Yes, that’s right. A sensational headline, I know, but it’s absolutely true.
It’s been quite the year for records on Everest and the other 8,000m peaks. As Alan Arnette reported last month, we’ve had the first Cuban who lives in Iceland to climb Everest, the richest politician couple from Ukraine, the first person to abseil into an active volcano and then climb Everest, and the first Vietnamese-American billionaire to climb it.
‘As for the records, I’ll leave it to Guinness to sort these out,’ Alan wryly observed after reporting these momentous achievements.
I don’t know how Guinness go about this, but I’m willing to drink as many pints of the black stuff as it takes to have my unique achievement recognised.
Last month, I… well, you can read the headline. It speaks for itself.
A few years ago, I climbed my first 8,000m peak, 8,163m Manaslu in Nepal. A few years later I discovered that if I’d straddled the cornice I was standing beneath I would have seen another summit a little further along the ridge that was a couple of metres higher. But by then it was too late: I had already claimed the summit and published my diary about it called (in a nod to Frank Smythe) The Manaslu Adventure.
The book has been available as an ebook and paperback for a while now. Since moving from London to the Cotswolds in 2019 (into a converted cottage that was once an old farm building) I’ve been taking advantage of the peace, quiet and absence of traffic roaring past every few minutes. As well as being my office, the room at the back of the house has also become my recording studio.
Over the last few months, I’ve been narrating and producing The Manaslu Adventure. I’m delighted to say that it’s now available as an audiobook via all the main channels, including Amazon, Audible, iTunes and now even Spotify. This is the third audiobook that I’ve narrated and produced myself and I’m happy to say that the quality is improving every time.
How many other mountaineers can claim to have done that? All I have to say is, bring on the Guinness.
The Manaslu Adventure is an everyday tale of three ordinary guys with a wealth of experience but no particular talent realising a long-held ambition by joining an expedition to climb one of the world’s fourteen 8,000m peaks.
Judging by some of the comments I’ve seen on social media recently, many people believe that climbing an 8,000m peak is a piece of cake: you just need a Sherpa to fix a rope for you and you’re magicked to the summit. It’s almost like using a cable car these days.
But it’s not so easy. By strapping on your headphones and listening to the dulcet tones of The Manaslu Adventure, you will discover that there are many perils along the way. You will learn about the crevasses that swallow you whole and the ones that grab you by the shoulder and rip it out of its socket, rubber masks that gag you on summit day, the dangers of trouser chafe while trekking through a humid gorge, and the hardships of transporting alcohol up to base camp from the nearest teahouse. There is altitude sickness, frostbite and exhaustion, but there is also friendship, spectacular descriptions and moments of supreme satisfaction. It’s all there.
If you want to know what climbing an 8,000m peak is really like, The Manaslu Adventure will bring you that little bit closer.
Why not download it now. And of course, if you prefer reading to listening, the paperback and ebook versions are also available. Click the big green button to find out more.