Today is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. I expect there will be quite a few editorial pieces published today reflecting on how the mountain has changed in the intervening years. I expect most of them will lament the changes as a bad thing, but I’m going to adopt a slightly different stance in this post.Read more
Month: May 2013
Farewell to the Pilgrim’s Book House, Kathmandu
The phrase Aladdin’s cave is often used to describe a place crammed full of interesting objects, and if ever there was a building worthy of the definition it was the Pilgrim’s Book House, Kathmandu. Squeezed between souvenir shops and tourist guest houses was an inauspicious shop front which led into a maze of rooms filled from floor to ceiling with books. Sadly, last week it burned to the ground.Read more
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.Read more
The Mynydd Du microadventure
Perhaps I’ve only just noticed, but all of a sudden people have started using the term microadventure for things that used to be called walks. I used to laugh, but after my trip to the Mynydd Du hills last weekend, I’m going to stick my neck out and say that I have now become a microadventurer.Read more
Everest is not for climbers – you’re joking aren’t you!
There’s nothing like a negative Everest story to trigger a flurry of publishing absurdity. For example, some people say Everest has now become so crowded with commercial expeditions there is no longer any room for real climbers, an argument that can be easily refuted with a single photograph.Read more
How civilised does an expedition base camp have to be?
Photographs of members of the Russian 7 Summits Club playing pool at base camp on Everest’s north side will have raised the blood pressure of a few purists who believe such luxuries have no place in mountaineering, but a bit of pampering at base camp has long been a part of expeditions to the 8000m peaks.Read more