A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A couple of weekends ago, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: install the Himalayan Database on my computer and play around with it. The Himalayan Database is a comprehensive record of expeditions to peaks in Nepal, based on the archives of Elizabeth Hawley.

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Is acclimatising at home the future of Himalayan mountaineering?

Is acclimatising at home the future of Himalayan mountaineering?

The American operator Alpenglow is pioneering a new approach to Himalayan mountaineering with its Rapid Ascent trips. These expeditions are unaffordable to most ordinary people, but I believe it won’t be long before cheaper operators follow suit.

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Battle of the blockbusters: Herzog’s Annapurna vs. Tichy’s Cho Oyu

Battle of the blockbusters: Herzog’s Annapurna vs. Tichy’s Cho Oyu

I’ve recently finished reading Cho Oyu by Herbert Tichy, an account of the first ascent of Cho Oyu in 1954. The book is hard to get hold of, but it’s as good as Maurice Herzog’s Annapurna, regarded by many as one the best mountaineering books ever written.

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Cholatse 11, Ama Dablam 0 (Everest arrested for streaking)

Cholatse 11, Ama Dablam 0 (Everest arrested for streaking)

If ever I used omens as a means of determining my next holiday destination, then it’s likely I would have spent this autumn sunning myself on a beach. Luckily I’m not superstitious, and my climb of Cholatse proved as happy and successful as an expedition can be.

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5 of the silliest mountain firsts

5 of the silliest mountain firsts

With the news that a man climbed Snowdon pushing a brussels sprout with his nose, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what other silly things have been done on mountains. So here are some of the world’s more improbable first ascents.

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10 great Sherpa mountaineers

10 great Sherpa mountaineers

As the Everest season approaches we will be hearing a lot about the successes of western climbers in the Himalayas over the next few months, but very little about the superstars of high altitude mountaineering. It’s time this was rectified, so here are ten of the greatest tigers of the snow.

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Nepal’s top 5 most valuable mountains

Nepal’s top 5 most valuable mountains

The government of Nepal recently published figures about the revenue it earned from climbing permits in 2013, including a list of the five most valuable peaks for tourist income. There are few surprises, but the extent to which four mountains dominate is a bit of an eye opener.

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Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Two mountains in Nepal are to be named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, according to a number of baffling media reports last week. Is this really true, and what mountains are they? Once again I will rummage through the detritus of mainstream media waffle, and try to shed some light on the story.

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A tribute to Sherpas, the tigers of the snow

A tribute to Sherpas, the tigers of the snow

This is a post I have been meaning to write for a while. Much has been written by westerners about Sherpas over the last hundred years, but the voice of the Sherpas themselves is rare. I can’t provide it, but I can provide my own perspective of a people who have given me many happy memories, taken me to places I could never have been without them, and put their lives at risk to help me.

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