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,Read more
Learning the alpine skills: another update about my book
It’s been a while since I updated you on where I am with the book I’ve been promising to write about my journey from simple hill walker to Everest summiteer, so here’s some more news along with a teaser from the book.Read more
Merry Christmas from Morocco
The title is not a line you expect to hear in a Muslim country, but I’ve made an exception. If all goes to plan by the time you read this I’ll be resting at Toubkal Refuge ready to make a Christmas Day ascent of the highest peak in North Africa.Read more
Sir Chris Bonington’s life in 90 minutes
Britain’s greatest living mountaineer is currently touring the country with a series of lectures about his life, and I was lucky enough to see one of them. An important World Cup qualifier was taking place that evening, but if Chris Bonington’s life were a football match it would be a 22 goal thriller which ended 11 goals all and went into extra time.Read more
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
What’s the world’s best mountain for cheating?
Climbing purists should look away now. This post is for those with a more laid back approach to getting up mountains. I thought it might be interesting to compare some of the world’s high mountains to see how far you can get up them using mechanical transport, and so I give you the Mountains for Cheating infographic.Read more
Is it a bad thing the world is becoming more accessible?
Today is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. I expect there will be quite a few editorial pieces published today reflecting on how the mountain has changed in the intervening years. I expect most of them will lament the changes as a bad thing, but I’m going to adopt a slightly different stance in this post.Read more
The great great grandfather of mountaineering
“I was desperately anxious to see at close quarters the great Alpine summits which look so majestic from the top of our mountains.” Horace-Benedict de Saussure Modern mountaineering is said to have begun on 8 August 1786, when Michel Paccard,Read more