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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Chillaxing on Cholatse: a return to Nepal

Chillaxing on Cholatse: a return to Nepal

Last year was the first since 2005 I didn’t go to Nepal, so in 2014 I’m making up for it by going twice. By the time you read this I will be heading to the Khumbu region to attempt 6440m Cholatse. It’s likely to be the hardest climb I’ve ever done.

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5 of the silliest mountain firsts

5 of the silliest mountain firsts

With the news that a man climbed Snowdon pushing a brussels sprout with his nose, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at what other silly things have been done on mountains. So here are some of the world’s more improbable first ascents.

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How photographs revealed Frederick Cook’s Denali hoax

How photographs revealed Frederick Cook’s Denali hoax

Frederick Cook was one of the most notorious con men in exploration history who tried to fake the first ascent of Denali. What makes his story so engaging is the way photographs have been used to shred his claim so convincingly.

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A return to the Peruvian Andes, in very different circumstances

A return to the Peruvian Andes, in very different circumstances

By the time you read this I will be in Peru, setting out in the hope of climbing its highest mountain, 6768m Huascaran. It’s been a long time coming. My one and only visit to Peru was when I walked the Huayhuash Circuit as a novice trekker in 2002.

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Leo Houlding does his bit for the Sherpas

Leo Houlding does his bit for the Sherpas

Last week one of Britain’s top rock climbers did a lecture at the RGS in London. Rock climbing isn’t generally my thing, but this talk had an Everest theme, and one of its aims was to raise money for the families of the Sherpas who died in the 18 April avalanche.

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South Peak: my attempt on Lhotse

South Peak: my attempt on Lhotse

Good times are approaching again. On Sunday I leave for Nepal for my fifth 8000m peak expedition, and it’s fair to say I’m just a teeny bit excited. My objective this time is 8516m Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world and the one next to Everest, as I’ve been telling everyone who has asked.

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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.

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When the mountain gods are angry

When the mountain gods are angry

I’ve been pretty lucky with my adventures so far. Although they don’t always go according to plan I’ve never experienced a major disaster. I had a chance to reflect on this while I was sheltering in a mountain hut in Patagonia reading John Quillen’s account of his attempt on Broad Peak last year.

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