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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Is K2 the new Everest?

Is K2 the new Everest?

There were remarkable events on K2 this week, with record numbers of climbers reaching the summit. K2 is regarded as one of the hardest mountains in the world, but has it now become within the range of less experienced commercial climbers?

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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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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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Don’t be fooled by disaster porn

Don’t be fooled by disaster porn

Since Jon Krakauer’s seminal disaster porn classic Into Thin Air came out in 1997 publishers have flocked to release books about mountaineering disasters, but every time I see a new book like this I can’t help wishing they had never been published. Why? For me there are two reasons.

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Everest’s magic miracle highway

Everest’s magic miracle highway

When the 1922 expedition team set out, they already knew their approach to Everest lay up a side valley known as the East Rongbuk, but they knew little of the terrain they would find there. When they arrived they discovered a tumbling mass of jagged ice towers the size of buildings, but there was also a miraculous way through.

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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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Book review: Everest The First Ascent by Harriet Tuckey

Book review: Everest The First Ascent by Harriet Tuckey

There has been a flurry of books about Everest published this year to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first ascent. This one stands out because it challenges many widely held beliefs and provides a very different perspective of the 1953 expedition than most other accounts.

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