What Ueli Steck meant to ordinary people like me

What Ueli Steck meant to ordinary people like me

The word inspirational has been used a lot in tributes to Ueli Steck, who died last weekend. Ueli did things which no ordinary person could do, but there was something about him that appealed to people both inside and outside the climbing community. Here’s what he meant to me.

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Why I don’t give a toss about the BMC renaming itself Climb Britain

Why I don’t give a toss about the BMC renaming itself Climb Britain

Last month Britain’s top mountaineering organisation, the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), puzzled its 80,000 members by announcing out of the blue that it would be changing its name to Climb Britain.

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Book review: Summit 8000 by Andrew Lock

Book review: Summit 8000 by Andrew Lock

Andrew Lock was the first Australian to climb all fourteen 8000m peaks. I agree with Sir Chris Bonington: his book is honest, gritty and riveting. It’s also refreshing and humorous in places, and well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.

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The first ascent of the Southwest Face of Everest

The first ascent of the Southwest Face of Everest

On 24 September 1975, Doug Scott and Dougal Haston became the first two Brits to reach the summit of Everest, by a new route on the Southwest Face. Forty years later, on 24 September 2015, I had the privilege of hearing all about it from members of their team.

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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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Frank Smythe is more interesting than George Mallory

Frank Smythe is more interesting than George Mallory

The headline ‘Mallory’s body discovered on Everest in 1936’ appeared widely on social media sites last week. Had new revelations emerged about whether Mallory reached the summit of Everest? No, the real subject of the story wasn’t George Mallory at all, but arguably a much more interesting character.

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Sir Chris Bonington’s life in 90 minutes

Sir Chris Bonington’s life in 90 minutes

Britain’s greatest living mountaineer is currently touring the country with a series of lectures about his life, and I was lucky enough to see one of them. An important World Cup qualifier was taking place that evening, but if Chris Bonington’s life were a football match it would be a 22 goal thriller which ended 11 goals all and went into extra time.

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Snowdon via the Llanberis Path

Snowdon via the Llanberis Path

Good weather was forecast in the Welsh hills last weekend, so I headed up to Snowdonia, where I completed a fine circular walk of Snowdon via the Llanberis Path and the long whale-backed ridge of Moel Eilio. I expected it to be busy, but not as busy as the media would have you believe.

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Did Chinese climbers reach the summit of Everest in 1960?

Did Chinese climbers reach the summit of Everest in 1960?

There has been a lot of gushing editorial written recently to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first American ascent of Everest in 1963. I could write a bit more about the expedition here, but I wouldn’t be adding anything to what’s already out there. Instead I’m going to talk about another expedition which took place on Everest’s north side three years earlier.

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