It’s not just dizzying heights that make these the most dangerous hikes in the world. Prepare to contend with extreme weather, erupting volcanoes and dangerous wildlife on these hair-raising hikes.
To reach the Tigray churches of Ethiopia, one must scale sheer rock, inch along narrow ledges and skirt around yawning chasms – all in bare feet. Naturally, we leapt at the chance.
I was feeling uncharacteristically nervous. It wasn’t the narrow ledges with sheer drops that had me spooked, but the prospect of climbing with ropes – something I’d never done before. Continue reading
We’ve just returned from Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia, one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Erta Ale may not be as lofty or as challenging as the following summits, but it did remind us why we stand in awe of volcanoes – active or not. Continue reading
Erta Ale in Ethiopia is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and looms above a deadly desert. We ask if it’s worth the risk.
The 4×4 steams across the desert, lurching over rocks and cracks. Sand whips against the window, almost liquid in its motion. Immediately behind me sits our military escort: two men with automatic rifles slung casually across their laps.
Climbing the seven summits – the highest mountain on every continent – is an improbable and expensive dream of mine… but that’s the beauty of dreams.Continue reading
Our comprehensive Elbrus kit list includes everything you’ll need to conquer Mount Elbrus, the highest mountain in Europe.
Mount Elbrus in Russia, at 5,642m (18,510ft), is Europe’s highest mountain and a member of the seven summits, the highest point on every continent. Having just returned from climbing Mount Elbrus with specialists 7 Summits Club, I thought it would be useful to share my entire Elbrus kit list as a point of reference for future climbers. Continue reading
Climbing Mount Elbrus in Russia has been on my bucket list since I climbed Kilimanjaro in 2010. In August of this year I finally crossed it off.
Located in southern Russia near the border with Georgia, the twin peaks of Mount Elbrus stand as watchtowers rising nearly 1,000m (3,280ft) above the encircling peaks of the Caucasus range. Continue reading
Hiking in Mauritius is hot, sticky and exhausting, but with some of the finest viewpoints in the world, thoroughly worthwhile too.
Hiking in Mauritius is like exploring Jurassic World, albeit without Chris Pratt and a ferocious dinosaur in tow. The scenery boasts sapphire-blue waters and powder-white beaches encircling jagged jungle-clad peaks that surge from sugar cane fields below. It is the spectacular crests with unimpeded viewpoints of the island in all its glory that provide the finest hiking in Mauritius. We take a look at five of the best trails.Continue reading
Do work that matters from a place you love.
We are super excited to announce Remote Jobs at Atlas & Boots, a new section that matches skilled digital nomads and expats to companies genuinely committed to remote working.
We wanted to take a moment to tell our readers about the new section and to explain why it’s an important addition to our site.
As most of you know, Peter and I spend our time travelling and working on the road. In between our trips abroad, we are based in a tiny French village called Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes. It’s a good life; exactly the sort of life you would imagine of a tiny French village. Continue reading
Hiking Le Pouce in Mauritius is a quick and rewarding hike offering stunning panoramic views of this beautiful tropical island.
After hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius, we were keen to see more of the country’s extraordinary scenery and so chose Le Pouce, following in the footsteps of Charles Darwin who writes about his ascent of Le Pouce in his journal of 1845.
At 812m (2,664ft), Le Pouce – or The Thumb, so named because of its thumb-shaped peak – is the third highest mountain in Mauritius.Continue reading
A guide to hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius including a map to the trail entrance and our hard-earned tips and caveats.
I wasn’t worried about hiking Le Morne Brabant in Mauritius. After climbing Nevis Peak in St Kitts & Nevis and navigating sections of sheer rock on Spencer Trail in the US, I thought hiking Le Morne Brabant would be easy. I certainly wasn’t expecting to quit a few metres from the top…Continue reading
The best national parks in Europe are home to the wildest scenery and most thrilling outdoor pursuits the continent has to offer.
Europe’s finest wilderness has quite rightly been enshrined and protected in its national parks. Great glaciers, soaring mountains and primeval forests stretch across Europe’s 50 sovereign states. We take a look at the wildest and best national parks in Europe. Continue reading
It was five years ago that I first came across a big wall climber. A tiny speck on the side of a gigantic granite wall, the climber was bivvying in Yosemite National Park, the Holy Land of big wall climbing.
I couldn’t comprehend how someone could sleep tacked onto the side of a wall, suspended thousands of feet above the ground, sometimes in treacherous weather conditions. Continue reading
There’s a moment in Sherpa, the BAFTA-nominated documentary about Everest’s famous guides, where a western tourist asks “can you not talk to their owners?” in reference to the striking Sherpas.
It may have been an innocuous plea made in a moment of frustration but in the harsh truth of film, the question exposes an unsettling attitude to the guides that risk their lives to lead others to the summit. Continue reading
Outdoor magazines are a well-deserved indulgence for those who love hiking, camping, climbing, wildlife and the great outdoors. We list our favourite below.
One thing I dearly miss from my less-nomadic life is magazines. In the age of internet clickbait, printed publications still have an allure that a computer or smartphone screen just can’t replicate. Whether through fascinating features on the latest first ascent, a thru-hiker’s account of a long-distance hiking trail or stunning photography from the world’s protected lands, outdoor magazines have always piqued my imagination. Continue reading
On my last visit to London, I asked my niece to grab a tenner from my wallet for the pizza fund. (We have a family of eight siblings and 21 nieces and nephews, so ordering pizza requires a basic level of crowdfunding.)
She rifled through my wallet, first pulling out some US dollars, then my tattered entrance card to Angkor Wat in Cambodia, then the business card of a tourism official in Malawi. She smiled cheekily and said, “Ada marayreh?”.
The Bengali phrase – which loosely translates to ‘flouncing about’ or ‘gallivanting’ – is usually used pejoratively by prim auntie-jis to chide young women for venturing outside and being seen in ‘improper’ situations (e.g. walking with a boy, entering a cinema, going on holiday). Continue reading
Knowing how to choose the right pair of hiking boots is essential to a long-term trip with plenty of outdoor activities planned. Here’s how to choose the right pair.
“Do we really need these when we’ve already packed trainers?” asked Kia, holding up her hiking boots. More accustomed to ballet flats and heels on the pavements of London than the Munros of Scotland, she couldn’t quite appreciate their worth.
Decent hiking boots are one of my 10 travel essentials so naturally I insisted that yes, we really need them. Twelve months later, she was extremely grateful we had packed them. While not quite as nimble as trainers, our sturdy boots have been invaluable on a number of excursions, from the rocky plains of Mount Yasur volcano to the multi-day Salkantay trek to Machu Picchu. Continue reading
Our cycling tour of Myanmar provided the perfect insight into Burmese culture coupled with the kind of outdoor adventure we love.
Readers of this blog will be well aware that I prefer my adventures on two feet rather than two wheels. Given the choice, I will usually opt for hiking instead of biking. However, when we had the chance to spend two weeks cycling Myanmar with G Adventures I wasn’t going to pass on the opportunity.
The trip did come with a catch: as with most of my adventures, I would have my trusty partner in crime with me – but Kia could barely ride a bike! She only learned to ride at the age of 28. In the ensuing years, she practised only periodically and fell off frequently, bruising like a peach in the process. Continue reading
DJ Paul Oakenfold just played a gig at Everest base camp. Was this an innovative way to raise money for charity, or a narcissistic PR stunt?
British DJ Paul Oakenfold, 53, made his name in the 1990s on the UK dance music scene. He has won two Grammys and is credited with sparking the Second Summer of Love in Ibiza in 1997, supposedly the biggest revolution in British youth culture since the original Summer of Love in 1967. Continue reading
We set off on an overnight climb to Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s most sacred mountain. Here’s how we fared.
I was already exhausted by Sri Lanka. So far, we’d had two men barge into our hotel room in Bentota, got stuck in a toilet in Tissa, been pinned to a wall on a train to Galle and battled flying cockroaches on the road to Udawalawe.
When we arrived to our guest house in Dalhousie – the gateway to Adam’s Peak in Sri Lanka – all we wanted was somewhere to bed down ahead of our early morning climb. But, oh, what foolish dreams. Instead of being shown our room, we were taken aside and asked to pay for it under the table in exchange for a discount. We politely refused and after much discussion were finally allowed to check in.Continue reading