5 ways to prove a summit claim

5 ways to prove a summit claim

If a climber reaches the top of a mountain and no one is around to see them, have they reached the summit? Lots of people make false summit claims, for all sorts of reasons, so how can you be sure? Here are some of the ways of proving a summit claim.

Read more

A dark year in the Karakoram

A dark year in the Karakoram

The mountaineering season in the Pakistan Karakoram is winding down, and not a moment too soon. I’ve been watching events unfold on its five 8000m peaks this year with a mix of sadness and horror which has left me wondering whether I will return there.

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

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.

Read more

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

Read more

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,

Read more

Why Altitude Junkies is my choice for the 8000m peaks

Why Altitude Junkies is my choice for the 8000m peaks

“We’re a couple of high-altitude junkies.” Pete Boardman This is a follow up to last week’s post about choosing an 8000 metre peak expedition operator. In that post I offered up some pointers to help you make the right choice and

Read more

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

Read more

4 pairs of mountaineering boots

4 pairs of mountaineering boots

Mountaineering can be an expensive hobby, particularly if you end up buying the same things again and again. I’ve just bought my fourth pair of mountaineering boots in preparation for Everest next month, not because I need four pairs of

Read more