K2: Touching the Sky – a film review

K2: Touching the Sky – a film review

There are not many films about mountaineering that tackle questions about risk and death by trying to understand rather than by being evasive or dismissive. It’s a dark and poignant film, but it’s also thought-provoking and worth watching for its interesting characters.

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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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An early history of the 8000m peaks: the Sherpa contribution

An early history of the 8000m peaks: the Sherpa contribution

The early history of the 8000m peaks has traditionally been seen as a competition between Europeans and Americans to become the first nation to climb one, but the Sherpa contribution should never be forgotten.

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An early history of the 8000m peaks: Mummery, Crowley and the Duke of Abruzzi

An early history of the 8000m peaks: Mummery, Crowley and the Duke of Abruzzi

The fourteen peaks over 8000 metres have enjoyed a special status throughout the 20th century and were subject to many races to climb them. In the first of a short series of posts about their early history I introduce three memorable characters.

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Book review: The Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey

Book review: The Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey

K2’s history has been covered in depth in a number of well-known books, so why another one? The reason I wanted to read this one was because I very much enjoyed reading Mick Conefrey’s other mountaineering history about the 1953 Everest expedition.

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Is K2 the new Everest?

Is K2 the new Everest?

There were remarkable events on K2 this week, with record numbers of climbers reaching the summit. K2 is regarded as one of the hardest mountains in the world, but has it now become within the range of less experienced commercial climbers?

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10 great Sherpa mountaineers

10 great Sherpa mountaineers

As the Everest season approaches we will be hearing a lot about the successes of western climbers in the Himalayas over the next few months, but very little about the superstars of high altitude mountaineering. It’s time this was rectified, so here are ten of the greatest tigers of the snow.

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Don’t be fooled by disaster porn

Don’t be fooled by disaster porn

Since Jon Krakauer’s seminal disaster porn classic Into Thin Air came out in 1997 publishers have flocked to release books about mountaineering disasters, but every time I see a new book like this I can’t help wishing they had never been published. Why? For me there are two reasons.

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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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Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Two mountains in Nepal are to be named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, according to a number of baffling media reports last week. Is this really true, and what mountains are they? Once again I will rummage through the detritus of mainstream media waffle, and try to shed some light on the story.

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