Tomek Mackiewicz and Nanga Parbat: a Shakespearean mountaineering tragedy

Tomek Mackiewicz and Nanga Parbat: a Shakespearean mountaineering tragedy

Tomek Mackiewicz’s death on Nanga Parbat carries a number of characteristics of a Shakespearean tragedy. It has a tragic hero with a tragic flaw that will ultimately lead to his downfall. It involves a tragic waste, an external conflict, and even a catharsis.

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South Peak: my attempt on Lhotse

South Peak: my attempt on Lhotse

Good times are approaching again. On Sunday I leave for Nepal for my fifth 8000m peak expedition, and it’s fair to say I’m just a teeny bit excited. My objective this time is 8516m Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world and the one next to Everest, as I’ve been telling everyone who has asked.

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Everest’s magic miracle highway

Everest’s magic miracle highway

When the 1922 expedition team set out, they already knew their approach to Everest lay up a side valley known as the East Rongbuk, but they knew little of the terrain they would find there. When they arrived they discovered a tumbling mass of jagged ice towers the size of buildings, but there was also a miraculous way through.

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Do we really need more 8000m peaks?

Do we really need more 8000m peaks?

The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) is considering a request from Nepal to reclassify five peaks within the country, and another in Pakistan, as 8000m peaks. But are they worthy of the name, and is there any point? Let’s have a look at the peaks in question.

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Summit day on Manaslu: what’s it really like?

Summit day on Manaslu: what’s it really like?

Variable snow conditions mean summits of mountains can differ from year to year. One mountain whose summit is unrecognisable from when it was first climbed in 1956 is Manaslu in Nepal. Its summit has changed so much that modern mountaineers could almost be climbing a different mountain.

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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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Is the death zone a myth?

Is the death zone a myth?

If you’ve read a few things about Everest or other 8000m peaks then you’ve probably come across the term death zone. If you have then it’s likely you reacted in one of two ways. Either your respect for the writer grew enormously or you imagined the sound of evil laughter accompanied by a dramatic organ chord.

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Spirit Mountain: my attempt on Manaslu

Spirit Mountain: my attempt on Manaslu

If at first you don’t succeed, go and lie on a beach next time and get yourself a nice sun tan … is not a phrase you hear many mountaineers saying. In fact, once bitten by the mountaineering bug your

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