A long overdue, heroic story of rescue high on Everest

A long overdue, heroic story of rescue high on Everest

We hear many stories of blame on Everest, but rarely stories of heroism. This isn’t because they don’t exist, but because the media prefer to focus on the negative. In this week’s post I do my bit to rectify this with the help of an old friend.

Read more

A return to the Peruvian Andes, in very different circumstances

A return to the Peruvian Andes, in very different circumstances

By the time you read this I will be in Peru, setting out in the hope of climbing its highest mountain, 6768m Huascaran. It’s been a long time coming. My one and only visit to Peru was when I walked the Huayhuash Circuit as a novice trekker in 2002.

Read more

Everest by the Venables Direct Route

Everest by the Venables Direct Route

In 1988 a ragtag quartet of mountaineers from the USA, Canada and the UK made one of Everest’s most intrepid ascents, and last Thursday I had the good fortune of attending a lecture at the Royal Geographical Society in London celebrating the 25th anniversary of their climb.

Read more

Is the death zone a myth?

Is the death zone a myth?

If you’ve read a few things about Everest or other 8000m peaks then you’ve probably come across the term death zone. If you have then it’s likely you reacted in one of two ways. Either your respect for the writer grew enormously or you imagined the sound of evil laughter accompanied by a dramatic organ chord.

Read more

First ascent of Aconcagua: a story of self-inflicted altitude sickness

First ascent of Aconcagua: a story of self-inflicted altitude sickness

When the Swiss guide Matthias Zurbriggen stood on the highest point in South America in 1897, as far as anyone knew it was the highest place man had ever been, but he stood there alone. His expedition leader Edward Fitzgerald had been left behind with altitude sickness at 6000m.

Read more

In memory of Victor Correa of Guican

In memory of Victor Correa of Guican

It made me very sad to hear about the last fatality on Manaslu this year before the weather closed in and the Himalayan climbing season ended for the winter. Eleven people had already died in a huge avalanche on the

Read more

The high-altitude slow plod

The high-altitude slow plod

The importance of keeping a good pace and rhythm when walking up a mountain During his expedition to Kamet in the Garhwal Himalaya, Northern India in 1931 – at the time the highest mountain that had ever been climbed –

Read more

Is Prince Harry really going to climb ‘Mount’ Everest?

Is Prince Harry really going to climb ‘Mount’ Everest?

Or is The Telegraph talking out of its arse? A surprising headline appeared in one of Britain’s top newspapers earlier this week. In its article Prince Harry is all set to climb Mount Everest, The Telegraph went on to say:

Read more

5 reasons Ecuador’s mountains are great for beginners

5 reasons Ecuador’s mountains are great for beginners

When the Victorian mountaineer Edward Whymper visited Ecuador in 1879 – ostensibly to study the effects of high altitude, but in reality to polish off a few first ascents in the High Andes – he was far from impressed. In

Read more

Manaslu: a tale of two mountaineers

Manaslu: a tale of two mountaineers

It’s October 5, 2011, and the summit crown of Manaslu is at the top of a short snow couloir on the right of the summit slope. I can see my friend Ian Cartwright waiting at the top, and each time

Read more