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20 interesting facts about Pakistan

From savage mountains to political firsts, we share the most interesting facts about Pakistan.

I recently visited Pakistan for the first time to complete the K2 base camp trek. I would be lying if I said that I had booked my flights without a hint of trepidation. Pakistan has long suffered from bad press, exacerbated by years of political instability. As such, there are still areas of Pakistan where travel is not advisable

During my visit, however, I not once felt in danger or concerned for my safety. I felt more comfortable walking the streets in Pakistan than I have in most South-Asian countries – though I should add that this is anecdotal and comes from my experience as a white man.

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22 interesting facts about K2

We share the most interesting facts about K2, gathered from years of reading, writing and dreaming about this notorious mountain.

Rising from the Baltoro Glacier in the heart of the Karakoram is K2, one of Earth’s most remarkable mountains. Revered in the mountaineering world, the pyramidal peak is the ultimate challenge for climbers. The world’s elite alpinists have attempted its treacherous slopes. Several have conquered the summit, but many have lost their lives.

I recently visited Pakistan for the first time to complete the K2 base camp trek followed by a crossing of the Gondogoro La Pass. The route took me past some of the most beautiful mountains in the world: Trango Towers, Masherbrum, Mitre Peak and Laila Peak to name but a few.

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Everest vs K2 base camp

Everest vs K2 base camp: which trek is right for you?

Everest vs K2 base camp – what’s the difference? We compare the two classic treks.

Since the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953, followed by K2 in 1954, the Himalayas and its satellite ranges have become far more accessible to trekkers. The 4,000km crescent of mountains that stretches from Kyrgyzstan to Burma was once solely the domain of professional mountaineers.

These days, there are myriad ways to experience the highest mountains on Earth. From multi-day treks and luxury lodges to cultural tours and “under-the-skin” homestays, Asia’s great peaks are open for exploration.

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K2 base camp trek: a walk among giants in the Karakoram

The K2 base camp trek is a stunning journey to the foot of a legendary mountain in the Pakistani Karakoram.

The K2 base camp trek through the mighty Karakoram mountains of Pakistan is one of the world’s finest high-altitude treks. Earlier this year an opportunity arose to join Lost Horizon Tours and Treks on a trek to K2 base camp combined with a technical crossing of the Gondogoro La Pass.

With over 25 years of experience guiding in the mountains of Pakistan, Lost Horizons were the perfect partner for an expedition of this kind. After completing the Everest base camp trek earlier in the year, I couldn’t resist the chance to trek to this infamous mountain too.

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12 of Earth’s most remote places and communities

From eastern Greenland to northern Alaska, we explore some of the most remote places on the face of the Earth.

Whether it’s astronomical distances, inhospitable climates or extreme terrains that define these remote and hostile lands, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re on my bucket list. That and the fact that people live there.

It’s highly unlikely I’ll actually make it to many of these far-flung realms – I certainly didn’t get to Ittoqqortoormiit on my recent trip to Greenland – but I salute the hardcore residents who carve out an existence in the most remote places and communities on Earth.

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poorest countries in the world ranked

Poorest countries in the world – ranked

African nations dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank.

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine. It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

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30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal.

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is an apt barometer, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force. These brave men and women will face vertiginous vertical falls, sub-zero temperatures and 8,000m death zones in pursuit of their summit dreams. It’s in ode to them that we present this list.

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Best road trips in the world – by continent

The best road trips in the world have inspired artists through the ages, from Kerouac and Steinbeck to the talents at Pixar. Here, we attempt to explain why.

When it comes to road trips, we’ve had our fair share of mishaps. We’ve battled a whiteout in Iceland, got stuck in a ditch in Turkey, broken down in Chile and changed a tyre in Namibia’s lion territory.

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22 interesting facts about Nepal

We share the most interesting facts about Nepal gathered on a two-week trek in the Nepali Himalayas.

During my recent Everest base camp trek, the spectacular nation of Nepal immediately became my favourite country. In fact, I have vowed to return as soon as possible to complete the Annapurna Circuit and Langtang treks.

One day, I hope to go a step further and attempt Everest itself as part of my quest to climb the seven summits, the highest mountain on every continent.

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Eight-thousanders: the 14 highest peaks in the world

The eight-thousanders are so ferocious that only 40 people have summited them all. We explain why they bewitch climbers all across the globe.

Most boys grow out of their fascination with mountains and the great outdoors. Those that do not usually end up on the side of a mountain, asking ‘what the hell am I doing here?’ But, as the saying goes, the best alpinists have the worst memories and so they venture once again into the ether.

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Best treks in Nepal: our top 10 picks

We take a look at the best treks in Nepal, from high-altitude routes with classic mountain scenery to new and remote trans-Himalayan journeys.

While still fresh from my Everest base camp trek with G Adventures – and my interest in Himalayan trekking well and truly piqued – I thought I’d explore some alternative itineraries for my next trip to Nepal.

With magnificent peaks, glacial valleys and charming trailside teahouses, the world’s highest mountain range is home to some of the best trekking on the planet. Beyond the legendary summits are Sherpa villages, picturesque forests and glacial moraines, all at their best beneath Nepal’s brilliant morning light or blissful evening alpenglow.

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Everest base camp kit list

Everest base camp kit list: all you need for a successful trek

My comprehensive Everest base camp kit list includes everything you’ll need to reach the foot of the highest mountain in the world.

Having just returned from my Everest base camp trek in Nepal, I thought it would be useful to share my entire Everest base camp kit list as a point of reference for future trekkers.

I joined a G Adventures 15-day trek to base camp, which includes 12 days of trekking: eight to ascend to base camp and four to descend back to Lukla.

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Happiest countries in the world 2019

The happiest countries in the world 2019 have been ranked in the latest World Happiness Report. This year, Finland holds on to the top spot.

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

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Everest base camp trek: to the heart of the high Himalayas

The Everest base camp trek in Nepal takes trekkers to the foot of the highest and most captivating mountain in the world. 

My bookshelves are filled with mountaineering books, my wardrobe is stuffed with outdoor clothes and I spend an inordinate number of nights under canvas and even more of my days on hiking trails. As such, it was almost criminal that I hadn’t yet seen Nepal.

This year, I finally put that to rest with G Adventures on a 15-day trek to Everest base camp.

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