Last week was one of those weeks when a mountaineering story is so big that it makes it into the popular press. On the face of it, it was a straightforward story of someone smashing a record to smithereens. But if you dig a little deeper, there is another side to it.Read more
Is it time to boycott the south side of Everest?
The problems which occurred on Everest this year are nothing new, but they have now reached such a degree that it’s time for operators who value their reputation and for those who dream of climbing Everest to take a principled stand.Read more
For busy executives: the world’s shortest 8,000m peak expedition
It’s been a while since we did our last interview on the Footsteps on the Mountain blog, but I can promise you this one has been worth waiting for. Earlier this week we caught up with a man who raised a few eyebrows by announcing the shortest ever 8000m peak expedition.Read more
Should outdoor and mountaineering writers talk about politics?
If you write about a subject that appeals to people of all political beliefs, then you should avoid talking about politics. But what if politics touches on the things you care about deeply enough to write about – do you say nothing? The answer to this is surprisingly simple.Read more
How to verify a Manaslu summit claim
There was another big controversy on Manaslu this year. It was widely reported that record numbers reached the summit, but it now appears that a problem with the rope fixing meant that the majority didn’t reach the main summit at all, but one of the two foresummits.Read more
Everest is not piled high with dead bodies
One of the things that shocks people when I tell them about Everest is that I had to walk past dead bodies on my summit day. In this post I debunk a popular media myth, and discuss how we need a more mature attitude towards death.Read more
An extraordinary case of mountaineering integrity
With a drip feed of FIFA corruption allegations hitting the headlines, I’ve decided to use this week’s blog post to highlight a case of sporting integrity beyond the call of duty, and in doing so salute Italian mountaineers.Read more
Poo in the Everest region: is it such a big problem?
Recently I wrote a satirical piece about a fictional washroom at Everest Base Camp as a reaction to more sensationalised media reporting about Everest. But the reports contained a grain of truth that I intend to fertilise in this post.Read more
Everest’s deadliest day – debating Everest’s future
Everest’s Deadliest Day was the title of a debate at the RGS in London last week, about the April avalanche and what it meant for the future of Himalayan climbing and the economy of Nepal. Here is my account and thoughts about the event.Read more
4 ways to improve the south side of Everest
I’m going to finish my series of posts on this year’s Everest season on a positive note by looking at some possible ways forward for commercial mountaineering on Everest. The aim is not just to make the mountain safer but to improve the overall experience for all who climb it.Read more