A dark year in the Karakoram

A dark year in the Karakoram

The mountaineering season in the Pakistan Karakoram is winding down, and not a moment too soon. I’ve been watching events unfold on its five 8000m peaks this year with a mix of sadness and horror which has left me wondering whether I will return there.

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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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My long and winding trail to Everest

My long and winding trail to Everest

I can’t quite believe it, but on Saturday I’ll be leaving for my fourth 8000 metre peak expedition in as many years, and this time it’s the big one. Two months of impossible jetstream winds meant my attempts on Gasherbrums

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How to measure the height of a mountain

How to measure the height of a mountain

An idiot’s guide to topographic prominence Once upon a time paid employees of the British Empire went to extraordinary lengths to calculate the height of the Himalayas. It’s quite widely known that the highest point on the planet is named

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Goddess of Turquoise: my attempt on Cho Oyu

Goddess of Turquoise: my attempt on Cho Oyu

Standing proudly at 8201m (26,906 ft) a few miles west of Everest on the border of Tibet and Nepal, Cho Oyu – whose name translates variously as Bald God or Goddess of Turquoise – is the sixth highest mountain in

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