How civilised does an expedition base camp have to be?

How civilised does an expedition base camp have to be?

Photographs of members of the Russian 7 Summits Club playing pool at base camp on Everest’s north side will have raised the blood pressure of a few purists who believe such luxuries have no place in mountaineering, but a bit of pampering at base camp has long been a part of expeditions to the 8000m peaks.

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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.

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Ueli Steck’s ridiculous mountaineering career

Ueli Steck’s ridiculous mountaineering career

If you read the title of this post and think I’m about to slag off the Swiss climbing superstar, famous for his speed ascents in the Alps and Himalayas, then you should know upfront that I’ll be doing precisely the

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In defence of Manaslu (and commercial mountaineering)

In defence of Manaslu (and commercial mountaineering)

It’s not always wise or worthwhile to respond to a rant, but occasionally something you hold dear is attacked so mercilessly that you can’t help yourself. There’s been quite a lot of nonsense published about last month’s avalanche on Manaslu,

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Mystery of the vanishing Himalayan lake

Mystery of the vanishing Himalayan lake

I’m no climate change sceptic, and I’ve seen its effect on shrinking glaciers many times. While scientific evidence for climate change is clear, not everyone is convinced it’s happening. One of the most powerful methods being used to convince sceptics is photographs showing how much glaciers have changed over time. But photos aren’t always what they seem.

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How to choose an 8000m peak expedition company

How to choose an 8000m peak expedition company

So you’ve done a few high altitude mountaineering expeditions and you’re ready to climb your first 8000 metre peak, but there are many options and companies offering their services at a bewildering disparity of prices. How do you tell them

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My long and winding trail to Everest

My long and winding trail to Everest

I can’t quite believe it, but on Saturday I’ll be leaving for my fourth 8000 metre peak expedition in as many years, and this time it’s the big one. Two months of impossible jetstream winds meant my attempts on Gasherbrums

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Spirit Mountain: my attempt on Manaslu

Spirit Mountain: my attempt on Manaslu

If at first you don’t succeed, go and lie on a beach next time and get yourself a nice sun tan … is not a phrase you hear many mountaineers saying. In fact, once bitten by the mountaineering bug your

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