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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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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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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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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Is mountaineering in Nepal becoming too expensive?

Is mountaineering in Nepal becoming too expensive?

Budget climbing on its way out, cried a headline in the Himalayan Times. Nepal has often been seen as a cheap destination for mountaineering, but this perception is changing. I look at the reasons, examine whether it’s true and make some predictions.

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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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The Everest Base Camp summit meeting: an eyewitness account

The Everest Base Camp summit meeting: an eyewitness account

In April government officials flew into Everest Base Camp to meet with Sherpas who had issued demands after a fatal avalanche. Afterwards they issued a press release about the meeting that was misleading in a number of ways. Here is my account of the events I witnessed that day.

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Everest: The Return of the Mavericks

Everest: The Return of the Mavericks

The government of Nepal has slashed permit fees for individuals climbing Everest from $25,000 to $10,000. But the group permit system that provided discounts for larger teams has been abolished, and the fee for a team member has increased to $11,000. What does this mean for the spring climbing season on the south side of Everest?

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Cerro San Lorenzo and the Patagonian summer

Cerro San Lorenzo and the Patagonian summer

Sometimes it’s useful to have low expectations so that when the impossible doesn’t happen, you’re not disappointed. This is especially true in Patagonia, where the weather is temperamental. I didn’t have high hopes of reaching the summit of 3706m Cerro San Lorenzo, but I was determined to give it a go.

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