Fitz Roy day hike: an essential guide

A Q&A guide to the Fitz Roy day hike, telling you exactly what you need to know to reach this iconic peak

We had unfinished business with Fitz Roy. We first visited in 2015 after a disappointing trip to Torres del Paine in Chile. It was winter in Patagonia and thanks to awful weather we saw absolutely nothing. 

How to visit Perito Moreno Glacier: a complete guide

An updated guide on how to visit Perito Moreno Glacier following our second encounter with the giant Argentine wonder

When reporting on our first trip to Patagonia back in 2015, Kia lamented that once you’ve been travel writing for a while, it’s hard to come up with fresh superlatives.

“I mean, you can’t say gaze-catching instead of eye-catching and you can’t say stride-stopping instead of heart-stopping, can you?” she wrote. The source of her discord was Perito Moreno Glacier, a sight so overwhelming that it’s utterly, er, step freezing.

Best things to do in Ushuaia, the capital of the end of the world

Seven years after our first visit, we return to Tierra del Fuego to rediscover the best things to do in Ushuaia, the capital of the end of the world

There are few places left in the world that still evoke the romance of old-world exploration. They inspire nostalgia for a time we never knew; places to which we’ve never been.

We know their names in the same way we know Neverland and Narnia: shrouded in legend and lore. Cartagena, Antarctica, the Northwest Passage and Vinson Massif. Even men sounded greater then: Drake, Amundsen, Livingstone and Shackleton.

Secret gardens: best parks in Buenos Aires

A carp pond with bridges and Japanese ornamentssaiko3p/Shutterstock

We explore the best parks in Buenos Aires to help you find a spot of calm in Argentina’s whirlwind capital

Buenos Aires whizzes past. While its cafés, bars and restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks, honking throngs of traffic hurtle by just inches away. Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) barely raise an eyebrow over their espressos, but for those of us uninitiated, Buenos Aires can be overwhelming.

Arctic or Antarctic: how to pick your polar adventure

Icebergs in Antarctica

Can’t decide between the Arctic or Antarctic for your polar adventure? Our guide will help you choose between 66° north or south

The North and South Poles were only “conquered” in relatively recent history. The South Pole was first attained in 1911 by the Norwegian Roald Amundsen after his epic race with the ill-fated Robert Falcon Scott.

Antarctica: why my seventh continent was more than just an ego trip

Kia looks out across Paradise BayAtlas & Boots

Kia explains why a voyage to Antarctica finally gave her a sense of peace

I am one of six sisters, which has always earned me a certain cachet; a sort of second-hand, useless celebrity like that of air hostesses and identical twins. The last time I mentioned “all my sisters” in public, a stranger cut in to ask how many. People are often keen to know if we all get along, how often we see each other and what it was like growing up. 

The seven second summits: a tougher challenge

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The seven second summits are considered to be a much harder mountaineering challenge than the more popular seven summits

Previously, I’ve written about my dream of climbing the seven summits and laid out a realistic if not deeply challenging and expensive program of how to achieve that goal.

This week I look at the seven second summits; the second-highest mountains on each continent. The highest summits are a dream of mine, but I draw the line at the second-highest – they’re simply too scary for an amateur enthusiast like me!

30 most beautiful mountains in the world

Ama Dablam is a thing of beautyDaniel Prudek/Shutterstock

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 anything to go by, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force.

Cold shoulder: 10 dramatic climbing controversies

From dubious first ascents to tense clashes at high altitude, we chart 10 dramatic climbing controversies – some resolved and others less so

There was a time when climbing controversies were sportingly confined to the slopes. The petty trivialities, the robust exchanges and the heated clashes were just part of the cut and thrust of the mountaineering world. 

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2020

Mam Tor in the Peak DistrictDaniel_Kay/Shutterstock

As a difficult year draws to a close, we reflect on the top 10 posts that our readers most enjoyed

Well, what can we say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already? As a writer, I feel that I should be able to say something grand and stirring about the global pandemic, but to be honest, I can’t. I don’t know how to aptly describe the hopelessness and inertia that so many of us have experienced this year.

Climbing the seven summits: a route to the top

Eight-thousanders-everestDreamstime

Climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent – is an improbable dream of mine… but that’s the beauty of dreams

I have always loved trekking and climbing. I usually spend several weeks of any given year on the grades of the Scottish Highlands or Welsh Snowdonia or ideally further afield such as the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland or the K2 base camp trek in Pakistan.

20 interesting facts about Argentina

facts about argentina The Church of Maradona has over 120,000 membersDreamstime

Interesting facts about Argentina, from the largest creature to have walked the earth to the first human to be born in Antarctica

I first visited Argentina in 2015 as part of our year-long trip around the world. Due to quirks in our itinerary, technically, we visited the country three times in the space of a mere few weeks (as we crossed in and out of neighbouring countries).

24 interesting facts about Aconcagua

interesting facts about Aconcagua lead image

We share the most interesting facts about Aconcagua – from the world’s highest art gallery to mysterious mummified remains

I recently climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, the third step of my journey to climb the seven summits.

Cerro Aconcagua may not be one of the most beautiful mountains in the world and the ascent is certainly short on charm, but this enormous lump of Andean rock and ice is one of the most coveted mountains on the planet.

Argentina’s best hiking destinations

El Chaltén is one of the best hiking destinations in Argentina4kwonderland/Shutterstock

We explore Argentina’s best hiking destinations, from the highest snowbound peak in South America to the final scrape of civilisation at the end of the world

Argentina is one of the world’s best countries for hiking thanks to the 5,000km-long Andes that curve like a spine along the nation’s back. This vast landscape boasts the Patagonian steppe, hulking glaciers and the world’s highest trekking peak.

Aconcagua gear list: all you need for summit success

expedition backpackAtlas & Boots

Our complete Aconcagua gear list includes everything you’ll need to summit the highest mountain in the Western and Southern Hemispheres

Aconcagua in Argentina, at 6,961m (22,837ft), is South America’s highest mountain and one of the seven summits (the seven peaks that make up the highest point on every continent). 

I recently returned from climbing Aconcagua with Acomara Aconcagua Expeditions. A good trekking company will issue you with a detailed kit list, but I always like to see what other people have used.

Non-technical mountain climbs: 12 trekking peaks

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There are no ‘death zones’ on these non-technical mountain climbs but they offer plenty of challenges for mere mortals like me

As a climber, I have completed several indoor climbing and winter mountaineering courses but my technical climbing skills sill leave a lot to be desired. I have mastered basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills but don’t practise them as often as I’d like.

Climbing Aconcagua: my third seven summit

Climbing Aconcagua featimgAtlas & Boots

Climbing Aconcagua was the culmination of a 10-year journey and the next step towards realising my ultimate dream: climbing the seven summits

At around 2pm local time on 19th January 2020, I stretched out my hand and tapped the top of the simple aluminium crucifix that marks the summit of Aconcagua at 6,961m (22,837ft).

Looking at the winter climbs taking place at the time in the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges of Asia, and given that our summit time corresponded to around 11pm in Nepal and Pakistan, it is safe to assume that for a few brief moments on that Sunday afternoon, I was the highest person stood on Earth.

Best road trips in the world – by continent

The Ring Road in Iceland is a very close contenderShane WP Wongperk/Shutterstock

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.