Award winning adventure photograper, Liam Lonsdale certainly gets about a bit. Known for excelling in dicey situations and extreme locations, this year he'd already visited 10 countries before March was out.

Not content with his photographic adventures alone, he's also a leading commentator for climbing competitions and a highly entertaining presenter.

Hi Liam! Tell us, how did you get into the adventure scene?

I guess for me, it all started when I was a child. My dad would always tell stories of his boyhood adventures and I craved similar experiences. I started in the Scout movement as a Beaver and went all the way through to Venture/Explorer Scouts.

When I was growing up, there was a real opinion amongst my peers that the Scout movement was soft, a place to sew badges on a sweater for tying a good knot and wearing neckerchiefs on parade. The troop that I joined, 25th Bolton, placed their emphasis elsewhere.

At times, the leaders were more mischievous than we were and together we did a tonne of fun stuff. We got lost in the woods playing ridiculous games, went away hiking and camping a lot and just got stuck into the outdoors.

I owe them a lot for those experiences; I guess you could say that's where I found my taste for adventure.

Back then it was important because it was an escape from the pressures of school life (I was a pretty stressed kid, always wanting to be the top of the class) and it taught me a lot of valuable skills that I still use today... How to navigate in zero-visibility and stormy conditions, the ability to thrash yourself in the mountains and still keep going, stuff like that.

The years that followed, my late teens, I became more curious and more independent. The adventures got bigger and, well, here I am now.

These days, my adventures are less about making massive bonfires and tearing around the woods in the middle of the night and more about work - documenting the beautiful corners of the world that others are less prepared to go to, spending a lot of time in the mountains, chasing my own passion of climbing and embracing the adventures as my day-to-day life.

Adventure serves a different purpose in my life, a more professional one, but the hunger and the passion is still there. That's the best bit.

What's the best thing about being an adventurer?

I think it would be more appropriate to say that my role is photographer rather than adventurer. For me, adventure goes hand in hand with that, but it's more than work, it's life. The best thing about what I do is the stories that come from it. When I have grandchildren they are going to get some bobby dazzlers!

Yes, you've probably got some incredible stories and memories?

There are too many good camping memories to name. As a family we would camp most weekends from early Spring through to Autumn. We'd visit the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Peak District, Wales and more... And there were a lot of wonderful memories. I think it's a crucial element of an adventurous upbringing - and just being outside is so good for kids.

If I had to pick one memory as the best then it would be the trips we did to the southern Red Sea for a few years. We camped on the shore in huge canvas tents. Think bleach white sand, reef plateau on one side, desert on the other. There were osprey hunting and eating their prey outside your door, and pods of dolphins, hundred strong, passing through the marsa and stopping to snorkel with us.

We were there for scuba diving, so would often be up before sunrise to enjoy a sub aquatic dawn at an offshore reef. If we were taking a rest day from diving then we would lie in and often be woken by curious camels peering in through the door. We would make fires and sing Arabic songs on the beach.

Those were incredibly special times.

Ooooh, but there was the story of when I was camping inside a compound in a wildlife reserve in South Africa. I snapped out of a deep sleep at sunrise, to the sound of breaking branches and heavy breathing. When I emerged from the tent I found elephants, just five metres away on the other side of the fence, taking an early snack. I stood silent and watched them for what felt like hours, in reality it was probably a few minutes, then they wandered off to find their next tree. That was insane.

As for my worst experience while camping, there have been a few rough ones! One recent memory was sleeping open-air on the desert coast of southern Oman. Sounds good, right? Wrong.

It's humid out there. Ridiculously so. We would wake up every morning completely soaked from the condensation and we had to be extremely savvy about how we stored our camera equipment and climbing gear, because the condensation gets everywhere.

Anyway, one night in particular, I was lying on my camp bed a foot above the dusty floor. Heavily dosed up on pain killers and anti-inflammatories with a suspected fractured elbow (long story) I remember slipping in and out of sleep. Intense pain would wake me up every few minutes and every time I did I was colder and more damp. I was desperate for the sun to rise and dry everything off so we could pack up and go to hospital. That was pretty rough.

In fairness, I should've taken a tent - and not smashed myself to pieces. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

What keeps you going when you feel like giving up?

Oh man, I'm going to sound righteous, aren't I? I very rarely feel like giving up. I would say that I am inherently a very motivated person. That said, I do have plenty of lows. I suppose the worst ones are after big travelling stints or multiple consecutive shoots, when my body doesn't know what timezone it's in, and when my eyes feel like they're bleeding from the lack of sleep.

Thankfully I have always got Rinaldo's Coffee on hand to keep me going. In the end the only thing that will fix it is an all day nap, or sometimes two days worth. Then I'm good to go again.

How have all of these adventures changed you as a person?

I had a few near death experiences in the last couple of years. One of which was a bad motorcycle accident in Vietnam where (through no fault of my own) I hit a tree which impacted quite heavily on my head and neck, quite literally.

Post-concussion syndrome is pretty rough and that accident changed me as a person - in that I can no longer look over my own shoulders. I am going to take a wild guess though and say that you weren't asking for something as literal as that?

If you want me to be more profound then I think in general for a trip to really change your life, something bad needs to happen or have happened. I know it sounds morbid, but I am pretty sure I'm right.

For something to change your life, that's a big deal. As a rule I try to avoid bad stuff happening. Although it does make for good stories, it's crap for insurance premiums! So rather than life changing adventures, I aspire to have eye opening adventures - experiences that change my opinions and perceptions, introduce me to new cultures, or show me natural wonders that I have never seen before.

I am probably a bit young to be giving out life lessons. I mean, I can confidently say "don't crash a motorbike in a foreign country and hit a tree with your head" - you can have that one for free!

Seriously though, one of the ones that stands out most is just "be good to people". The small gestures of kindness and generosity for a stranger are often the ones that leave a lasting impression. One day in a dark moment, miles from home, miles from anywhere, you'll need someone to do something for you - I promise you. And hopefully someone will help you and you will understand what I mean. And if they don't help, you will know how it feels to be really alone.

Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, just try to be good to people.

Have you got any other tips for people interested in doing what you do?

Well, I guess that depends which bit they want to do... As a photographer my first tip to anyone wanting to get better is to take more photos. I don't mean holding the shutter down for longer and snapping the same frame 14 times. I mean making sure you have your camera with you all the time and consciously look for angles and shots. Getting your eye in for a good photo is a very useful skill.

My second tip for budding adventure photographers would be to make sure you are fit -and fitter than you think you need to be. There is nothing worse than holding back the people you are trying to shoot.

Finally, be persistent. When the weather looks like it's going to ruin the shot you had planned, stick it out. Adapt. Look for something different. Some of my favourite shots came out of those moments.

As a climber, my first tip would be to surround yourself with better climbers – though I guess that applies to photography too. No matter what level you are, don't be afraid to look weak in front of them, because it'll happen no matter how good you are. There will always be people stronger than you.

Observe and try to copy the best ones. Good climbers are always psyched to see people that are hungry and trying hard. I have never known a climber to be unimpressed by someone trying hard, and we all know how it feels. You will get good, fast.

Vary where you climb too. If you are mainly an indoor climber, find a club to go with and get outside. If you like to climb outdoors but mainly stick to one area then travel around to other venues. Use climbing as a vehicle to see more of the UK, then the world.

One thing to say though, do educate yourself about proper crag etiquette – keeping the rock clean, climbing techniques that are accepted in the area, access restrictions, etc. It's all on the internet so there are no excuses to not know.

Where in the UK do you keep going back to?

How can you expect me to answer that question?! I'm rubbish with picking favourites, there are so many amazing places. I mean, the UK is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries on the planet, no doubt about it.

The Pennine Moors around Bolton (#lancashireforlife) were my stomping ground as a lad and so I love to return every now and again and run around those hills. They're not particularly big, they are bleak and boggy, but they have spirit and I am into that.

The Lake District has been my home for the last ten years and has a firm place in my heart for sure. It's got everything, from coastline to mountains and everything in between - and insanely good climbing.

As a climber I constantly crave the vertical world and the UK has got some incredible climbing on offer. Some of my favourite climbing has got to be in Yorkshire at places like Malham Cove and Kilnsey. I often return to North Wales too … again for the diverse mix of climbing on offer and the scene is one of the best too.

There are few places still on my list though. I've spent zero time around Dartmoor and I want to change that. Similarly, I have been to the Highlands of Scotland a handful of times, but for sure I'll be heading up there before long. The next adventure is to the mountains of Northern Italy. Fun times indeed.

What about somewhere more off the beaten track?

Easy (because there aren't many left now). Loch Coruisk on the Isle of Skye has got to be one of the best. It's ridiculously beautiful for a start.

I was there a few years ago with a group of climbers to shoot and climb an unrepeated route at the head of the Loch. It rained every day bar one, and we had to bail on the trip a couple of days early because the boat captain was refusing to pick us up any later due to incoming storms.

Technically speaking the trip was a total disaster, but it was also the most isolated I have felt in the UK – ever. And I loved that.

And if you had to recommend one experience for a UK bucket list?

Oh wow. That's an even bigger question, brutal.

Spend a night out in the open air. No tent, just a sleeping bag, a bivvy and a set of wide eyes. Pick a clear night, preferably somewhere high up or with a decent view. Enjoy the magic of the night sky then get to sleep for a few hours. Set an alarm for 15 minutes before sunrise, pour yourself a brew and then enjoy the show. Photography enthusiasts should take a camera and a tripod too.

And make sure you have decent gear if you are planning on sleeping outside. A proper bivvy bag, decent sleeping mat, a flask or two - and some spare layers in a dry bag. You'll be really miserable if you're cold.

Make sure you aren't breaking any rules where you sleep too. Some friends and I once arrived on location (or we thought we were) in the middle of the night, threw our kit down outside and fell asleep on a sea cliff. We were woken at dawn by a local military patrol warning us that we were sleeping on a live firing range and that shelling was to begin within 60 minutes. Not ideal!

How do you plan your adventures?

It all depends what type of adventure I am planning. If it is for a shoot then it usually according to a clients needs. I would usually scout a location before the actual shoot, looking for the best shots and the best light. Then plan around that.

If I am planning a climbing trip then it's all about finding the best rock and best weather at any given time. Once those things are decided it all comes down to finding the right team and planning it all together.

Do any other adventurers inspire you or make you envious?

First off, I try to avoid envy. I don't want to sound righteous again, but envy gets you nowhere. When I want something, I work out a way to get it.

In terms of inspiration Renan Ozturk is a bad-ass adventure photographer. He is constantly on the move and consistently producing stunning work - in various mediums and a lot of the time in extremely challenging conditions too. Check him out.

Another name you probably you won't have heard unless you're a climber is Nalle Hukkataival. He is the best boulderer there is, bar none. Nalle is an inspiration to me not only because of his incredible ability, but also his constant hunger to travel to new countries, to explore and develop new zones and reveal amazing new climbing for the rest of us to enjoy. He's a flipping nice guy too.

I could actually list about two hundred names of people that inspire me. Take a look at the people I follow on Instagram.

What about books? Are there any you'd recommend?

There is a legendary climber from the late 80's early 90's called Jerry Moffatt. His book Revelations is bloody wonderful, for climbers and non-climbers alike. I highly recommend it.

If you need some motivation to chase a goal and be successful then it's a must-read.

Throughout your travels, has anything surprised you about today's world?

Prejudices - whether it be my own prejudices of other people (I am human after all) or the prejudices of others. I am always surprised and very intrigued about them. I am reluctant to list any big ones for risk of offending people, but it all comes down to the way we are conditioned to think.

One mild example was when I was shooting in Lebanon a couple of years ago, in the mountains between Beirut and the Syrian border. Everyone at home thought I was a total nutcase for going there, to a country "full of militant communities, Hezbollah and surrounded by Isis". Someone genuinely told me that I would "end up beheaded".

In reality the country was completely safe and the people were incredibly proud and welcoming.

Is there anything you always take with you on your trips?

Can I have two? Please?

I always, always have Capture Clip from Peak Design with me. It means I can mount my camera on any strap to enable hands free carrying. I can mount lenses on it too, attach a POV camera for action shots, or even attach binoculars to it if I am out location scouting. It is absolute genius.

I always have a tripod with me too. For lightweight adventures LEO from 3 Legged Thing is my weapon of choice. It weights next to nothing, is mega stable, super versatile AND it looks awesome. What's not to love?

What is the strangest thing you always pack?

I don't know if it's strange but I ALWAYS have my coffee kit with me. I LOVE coffee - it's a massive part of my life.

The kit consists of speciality coffee beans - usually from the wonderful folks at Rinaldo's - an Aeropress, a RhinoWares hand grinder and a travel mug. "Why?" I hear you ask. Well, two reasons. One, I hate bad coffee. And two, when things go wrong, especially on multi-day shoots, being able to make an excellent cup of coffee for anyone in the team, right there and then, has an amazing power. It can really change the mood and outcome of an adventure that would otherwise be in rapid decline.

What one thing do you wish someone would invent to make your trips easier?

That's easy actually. I wish there was more energy effificent air travel. I am conscious of my carbon footprint and I try to offset it where possible. I've already taken 14 flights this year, 6 of which were long haul. It'd be nice if the impact was reduced.

Solar planes anyone?

Finally, tell us something surprising about you?

My middle name is Caroline. My parents believed that giving me an embarrassing middle name would be character building. They told everyone that I met, to really test me. It broke me.

Actually, none of that is true. You were surprised though, weren't you? A serious answer is that I love musical theatre and I had never eaten a mushroom until 2017!

Shame - that Caroline story would have been a bobby dazzler for the grandchildren! Thanks Liam!

Find out more about Liam on his website or stalk him via Instagram and Twitter.

Liam supports Peak Design's Give a Shot scheme, allowing creatives to donate their time to worthy causes around the world. He'd also love you to grab a tee or hat to support Climbers Against Cancer.