An early history of the 8000m peaks: Mummery, Crowley and the Duke of Abruzzi

An early history of the 8000m peaks: Mummery, Crowley and the Duke of Abruzzi

The fourteen peaks over 8000 metres have enjoyed a special status throughout the 20th century and were subject to many races to climb them. In the first of a short series of posts about their early history I introduce three memorable characters.

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Book review: The Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey

Book review: The Ghosts of K2 by Mick Conefrey

K2’s history has been covered in depth in a number of well-known books, so why another one? The reason I wanted to read this one was because I very much enjoyed reading Mick Conefrey’s other mountaineering history about the 1953 Everest expedition.

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Sunshine and optimism in the High Pamirs: my attempt on Peak Lenin

Sunshine and optimism in the High Pamirs: my attempt on Peak Lenin

If I’d known about the climbing history of 7134m Peak Lenin, then I might have thought twice about going there. But if I’m lucky I will have good weather and reach the summit, and if I don’t I’m sure I will return home with many happy memories.

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To climb or not to climb? Those last 50 metres

To climb or not to climb? Those last 50 metres

When you’ve put so much time, money and physical commitment into a climb, it’s never easy to turn around just fifty metres from the top. Here are some stories from Aconcagua which help to shed light on when that decision should be made.

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Everest 2014-15: A personal tale of two tragedies

Everest 2014-15: A personal tale of two tragedies

Last year I was on my way into the Khumbu Icefall on Everest, and watched in horror as a huge avalanche took the lives of sixteen Sherpas. This year I watched from a distance as an earthquake put that event into perspective. Here is my personal account of witnessing both tragedies.

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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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