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
The strangest tale about Kangchenjunga ever told
A book review of A Step Away from Paradise by Thomas K. Shor Hundreds of books have been written about the world’s highest mountain, Everest, and dozens about its second highest, K2. There have not been so many about theRead more
Dzo Jongo East: a 6,000m peak so easy you can just walk up it
Our plan to climb Kang Yatze I was abandoned after looking at it from a distance and deciding it would be too epic. The popular Kang Yatze II looked about as interesting as a round of golf, so we set our sights on the two Dzo Jongo peaks at the top of the Nimaling valley.Read more
Markha Valley Trek: a perfect reintroduction to trekking in Ladakh
After three years without a foreign holiday, how would I respond to a multi-day remote camping trek? My axe and crampons had been gathering cobwebs. Would my climbing skills still be up to the job? I headed to Ladakh in northern India to find out.Read more
A return to the land of mountain passes
Wow, it’s been a hectic last few weeks for me and my apologies for not posting for a while. The good news is that I’ve made it to the end of all the hecticness, and I will soon be leaving for my first real foreign holiday since December 2019 – which now seems an age away in a parallel universe (and for all I know, it probably is).Read more
Life and Death on Mt Everest: a rare window into Sherpa culture
A few months ago someone recommended to me a lesser known volume in the Everest canon, written by Sherry B Ortner, an American anthropologist who spent over 30 years studying Sherpa culture, including fieldwork in the Solu-Khumbu region of Nepal.Read more
If Reinhold Messner wasn’t the first person to climb all the 8,000m peaks, who was?
There have been rumours in the mountaineering world for a few years now that all the records about ascents of the world’s fourteen 8,000m peaks might need to be rewritten, including whether the great Reinhold Messner was first to climb them all.Read more
Is Peaks and Bandits the world’s funniest mountaineering book?
Thanks to Vertebrate and their Norwegian translator Bibbi Lee, the meagre pot of mountaineering mirth has become a little merrier with the unearthing of a little known gem of Norwegian literature.Read more