Solo trekking will be banned in Nepal’s national parks starting from next month, unless hikers carry a live chicken strapped to their backpacks. Officials say it will improve safety for millions of thrill seekers who travel to the Himalayas every year.Read more
Murder on the Nangpa La: why the 2006 Cho Oyu shooting should be remembered
On Saturday 30 September, 2006, foreign climbers at Cho Oyu Base Camp in Tibet watched a line of around 70 local people zigzag up a steep snow slope a short distance away from their tents. They were about to witness something that would become headline news across the world.Read more
Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, but is it a real place?
As we drove back to the Cotswolds earlier this month, Peter Gabriel’s 1977 hit Solsbury Hill popped up on the car stereo, which prompted Edita to remark: “Is Solsbury Hill a real place? If it is then we should climb it.” So we did.Read more
Did Rudyard Kipling’s explorer see Hamish MacInnes looking behind the ranges?
The title of Hamish MacInnes’s book Look Behind the Ranges is taken from Rudyard Kipling’s poem The Explorer about a man who is urged to cross the mountains behind his home by an inner voice. But what would Kipling’s explorer have made of Hamish MacInnes?Read more
A short history of Everest by Kenton Cool
The two things I miss most since moving from London to the Cotswolds are live jazz and mountaineering lectures. Imagine my delight then, to learn that Kenton Cool would be giving a lecture about Everest a few fields away from where I live.Read more
How to survive a wet and wintry week in Glen Coe, Scotland
For many years the idea of a week in Scotland at the end of December was far from my thoughts. There are only a few hours of daylight, a high chance of rain every day, howling winds and thick mist over the hills. But it’s still possible to enjoy yourself in these circumstances.Read more
My favourite book of 2022: Snow in the Kingdom by Ed Webster
This is a poignantly belated book review, if ever there was one. Ed Webster died of a heart attack last month at the age of 66. His book Snow on the Kingdom had been sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read for more than seven years.Read more
Did George Mallory climb Everest in 1924? I asked ChatGPT for an answer
There’s been a lot of hype about the new chatbot ChatGPT. If it can impersonate a real person, then it occurred to me that I could interview George Mallory and find out if he actually reached the summit of Everest in 1924. So I did, and here’s what happened.Read more
Wham! Bam! Langtang! Chang! Four days of trekking joy
When I woke up inside my tent on the morning after our Dzo Jongo double header, I was very much looking forward to the final few days of relaxing trekking after the strenuous grind of the two climbs. But I didn’t realise quite what a treat I was in for.Read more
Dzo Jongo West: the world’s shortest 6,000m-peak summit day?
I hadn’t been intending to do anything too technical on my first return to the mountains, but perhaps I should have expected to. Our ascent of Dzo Jongo West was my first proper mountaineering for several years. Would I remember what to do?Read more