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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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best mountaineering movies ever made

25 best mountaineering movies ever made

Our carefully curated list of the best mountaineering movies ever made.

Recently, I re-watched one of the best mountaineering movies I’ve ever seen: Touching the Void.

Historically, mountaineering movies have struggled to bridge the gap between climbing documentary and Hollywood blockbuster. However, Everest – released in 2015 and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Josh Brolin – managed to please both thrill-seeking moviegoers and mountaineers alike (unless you’re Jon Krakauer of course).

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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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25 best mountaineering books ever written

We list the best mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers in the harshest environments.

As I’ve mentioned before, my bookshelves are filled with tales of adventure travel, survival against the odds and obsessive searches. I’m an avid climber keen on winter mountaineering and wild camping so, naturally, mountaineering books take up a good chunk of space on my shelf.

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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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Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail: a dream goes up in smoke

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland has long been a dream of mine. A dream I came tantalisingly close to fulfilling but for a freak natural event.

I wanted to begin this post by triumphantly announcing that I had finished trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland – but I can’t, for my trek ended in bitter disappointment. It (quite literally) left a stale taste in my mouth and gave rise to a cloud of unanswerable questions; a maddening maelstrom of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ to lament and regret.

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Tall stories: 25 best climbing documentaries

The best climbing documentaries showcase the world’s finest climbers pitting their skills against the world’s toughest climbs.

Recently, we watched two great climbing documentaries: the acclaimed Free Solo (2018) at our local cinema and then The Dawn Wall (2018) on Netflix.

Both films focus on attempts on Yosemite’s El Capitan via different routes and using different climbing styles. While Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan was perhaps the most vertigo-inducing film we’ve ever seen, it was the human story behind Tommy Caldwell in The Dawn Wall that we found more compelling.

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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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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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hiking table mountain isn't as easy as one might think

Hiking Table Mountain: 10 tips to get you to the top

Hiking Table Mountain isn’t a walk in the park like one might hope. We share our tips for getting to the top.

Hiking Table Mountain is a rite of passage for visitors to Cape Town. The iconic behemoth defines the ‘Mother City’ in the same way Rio has a harbour, New York has a statue and San Francisco has a bridge.

This mountain is said to be one of the oldest in the world. Its formation began circa 280 million years ago and some of its rocks date back 600 million years (long before the Himalayas).

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Highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales

The highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales are home to some of England’s finest and wildest scenery, all of it ripe for hiking.

Covering 2,179km2 of countryside, Yorkshire Dales National Park showcases some of England’s best outdoor landscapes. The park’s glacial valleys are defined by a unique terrain of high heather moorland, rolling hills and dramatic waterfalls, all criss-crossed with miles of dry stonewalls and delightful villages.

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