Nepal’s scramble for first ascents – or are they?

Nepal’s scramble for first ascents – or are they?

In 2014, the government of Nepal published a list of 104 peaks that were newly open for climbing, unleashing a scramble to make their first ascents. There was just one problem. Some of these peaks had already been climbed before.

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An early history of the 8000m peaks: the first ascent of Annapurna

An early history of the 8000m peaks: the first ascent of Annapurna

In 1950 a French team led by Maurice Herzog made the first ever ascent of an 8000m peak when they climbed 8091m Annapurna, during one of the first mountaineering expeditions to Nepal. It’s possible to view their ascent in one of two ways.

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Cayambe and Chimborazo: Why Ecuador’s volcanoes are worth a second visit

Cayambe and Chimborazo: Why Ecuador’s volcanoes are worth a second visit

I love the open geography of Ecuador’s central highlands, a high-altitude landscape of free-standing volcanoes. Six years ago I went there and climbed five of them. This Christmas I will be making a long overdue return visit.

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The first ascent of the Southwest Face of Everest

The first ascent of the Southwest Face of Everest

On 24 September 1975, Doug Scott and Dougal Haston became the first two Brits to reach the summit of Everest, by a new route on the Southwest Face. Forty years later, on 24 September 2015, I had the privilege of hearing all about it from members of their team.

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Battle of the blockbusters: Herzog’s Annapurna vs. Tichy’s Cho Oyu

Battle of the blockbusters: Herzog’s Annapurna vs. Tichy’s Cho Oyu

I’ve recently finished reading Cho Oyu by Herbert Tichy, an account of the first ascent of Cho Oyu in 1954. The book is hard to get hold of, but it’s as good as Maurice Herzog’s Annapurna, regarded by many as one the best mountaineering books ever written.

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Tilman’s expedition to Langtang

Tilman’s expedition to Langtang

The great mountain explorer Bill Tilman made three treks in Nepal in 1949 and 1950. His first to Langtang was not successful in mountaineering terms, but as an exploratory journey it must have been as enjoyable as any he undertook.

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