His father, Frank Smythe – biography of a Himalayan legend

His father, Frank Smythe – biography of a Himalayan legend

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,

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Did Everest’s Hillary Step collapse in the Nepal earthquake?

Did Everest’s Hillary Step collapse in the Nepal earthquake?

There are rumours that the iconic Hillary Step, Everest’s most feared obstacle on summit day, collapsed in last year’s earthquake, and has become little more than an easy snow slope. Can it be true? I examine the evidence.

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Tilman’s expedition to Langtang

Tilman’s expedition to Langtang

The great mountain explorer Bill Tilman made three treks in Nepal in 1949 and 1950. His first to Langtang was not successful in mountaineering terms, but as an exploratory journey it must have been as enjoyable as any he undertook.

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The cod science of Everest hate

The cod science of Everest hate

One thing every Everest climber has to get used to is hate written about them in the media. Sometimes the hate becomes so pervasive that it starts to resemble propaganda, and one particularly corrosive piece of propaganda concerning Everest has been cited frequently recently and needs to be challenged.

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A funny name for a mountain

A funny name for a mountain

There have been some strange names given to mountains over the years, often for very obscure reasons. Recently the Nepal Mountaineering Association has been applying more modern names, and has just given two peaks onomatopoeic titles that resemble the sound of somebody throwing up.

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10 great Sherpa mountaineers

10 great Sherpa mountaineers

As the Everest season approaches we will be hearing a lot about the successes of western climbers in the Himalayas over the next few months, but very little about the superstars of high altitude mountaineering. It’s time this was rectified, so here are ten of the greatest tigers of the snow.

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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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