Humboldt and Boussingault on Chimborazo: how high did they climb?

Humboldt and Boussingault on Chimborazo: how high did they climb?

How high Humboldt and Boussingault climbed on Chimborazo has been the subject of much debate. When Edward Whymper made the first ascent in 1880, he was baffled by their descriptions of the climb. So what happened, and how high did they really get?

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Where are the humorous mountaineering books?

Where are the humorous mountaineering books?

Mountain literature isn’t devoid of humour, but generally speaking, comedy takes second place to heroics in mountain writing. But I know there must be some laugh-out-loud funny, two or three jokes a page mountaineering books out there. If you know of any, then I’d like to hear about them.

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Cotopaxi, a short climbing history: a teaser from my next book

Cotopaxi, a short climbing history: a teaser from my next book

Last Friday I reached the summit of another metaphorical mountain. After seven months of intensive scribbling I finished the first draft of my next major book. There’s a little way to go before it’s ready for publication, but here’s a teaser to whet your appetite.

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A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A peek inside the Himalayan Database, the archives of Elizabeth Hawley

A couple of weekends ago, I did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while: install the Himalayan Database on my computer and play around with it. The Himalayan Database is a comprehensive record of expeditions to peaks in Nepal, based on the archives of Elizabeth Hawley.

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Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

Tilman and Shipton’s travels in Africa

The Himalayan explorer Bill Tilman spent fourteen years of his life as a coffee planter in Kenya. During that time he and Eric Shipton made a number of exploratory treks and climbs on Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro, and in the Rwenzori Mountains of Uganda.

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The Ascent of Rum Doodle vs. The Ascent of Nanda Devi – how similar are they?

The Ascent of Rum Doodle vs. The Ascent of Nanda Devi – how similar are they?

Two of the best mountaineering books ever written were designed to be read side by side, but I wonder if anyone has. I set myself the challenge of reading alternate chapters of The Ascent of Nanda Devi by H.W. Tilman and The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman.

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