Cotopaxi, a short climbing history: a teaser from my next book

Cotopaxi, a short climbing history: a teaser from my next book

Last Friday I reached the summit of another metaphorical mountain. After seven months of intensive scribbling I finished the first draft of my next major book. There’s a little way to go before it’s ready for publication, but here’s a teaser to whet your appetite.

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An evening with Mick and Vic, British climbing’s answer to Vic and Bob

An evening with Mick and Vic, British climbing’s answer to Vic and Bob

Mick Fowler and Victor Saunders are two legends of the Himalayan mountaineering scene who climbed together in the 80s and completed several first ascents. They went their separate ways for 29 years, but reunited for a climb last year. I attended their very first lecture together.

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The truth about the first Lithuanian ascent of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain

The truth about the first Lithuanian ascent of Sgurr a’ Chaorachain

False summit claims were back in the news when a Swedish mountaineer retracted his summit claim after studying photographs and realising he hadn’t reached the very top. He was praised for his refreshing honesty, but a similar story of mountaineering integrity also deserves attention.

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Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

The Himalayan explorer Bill Tilman spent fourteen years of his life as a coffee planter in Kenya. During that time he and Eric Shipton made a number of exploratory treks and climbs on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, and in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda.

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Nepal’s scramble for first ascents – or are they?

Nepal’s scramble for first ascents – or are they?

In 2014, the government of Nepal published a list of 104 peaks that were newly open for climbing, unleashing a scramble to make their first ascents. There was just one problem. Some of these peaks had already been climbed before.

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An early history of the 8000m peaks: the first ascent of Annapurna

An early history of the 8000m peaks: the first ascent of Annapurna

In 1950 a French team led by Maurice Herzog made the first ever ascent of an 8000m peak when they climbed 8091m Annapurna, during one of the first mountaineering expeditions to Nepal. It’s possible to view their ascent in one of two ways.

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