Travel stories, photos, climbing and trekking adventures in the Himalaya and Karakoram mountains. Plus stuff like news and politics. Things that matter if you spend time in the Himalayan countries - Nepal, India, Tibet and Pakistan. We mix genres that others won't.
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Hermann Buhl - a Himalayan legend
2013 is the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Nanga Parbat. Just a month after Hillary and Tenzing climbed Mounts Everest, Austrian mountaineer Hermann Buhl reached the 8126m summit of Nanga Parbat - the ninth highest mountain in the world - in an astonishing 40-hour solo push.
First ascent of Nanga Parbat
On the Blog...
- 6 September 2013 270,000 British nationals visit Pakistan each year. But the British government is now advising against travel to large parts of Pakistan. Is it xenophobic to talk about the hazards of travel in Pakistan?
- 22 August 2013 In August 2013 Roger Schaeli and Robert Jasper made the 1st free ascent of the Ghillini-Piola Direttissima on the Eiger; then Calum Muskett and Scottish climber Dave Macleod made a free ascent of the nearby climb Paciencia. It's 75 years since the 1st ascent of the north face of the Eiger.
- 31 July 2013 11 people, 10 of them foreign climbers, were murdered at Nanga Parbat Base Camp in Pakistan in June. The massacre, said to be in response to US drone strikes, was part of a wave of atrocities carried out across Pakistan.
- 5 May 2013 Climbers Ueli Steck, Simone Moro and Jonathan Griffith were attacked high on the slopes of Everest last week by a mob of Sherpas. The aftermath reflects a culture of impunity in Nepal, and the growing power of foreign-owned expedition businesses.
- 13 July 2012 Himalaya or Himalayas? The word "Himalayas" is a piece of linguistic butchery that became popular in the last century and now seems to be in decline. Its origin seems to lie in the European fondness for pluralising mountains - the Alps, the Andes, the Apennines etc - coupled with a failure to appreciate that the correct plural of "Himalaya" isn't "Himalayas." It's "Himalaya," just as the correct plural for the English word "sheep" happens to be "sheep."
Travelogue - travels through the Indian Himalaya from Kumaon and Garhwal to Ladakh
The border between Tibet and India is a British invention, imposed secretly on Tibet while China was in eclipse. India and China went to war over it in 1962. South of the international border there's another border - India's "Inner Line. " It divides Indians and plagues travellers.
Tungnath is the place where Shiva’s arms emerged from the earth after his underground flight from the Pandava brothers. It's the highest temple in India, standing 3680m above sea level on the mountain ridge dividing the Alaknanda River from the Mandakini.
The simplest reason to trek through mountains is to get to the other side. My journeys were directed at no such thing. India’s western Himalaya stretch from the Indus to the Nepalese border - a distance of perhaps 750 kilometres as the crow flies. I wanted to travel along the ranges, staying as close to the high peaks as I could.
Photos of Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand (formerly called Uttaranchal), including the Kumaon and Garhwal Himalaya.