interviewed in the national, regional & outdoor media. He's been interviewed recently for BBC Radio, Trek & Mountain Magazine and CA Magazine, and was the face of a new ICAS campaign Proud to be a CA when it launched in 2019. You can listen to a recent podcast interview with Ricky here. In June 2019, his opinion piece on Everest over-crowding was published by the British Mountaineering Council.


His illustrated keynote talk ‘Follow Your Dreams’ describes his journey from a council estate near Glasgow to the top of the world on his recent successful ascent of Everest. During that long journey, he faced and overcame adversity and associated mental health challenges - being arrested twice, dropping out of University twice, and being made redundant during his accountancy training. He has pivoted several times in my career, and he completed the Marathon des Sables - a 150-mile ultramarathon in the Sahara desert known as the ‘toughest footrace on earth’ - after being made redundant, which totally changed his mindset and gave him the confidence and focus to follow his own dreams. He shares learning points from turning back below the Death Zone on Everest in 2017, when he coordinated the evacuation of a seriously injured team-mate from Chinese Base Camp – and how he put these lessons into practice to make a successful summit attempt in 2018.

The key themes include perseverance, building resilience, goal-setting and overcoming adversity

He can edit this for speaking slots from 30 – 60 minutes, which can include time for Q&A if the schedule allows, and he displays a selection of high-altitude clothing & equipment. 

Ricky delivered a truly inspirational talk to ICAS staff. Tales about his experience of reaching the summit of Mount Everest and the triumphs of pulling together as a team were perfect for inspiring achievement. Ricky left us motivated to set goals, work towards them with a laser focus, and try again if we don’t first succeed.

~ Keith, Corporate Communications Manager, ICAS

Book Ricky as your speaker

Previous Clients

Ricky has spoken at a wide range of corporate and business events, from intimate team and client events to annual conferences in the UK & overseas.

In Ricky’s own words...

Here’s what you can expect from me as your event speaker:

  • I'll ask you to complete a short pre-event questionnaire which goes over the basics of your conference - I'll email you a link
  • Next, I’ll schedule a phone consultation so that I fully understand the onjectioves of your event and my session. It's important that we’re on the same page
  • Great communication – I’m only an email or a call away and will reply to you promptly
  • If you want me to, I will promote your event on Social Media
  • I’m low hassle – I don’t need babysitting or hand-holding. I’ll find you on the day. I don’t have any special requests – no dietary requirements or weird requests. Just a lapel mic so that I can move freely about the stage!
  • Most importantly, I will deliver an inspirational & professionallly prepared presentation that is entertaining and educational