I’ve recently been reading The Everest Years by Chris Bonington, during which he states that he was the 7th Brit to climb Everest. So who were the 7 and what were their stories?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
When Prince Philip went tiger shooting in Nepal
Today’s post comes with apologies to the 110,994 people who wrote to the BBC last week (a national record, apparently), complaining about the dawn to dusk coverage of Prince Philip across all their TV channels, after the Queen’s consort andRead more
Is the first winter ascent of K2 a turning point for Sherpa mountaineers?
It’s not very often that the ascent of an 8,000m peak makes international news headlines, but earlier this month something rather special happened when a team of 10 Nepali climbers stood on the summit of K2.Read more
Doug Scott’s expedition to the Tibesti Mountains in Chad
Inspired by a trip to the Atlas Mountains in 1962, Doug Scott obtained £400 of sponsorship from the Mount Everest Foundation for a trip to the Tibesti Mountains in 1964. He bought three army lorries and set off across the Sahara Desert to Chad.Read more
What was Jan Morris’s secret code to say that Everest had been climbed?
In 1953, Jan Morris was the Times correspondent entrusted with sending the exclusive news that Everest had been climbed for the very first time. With rival journalists snooping around the Everest region, she decided to invent a secret code.Read more
When Joe Brown went hunting for Inca treasure in Ecuador’s Llanganates Mountains
Much has been written about Joe Brown, the great alpinist and rock climber who made the first ascent of Kangchenjunga and died earlier this year. But we don’t often hear about the time he followed an ancient treasure map into the Andes in search of Inca gold.Read more
The tragedy of Armero: the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz
Today I’m going to tell you a moving story that I stumbled across while researching the mountains of Los Nevados after my trip to Colombia over the new year. It concerns a 13-year old girl called Omayra Sanchez whose plight came to worldwide attention following the eruption of Nevado del Ruiz in 1985.Read more
How the Colombian páramo thwarted the Spanish conquistadors
The story I’m about to tell might be total bollocks, but it’s a funny story, so I’m going to tell it anyway. It was told to us by one of our guides as we trekked through the páramo landscape of Colombia last month.Read more