Leo’s Biography



Everest-Leo-on-North-Col-EvLeo Dickinson is one of the outstanding action sports filmmakers in the field today. He has made over 50 films of his own and helped on as many others. They have won numerous awards in every major mountain film and adventure film festival and this year he has been awarded the Grande Prize from the International Alliance for Mountain Film. They say that this is the most important prize in the world for Mountain Film so it is a honour for Leo to receive this in recognition for all his work over the years.

Leo-climbs-Donkey's-Ears-BoLeo began rock-climbing in the Lake District and North Wales whilst still at school and spent his first Alpine season in 1966 in the Dolomites. In 1970 Leo persuaded Yorkshire TV to finance his first film, an ascent of the North Face of the Eiger in Switzerland. Since then he has made many television documentaries travelling from Patagonia to the Himalayas and Karakorum. During his mountaineering career Leo has climbed the fiercely overhanging Brandler/Hasse route on the Cima Grande di Laveredo, the Phillip/Flamm on the Civetta, the North Faces of the Piz Badille, Matterhorn and Eiger as well as reaching over 24,000ft on both sides of Everest.

Leo-with-camerahelmet-RussiHe started parachuting in 1971 in preparation for a mountaineering trip to the Patagonian Ice Cap where he hoped to arrive by parachute. The was thwarted by the authorities so he walked instead, using the wind and his parachute to pull the sledges. In 1978 he started skydiving again and now has over 3,000 jumps with at least 1,500 of them with cameras on his helmet recording numerous records and stunts. He has made 4 documentary films on skydiving and 4 comedy skydiving films about Wally Gubbins. In 1978 Leo made his first base jump from Angel falls in Venezuela and continued with a lot more from Arco in 2002.

Leo_camerahelmet-UKAs a stills photographer Leo has had photos published in many of the major magazinesincluding Life, National Geographic, Paris Match and GEO. In November 1986 he won the Nikon press photographer of the month award with one of his skydiving stills. He has written three books about his adventures ‘Filming the Impossible’, ‘Anything is Possible’ and ‘Ballooning over Everest’.

Leo’s memorable moments

  • Looking down on the top of Mount Everest from a hot air balloon
  • Skydiving with eight naked women in California
  • Being charged by lions in South Africa
  • Being hit by a peregrine falcon in freefall

The future

Although Leo has not given up action sports, last year he made 16 base jumps off Arco in Italy, his new passion is wildlife filming where he draws on his skills of climbing & skydiving.