His father, Frank Smythe – biography of a Himalayan legend

His father, Frank Smythe – biography of a Himalayan legend

It’s been a while since I wrote at length about Frank Smythe, the legendary British mountain explorer who was something of a celebrity in the 1930s when he became one of the first people to make a career of climbing,

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What does Mount Everest look like from space?

What does Mount Everest look like from space?

If you follow the Everest Today (@EverestToday) account on Twitter, you may be used to seeing the occasional photo of mountains taken from the International Space Station. Mountains look very different from above, and views from the International Space Station are not always recognisable. But this one of Everest is so distinctive that I had to annotate it and share it with you.

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An audio excerpt from my book Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest

An audio excerpt from my book Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest

Well folks, I have something rather special this week to help stimulate the senses while you are in coronavirus lockdown. Fellow mountain writer John D Burns has featured an audio excerpt from Seven Steps from Snowdon to Everest on his weekly podcast, and it’s great – a dramatic reading of the crux section where I tackle the infamous Second Step.

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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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The mother of all avalanches: an eyewitness account

The mother of all avalanches: an eyewitness account

At approximately 6.45am on Friday 18 April, 2014 I was walking with team mates through Everest Base Camp on the way to my first foray into the Khumbu Icefall. It was a climb I wasn’t to start, for at that moment a huge chunk of ice fell off Everest’s West Shoulder, triggering an avalanche which swept across the entire width of the Icefall.

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Frank Smythe is more interesting than George Mallory

Frank Smythe is more interesting than George Mallory

The headline ‘Mallory’s body discovered on Everest in 1936’ appeared widely on social media sites last week. Had new revelations emerged about whether Mallory reached the summit of Everest? No, the real subject of the story wasn’t George Mallory at all, but arguably a much more interesting character.

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George Mallory was murdered … by Jeffrey Archer

George Mallory was murdered … by Jeffrey Archer

In 1924 the mountaineering legend George Mallory vanished into mist on Everest’s Northeast Ridge, never to be seen again. In 2009 and the bestselling novelist Jeffery Archer wrote a novel about it called Paths of Glory, but was it historically accurate? Let’s have a look.

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The Epic of Everest – Captain John Noel’s film of the 1924 expedition

The Epic of Everest – Captain John Noel’s film of the 1924 expedition

If I had one word to describe The Epic of Everest, John Noel’s historic record of the 1924 expedition, which has recently been restored, then it would be atmospheric. If I had a second one then it would be weird, but then I’m not that familiar with 1920s silent movies and I expect they were all like this back then.

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