There are lots of blogs and online magazines that seek to turn us into alpinists and athletes by reporting extreme ascents by impossibly intrepid climbers, or describing the latest technique or piece of equipment you really must buy to crank your training up a notch.

My aim is to provide an alternative voice in mountain writing by representing the quiet majority of enthusiastic amateurs who are just happy to get out into the peaks without worrying about being seen to climb in a certain style, with no great talent but heaps of enthusiasm, who believe the mountains should be enjoyed by all people regardless of ability, technique or fortitude.

Mark Horrell on Aconcagua's False Polish Glacier traverse in 2010 (Photo: Augusto Ortega)
Mark Horrell on Aconcagua’s False Polish Glacier traverse in 2010 (Photo: Augusto Ortega)

If you believe using fixed ropes, Sherpa support or supplementary oxygen is cheating, that employing a guide or signing up to a group trip is beneath contempt, then this probably isn’t the place for you as I may end up saying something that annoys you.

If on the other hand your climbing style is akin to Noddy Holder’s sartorial style, and you’re not fussed whether a route is graded PD+, V Diff, F Off, BS or VD as long as there’s a nice view at the top, then please stick around as there might be something here you enjoy reading.

I’ve been lucky enough to climb some big peaks all around the world, but I see myself as a hiker rather than a climber, someone who enjoys plodding up the easy routes, but has one or two technical skills to get himself up the harder sections if necessary. Many people would disagree, but I definitely class myself as a mountaineer (as this post here will tell you) and you can see a list of some of the mountains I’ve climbed here.

As far as training goes my hero is the athlete Andy Holden who, as The Telegraph reported in his obituary, had a penchant for ale that never stopped him winning.

So much for the blog and my approach to the mountains, if you want to hear more about my writing then please see my author bio.

Mark Horrell at Manaslu Base Camp in 2011 (Photo: José Ferro)
Mark Horrell at Manaslu Base Camp in 2011 (Photo: José Ferro)