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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Cayambe and Chimborazo: Why Ecuador’s volcanoes are worth a second visit

Cayambe and Chimborazo: Why Ecuador’s volcanoes are worth a second visit

I love the open geography of Ecuador’s central highlands, a high-altitude landscape of free-standing volcanoes. Six years ago I went there and climbed five of them. This Christmas I will be making a long overdue return visit.

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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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