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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The Sherpa sacrifice

The Sherpa sacrifice

I don’t know whether this is going to post successfully, as we have been without meaningful internet communications since we arrived at Everest Base Camp over a week ago. I have wandered down to Gorak Shep in search of 3G

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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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When the mountain gods are angry

When the mountain gods are angry

I’ve been pretty lucky with my adventures so far. Although they don’t always go according to plan I’ve never experienced a major disaster. I had a chance to reflect on this while I was sheltering in a mountain hut in Patagonia reading John Quillen’s account of his attempt on Broad Peak last year.

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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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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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