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. 

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.

Kilimanjaro summit sign

Training for Kilimanjaro: 7 tips for a successful summit

Completing some basic training for Kilimanjaro will make your climb easier, safer and ultimately more enjoyable

I climbed Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, back in 2010. At 5,895m (19,340ft), it was my first high-altitude trek and even though I had some hillwalking behind me, I had no experience of trekking at altitude, wasn’t fit enough and didn’t have the right gear. In hindsight, I was fortunate to make the summit considering I was so underprepared.

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Best mountaineering movies: 28 must-see cliffhangers

Our carefully curated list of the best mountaineering movies ever made

Recently, I re-watched one of my favourite mountaineering movies: Everest. Historically, even the best mountaineering films have struggled to bridge the gap between climbing documentary and Hollywood blockbuster.

Edurne Pasaban in Nepal

The travel that changed me: Edurne Pasaban

Edurne Pasaban made mountaineering history when she became the first woman to have undisputedly climbed all 14 of the eight-thousanders – the only mountains on the planet above 8,000m.

She has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of the Basque Country, a Masters in Human Resources Management from ESADE Business School and is Associate Professor at the Instituto de Empresa.

Peter in the Lake District during the Coast to Coast

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2021

As we come to the end of another difficult year, we reflect on our highs and lows – on and off the blog

I thought that things would be different this year. We ended 2020 on a low but hopeful note and I really thought the world would be back to normal this year. 

Instead, travel continues to limp on. Here in the UK, lockdown hangs like the sword of Damocles, yet again threatening our trip to Antarctica. There is a sense of time ticking by, especially for Peter who has lost two years of climbing in his prime, which has impacted his lifelong dream to climb the seven summits. 

Nanga Parbat was once known as "killer mountain"

Eight-thousanders: the 14 highest peaks in the world

The eight-thousanders are so ferocious that only 44 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.

Norwegian adventurer Cecilie Skog

Ice work: 10 first ascents by female mountaineers

In a world dominated by men, a select group of women have shattered the ice ceiling. Here we review some daring first ascents by female mountaineers

I’ll be honest: it rankles to write the words ‘the first female’ to do such and such. It feels patronising, as if to say you weren’t good enough to play with the big boys but I’ll pat you on the head anyway. 

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The travel that changed me: Mike Horn

Mike Horn’s list of accomplishments as a solo explorer is unparalleled, so we were privileged to have him talk to us about the travel that changed him

The great explorers Roald Amundsen and Ernest Shackleton would surely look upon Mike Horn with approval and admiration. He is arguably the world’s greatest modern-day explorer.

The South African-born Swiss explorer and adventurer has probably seen more of the world than any other person on Earth.

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The seven second summits: a tougher challenge

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!

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Winter hiking: 6 tips to get you started

Winter hiking without experience is taxing at best and lethal at worst. We share some tips to help you prepare properly

Winter hiking is a polarising sport: some love it, others hate it. Too often, people have bad experiences not because they’re inherently resistant to cold, but because they’re under-prepared. They make not just basic mistakes like packing the wrong gear but also arrive mentally unprepared.

unclimbed mountains Mount Kailash

Virgin peaks: the world’s unclimbed mountains

The world’s unclimbed mountains are the last great challenges in mountaineering. We look at the most coveted of these unconquered summits

In January 2021, Nirmal Purja and his team of Nepali climbers completed the first winter ascent of K2, the world’s second-highest mountain. K2 was the final 8,000m peak awaiting a winter ascent after Nanga Parbat, Pakistan’s ‘Killer Mountain’, was scaled in 2016.

lead image of climber for best mountaineering books 2021

Best mountaineering books: 27 great reads

Updated for 2021, we list the best mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers in the harshest environments

As I’ve mentioned many times 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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Altitude sickness symptoms and how to avoid them

Being young, fit and healthy doesn’t mean you won’t suffer from altitude sickness symptoms. Here’s how to identify, treat and prevent them effectively

Gracie is a student at Johns Hopkins, which offers one of the best medical training programs in the world. She is slim, fit and active. She doesn’t smoke, rarely drinks and always watches what she eats.

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How to use a compass and map: a simple guide

This guide on how to use a compass and map should be enough to get you started and give you the confidence to use the skills for yourself in the hills

As a schoolboy, I was lucky to learn how to use a compass and map. I then spent the best part of two decades putting these basic skills to use throughout the British countryside, without ever really having them tested.

Antarctica has some of the cleanest air in the world

The travel that changed me: Eric Larsen

Polar adventurer, expedition guide, dog musher and educator, Eric Larsen, talks to us about the travel that changed him

In 2006, polar adventurer Eric Larsen completed the first-ever summer expedition to the North Pole. As the Arctic ice has no land mass beneath it, it’s at its thinnest and most treacherous in the summer making it impassable on foot.

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. 

Adventure travel books 2021: our top 10 picks

We share the best adventure travel books 2021 and explain why each should be on your reading list

From a cross-country road trip in a hostile America to boundless sand dunes in remote China, our crop of adventure travel books 2021 have one thing in common: their journeys are more than just physical. 

Unknown treks in Asia: 10 offbeat trails

From remote corners of Bhutan to the lofty heights of Nepal, we profile some of the best unknown treks in Asia

When it comes to exploration, ‘too late for the seas, too soon for the stars’ may best describe our current times. Legendary explorers like Drake and Magellan charted the seas long ago while Scott, Shackleton, Amundsen and their like did the same for remote lands. 

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Greatest climbing quotes ever uttered

From climbing legends to authors with a penchant for snowy summits, we take a look at the greatest climbing quotes ever uttered

Whether it’s the eight-thousanders of the Himalayas, the big wall climbs of California or the more modest highlands of Scotland, mountains have inspired men and women to put pen to paper and wax lyrical for centuries past.