One of the side effects of coronavirus lockdown that many people have been talking about is the clarity of the air. Less traffic means less pollution. Nowhere illustrates this better than Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Last week the Nepali Times posted a photo that purported to show a view of Everest from the city. Could it be true?Read more
Opinion and advice
Much ado about yetis: Nepal’s latest tourism blunder
Nepal’s flagship tourism initiative Visit Nepal 2020 got off to a flying start when 20 yeti statues were removed by tourism officials because they didn’t look anything like yetis. But was this fair and does anyone know what a yeti looks like anyway?Read more
The true summit of Manaslu: a long-standing mystery solved
A few days ago, a reader sent me the following video of a man climbing up a steep bank of snow, reaching the top and seeing two summits beyond. The video was a bit of an eye-opener for me, and solved a mystery that has been bugging me for several years.Read more
Nirmal Purja’s ascent of all fourteen 8,000m peaks: why is it controversial?
Last week was one of those weeks when a mountaineering story is so big that it makes it into the popular press. On the face of it, it was a straightforward story of someone smashing a record to smithereens. But if you dig a little deeper, there is another side to it.Read more
Quilotoa: the easiest way in Ecuador to look into a volcanic crater?
Ecuador has some impressive volcanic craters. Some, such as Cotopaxi and Tungurahua – both of which I’m going to talk about later – take a bit of effort to get to. But first, a more relaxing interlude. Not all volcanoesRead more
What the North Coast 500 has in common with Everest
Queues of slow moving traffic, people who don’t know how to drive, human faeces by the side of the road – are we talking about Everest again? No, it’s the North Coast 500, a magnificent road trip in north-west Scotland which I once pedalled round.Read more
An interview with … Mark Horrell (and why not)
What to do when you spend an evening answering interview questions for a journalist, only for them not to be published? Of course, it’s obvious: publish them yourself on your own blog. So here is the world’s first ever interview with Mark Horrell.Read more
Is it time to boycott the south side of Everest?
The problems which occurred on Everest this year are nothing new, but they have now reached such a degree that it’s time for operators who value their reputation and for those who dream of climbing Everest to take a principled stand.Read more
Why I prefer hiking to biking
If you’ve been following my adventures on a bike in Scotland and Ecuador, you will know that cycle touring is an acquired taste that I’m still struggling to acquire. By contrast, I love hiking and I was recently given a good lesson why.Read more
Is Dervla Murphy most admired for her writing or her travelling style?
I’ve recently been reading In Ethiopia With a Mule, about a trek across – you guessed it – Ethiopia, in the company of a mule, by the famously brave travel writer Dervla Murphy. She is widely admired for her intrepid travelling style, but does this come at a price?Read more