Leo Houlding does his bit for the Sherpas

Leo Houlding does his bit for the Sherpas

Last week one of Britain’s top rock climbers did a lecture at the RGS in London. Rock climbing isn’t generally my thing, but this talk had an Everest theme, and one of its aims was to raise money for the families of the Sherpas who died in the 18 April avalanche.

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The mother of all avalanches: an eyewitness account

The mother of all avalanches: an eyewitness account

At approximately 6.45am on Friday 18 April, 2014 I was walking with team mates through Everest Base Camp on the way to my first foray into the Khumbu Icefall. It was a climb I wasn’t to start, for at that moment a huge chunk of ice fell off Everest’s West Shoulder, triggering an avalanche which swept across the entire width of the Icefall.

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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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George Mallory was murdered … by Jeffrey Archer

George Mallory was murdered … by Jeffrey Archer

In 1924 the mountaineering legend George Mallory vanished into mist on Everest’s Northeast Ridge, never to be seen again. In 2009 and the bestselling novelist Jeffery Archer wrote a novel about it called Paths of Glory, but was it historically accurate? Let’s have a look.

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The Epic of Everest – Captain John Noel’s film of the 1924 expedition

The Epic of Everest – Captain John Noel’s film of the 1924 expedition

If I had one word to describe The Epic of Everest, John Noel’s historic record of the 1924 expedition, which has recently been restored, then it would be atmospheric. If I had a second one then it would be weird, but then I’m not that familiar with 1920s silent movies and I expect they were all like this back then.

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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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Everest is not for climbers – you’re joking aren’t you!

Everest is not for climbers – you’re joking aren’t you!

There’s nothing like a negative Everest story to trigger a flurry of publishing absurdity. For example, some people say Everest has now become so crowded with commercial expeditions there is no longer any room for real climbers, an argument that can be easily refuted with a single photograph.

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Why Tenzing is the greatest Everest climber

Why Tenzing is the greatest Everest climber

While George Mallory, Edmund Hillary, Reinhold Messner and Eric Shipton all deserve their place in the Everest pantheon, if there’s to be an award for the greatest of all Everest climbers, then IMHO it should go to Tenzing Norgay, because he had to work so much harder to achieve his ambition than any of the other climbers.

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