Why a crowdfunded mountain rescue raised $200,000 in under a week

Why a crowdfunded mountain rescue raised $200,000 in under a week

When I first became aware of a crowdfunded appeal to search for two climbers who had been missing for days on a remote peak in Pakistan, my immediate impression was that it was both desperate and futile. Not everyone saw it that way, and what happened next was remarkable.

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Did Everest’s Hillary Step collapse in the Nepal earthquake?

Did Everest’s Hillary Step collapse in the Nepal earthquake?

There are rumours that the iconic Hillary Step, Everest’s most feared obstacle on summit day, collapsed in last year’s earthquake, and has become little more than an easy snow slope. Can it be true? I examine the evidence.

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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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Sunshine and optimism in the High Pamirs: my attempt on Peak Lenin

Sunshine and optimism in the High Pamirs: my attempt on Peak Lenin

If I’d known about the climbing history of 7134m Peak Lenin, then I might have thought twice about going there. But if I’m lucky I will have good weather and reach the summit, and if I don’t I’m sure I will return home with many happy memories.

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Everest’s deadliest day – debating Everest’s future

Everest’s deadliest day – debating Everest’s future

Everest’s Deadliest Day was the title of a debate at the RGS in London last week, about the April avalanche and what it meant for the future of Himalayan climbing and the economy of Nepal. Here is my account and thoughts about the event.

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How not to do a mountaineering presentation

How not to do a mountaineering presentation

Climbing has as much in common with public speaking as it does with hosting a dinner party. I’ve seen some great lectures by mountaineering legends over the years, but last week I attended a lecture that was about as slick as a mountaineer’s chin after two weeks in an ice cave.

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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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Book review: Sacred Summits by Pete Boardman

Book review: Sacred Summits by Pete Boardman

Pete Boardman was only 31 years old when he went missing with his climbing partner Joe Tasker on the Northeast Ridge of Everest in 1982, but already he was a climbing legend who had packed an enormous amount into his short life. He climbed Everest by a new route on the Southwest Face in 1975 at the age of only 24, and the world’s third highest mountain Kangchenjunga also by a new route in 1979.

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Touching Doug Scott’s void: a crawl down The Ogre

Touching Doug Scott’s void: a crawl down The Ogre

No, the title of this post is not a euphemism, but a reference to the similarities between one of the great mountaineering survival stories, Joe Simpson’s Touching the Void, and another less well-known survival story which happened in the Pakistan

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Joe Brown provides a rare glimpse of Kangchenjunga

Joe Brown provides a rare glimpse of Kangchenjunga

When my mate Dan asked me if I wanted to go and see Joe Brown talk about the first ascent of Kangchenjunga, I didn’t even realise he was still alive (Joe Brown that is, not Dan). There aren’t many climbers

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