10 great Sherpa mountaineers

10 great Sherpa mountaineers

As the Everest season approaches we will be hearing a lot about the successes of western climbers in the Himalayas over the next few months, but very little about the superstars of high altitude mountaineering. It’s time this was rectified, so here are ten of the greatest tigers of the snow.

Read more

Ueli Steck’s guide to the 8000m peaks

Ueli Steck’s guide to the 8000m peaks

A short while ago I attended a lecture by the Swiss climber Ueli Steck, known affectionately as the Swiss Machine, and later wrote about how ridiculous his mountaineering career has been. Last week I went to see him again after he had done something even more ridiculous.

Read more

Sir Chris Bonington’s life in 90 minutes

Sir Chris Bonington’s life in 90 minutes

Britain’s greatest living mountaineer is currently touring the country with a series of lectures about his life, and I was lucky enough to see one of them. An important World Cup qualifier was taking place that evening, but if Chris Bonington’s life were a football match it would be a 22 goal thriller which ended 11 goals all and went into extra time.

Read more

Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Where on earth are Tenzing Peak and Hillary Peak anyway?

Two mountains in Nepal are to be named after Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary, according to a number of baffling media reports last week. Is this really true, and what mountains are they? Once again I will rummage through the detritus of mainstream media waffle, and try to shed some light on the story.

Read more

A tribute to Sherpas, the tigers of the snow

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

Sherpa hospitality as a cure for frostbite

Sherpa hospitality as a cure for frostbite

Mountaineering history is full of stories of heroic ascents which have come at a cost: loss of fingers and toes (or worse) due to frostbite. We understand how to treat frostbite injuries much better now, but one method of treatment discovered by a little known Austrian mountaineer in the 1950s, seems to have been neglected by the medical profession, and it’s one that sounds quite appealing.

Read more

Is this the finest view in the Himalayas?

Is this the finest view in the Himalayas?

The photograph below was taken just beneath the Kang La pass in the Annapurna region of Nepal, and shows practically the entire northern sweep of the Annapurna range from Annapurna II on the left to Tilicho Peak on the right.

Read more

5 great books about mountain exploration

5 great books about mountain exploration

If you like books about mountaineering, here are some of my favourites. I make no claims that these are the 5 best books about mountain exploration ever written, because I can’t claim to have read them all. They are simply

Read more