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

trekking the arctic circle trail lead image with hut and lake

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.

Best climbing documentaries: 25 tall stories

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.

Eight-thousanders: the 14 highest peaks in the world

Nanga Parbat was once known as "killer mountain"Witthawas_Siri/Shutterstock

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.

Best treks in Nepal: our top 10 picks

The turquoise lakes of the Gokyo ValleyOlga Danylenko/Shutterstock

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.

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

The summit of Mount Everest seen from base campAtlas & Boots

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.

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

The Everest Memorial at Chukpi LharaAtlas & Boots

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.

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).

Highest mountains in the Yorkshire Dales

Approaching Pen-Y-GhentPete Stuart/Shutterstock

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.

5 off-the-beaten treks to Machu Picchu

Huayna Picchu is one of the most beautiful mountains in the worldEmperorcosar/Shutterstock

We take a look at five alternative treks to Machu Picchu, a world away from the busy classic route

Machu Picchu may well be a bucket list cliché, but there’s ample justification for why so many visitors flock to this glorious citadel perched high in the Andean mountains.

Trekking to Machu Picchu through the Sacred Valley is profoundly gratifying and remains a must for nearly every visitor to Peru. The Incan masterpiece is spectacularly located and, once reached, lives up to every expectation of its glorious emerald peaks and terraced ruins.

Driving the hairpinned Sani Pass to Lesotho

interesting facts about Lesotho Sani PassVAIZ HA; CC BY 2.0

Sani Pass is said to be one of the most dangerous mountain passes in the world. We decided to drive it on our overnight tour to Lesotho

Sometimes, I feel jealous of past explorers − not grandees like Cook or Magellan but everyday travellers that went somewhere and saw something not yet covered by Lonely Planet or indeed Atlas & Boots.

I imagine sultry Indian summers with endless corridors of uncharted possibility or China’s Hallelujah mountains, misty and deserted, and think how magical those times must have been.

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths england coast pathDreamstime

Britain’s best long-distance footpaths provide excellent access to the UK’s outdoors while showcasing the finest scenery our isles have to offer

When you think of the best long-distance hiking trails from around the world, little old Britain probably wouldn’t top of your list. Hikers will more likely be drawn to the Triple Crown of the Appalachian, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest trails in the US, New Zealand’s Great Walks or the famous Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camp treks in Nepal.

However, the UK does have an extensive network of long-distance footpaths. Managed by the National Trails in England and Wales and Scotland’s Great Trails north of the border, the UK has thousands of miles of tramping to be discovered – and the network continues to expand.

12 great long reads on outdoor survival… and surrender

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A handpicked selection of some of the most dramatic, absorbing long reads on outdoor survival from the last five years. 

You may have guessed that we at Atlas & Boots are just a little bit obsessed with tales of endurance. From the best books about survival to epic journeys of discovery, we have written about some of the most dramatic pursuits in the history of exploration.

In recent years, we have been intrigued by a number of brilliant long reads on outdoor survival (and surrender).

Hiking in Aigüestortes National Park, Catalonia

Aigüestortes National Park 12Atlas & Boots

We spent a day hiking in Aigüestortes National Park across a wild landscape of twisting waters and soaring summits in the Catalan Pyrenees

Tucked away in the northwestern corner of Catalonia, deep in the Catalan Pyrenees, is the region’s best-kept secret: Aigüestortes and Lake Sant Maurici National Park or Parc Nacional d’Aigüestortes i Estany de Sant Maurici in Catalan.

Aigüestortes is absurdly pretty. Mighty jagged peaks tower far above evergreen forests and myriad glinting lakes. It’s a landscape begging to be hiked – and so we did.

Hiking Great Shunner Fell: my first ‘Dales 30’

Hiking Great Shunner Fell was my first of the Dales 30, the highest peaks in the Yorkshire Dales. One down, 29 to go…

As many of you will know, Kia and I recently moved to the country. It’s taken me eight years, but I’ve finally convinced Kia that life is better away from the busy south. As such, we’ve moved to the small and charming market town of Richmond on the edge of Yorkshire Dales National Park.

As well as enjoying the delights of Richmond, the best thing for me about our move is having easy access to the countryside, right on our doorstop. It takes five minutes to drive into the national park, one of Britain’s 15 breathing spaces, while at the end of our street is a walking trail along the River Swale that gets us into the park in just 15 minutes.

Most dangerous mountains in the world

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We take a look at the most dangerous mountains in the world and what it is that makes them so deadly

Whether it’s the tales of survival that bleed from their treacherous slopes or the visions of bravery mustered in the mind, the most dangerous mountains in the world continue to make headlines around the globe.

These mountains hold a morbid fascination for mountaineers, climbing enthusiasts and news junkies alike. I am no different. My bookshelves, Kindle and movie collection are filled with mountaineering books and movies and the tragic tales they chronicle.

Mountaineering calendar: when to climb the world’s greatest mountains

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Since I first started climbing, I must have spent hours typing “when is the best time to climb…” into search engines and then crawling through websites to find the key piece of information I needed. Only when I have a date in mind can I start to think about the practicalities of actually trying to climb a mountain (i.e. booking time off work, flights, budget, gear etc).

To solve this problem once and for all, Atlas & Boots has put together a mountaineering calendar of the world’s greatest mountains and the optimal time of year at which to climb them. Drawing on Adventure Consultants’ expedition calendar, we list the world’s major mountains and ranges month by month.

The list is not entirely inclusive as it would take too long to list every mountain on the planet. Likewise, to avoid repetition we list select mountains in a range, considering the world’s 100 highest mountains lie within the Himalaya and Karakoram ranges. We have also excluded winter ascents from the list because, well, if you’re that guy, you probably don’t need a calendar.

8 things to do in the Reeks District, Ireland

We explore the best things to do in the Reeks District, Ireland’s brand new adventure playground

Set on Ireland’s west coast, the newly named Reeks District or ‘the beating heart of the Kingdom of Kerry’ is home to some of Ireland’s most magnificent scenery. With a wild blend of lofty peaks, untamed coastline and secluded moraine lakes, the Reeks District hosts an array of activities to keep outdoor enthusiasts entertained for days on end.